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Three years ago Youth Customized Washington Redskins Jerseys , a little-known and undersized running back out of Abilene Christian led the Kansas City Chiefs in rushing, filling in admirably for an injured Jamaal Charles.These days, Charcandrick West finds himself fighting for a job.That alone is a sign of just how much deeper and more talented the Chiefs' stable of running backs is this season. Kareem Hunt led the league in rushing as a rookie, but there is a crush of ability and experience nipping at his heels."There's a good number of backs here that we have," offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said, "and we're very, very Obrázekblessed and fortunate. We just want to watch these guys compete."These guys: West, who managed just 72 yards on 18 carries last season; Spencer Ware, who led the Chiefs in rushing two years ago before sustaining a season-ending injury in preseason; Kerwynn Williams, who started six games last season for Arizona; Damien Williams, who appeared in 58 games over the past four seasons in Miami; and Darrel Williams, perhaps the biggest dark horse of the bunch.Williams backed up Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice the past few years at LSU, a big reason why he went undrafted this past April. But many scouts believe he has the talent to succeed, noting he averaged 5.7 yards a carry last season — better than Guice, a second-round pick."I probably say this every year, but the talent pool has gotten deeper," Bieniemy said. "I look forward to it. Why? Because it brings out the best in each and every one of them."There are a multitude of reasons why the Chiefs have invested so heavily in the position.For one thing, the value of running backs has swung back to the positive after many had written them off in the era of the pass-happy NFL. Offensive coordinators have started to utilize them in creative ways, employing them as pass-catchers and blockers along with running.No wonder three running backs were selected in the first round of the draft, and four more in the second round, headlined by Saquon Barkley going to the Giants at No. 2 overall.Then there's the misfortune that has befallen Kansas City at the position.Twice the franchise lost Charles to season-ending injuries in his prime, the first time resulting in Jackie Battle leading the team in rushing. Then, after Ware's transition from fullback to running back led to a breakout season, he tore up his knee in last year's preseason game against Seattle.The Chiefs were fortunate that Hunt emerged as a bona fide star, but they nonetheless headed into the season with a relatively shallow backfield. West handled some spot duty, and Akeem Hunt and an aged C.J. Spiller saw action, but it was quarterback Alex Smith that was second on the team in rushing.General manager Brett Veach hardly wants new quarterback Patrick Mahomes II to do likewise"In my mind and obviously in Brett's mind — because he's the one who did this — you can't have enough of those guys," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "We figured, listen www.redskinsauthorizedshops.com , if we have a chance to get good players lets go ahead and better ourselves, let the competition be there and see what happens. I'm expecting Spencer to be back, but you never know, and you've got kids that can play."The depth has already paid off the first week of camp, giving Hunt a chance to rest a stiff hamstring Friday and Ware an opportunity to slowly get back into game shape."I've never shied away from competition," Ware said. "My ultimate goal is to make my team better and to get better as a player — to make myself more valuable for my team and let them be able to use me in any way they can."NOTES: Rookie FS Armani Watts was back on the field Saturday after tweaking his ankle. "He needs reps now," Reid said. "If you're going to make this team you have to show it." ... West took a shot to the head during the team's first padded practice and was being evaluated by team doctors. Alex Smith doesn't believe in assigned seats.As he tried to get to know his new Washington Redskins teammates, Smith sat in a different seat for each meeting.Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula knew that from his time with Smith in San Francisco, and running back Chris Thompson beamed, "That's a trait from your quarterback that you like to see."It's a concerted effort by Smith to fit in with the guys, something he did quickly after taking over as the Redskins' franchise quarterback.Be it his personality, his depth of NFL experience or the long-term contract that previous starter Kirk Cousins never had in Washington, Smith has already assumed the place of unquestioned leader and made players sense an entirely different vibe around the team."(It's about) putting yourself out there, being real and nothing fake, nothing phony but getting to know the guys, letting your guard down," Smith said. "I'm more conscious of it as I've gotten older about that, about the responsibility as a teammate, being a good teammate."No one around the Redskins is calling Cousins a bad teammate, and team brass is reluctant to compare him and Smith on or off the field. But ever since Smith took the field in practice in burgundy and gold, he has been the subject of glowing praise about his ability to lead."He's always been a leader," left tackle Trent Williams said. "You could tell he's comfortable in that role. He's what we needed."A series of one-year contracts made Cousins unwilling or unable to fully fill that void. After signing a guaranteed $84 million, three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings, Cousins felt he finally had a "license to lead" that was never there with the Redskins, who took him in the same draft as Robert Griffin III, made him compete for the starting job and never agreed to a long-term contract.Washington not only acquired Smith from Kansas City but signed him to a $94 million, four-year extension with $71 million guaranteed and put the pressure on him to get back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season. That's as much as license to lead as anything, but the 34-year-old brushed off the trappings of that kind of security."All you're guaranteed is a year at a time here and even game by game," Smith said. "I appreciate so much the opportunity I have today and right in front of me and I'm not really thinking past that. Contract Washington Redskins Womens T-Shirt , all this and that, I'm not feeling any kind of comfort in that. No. I've got a huge sense of urgency to go out there and to go right now, to go today. I'm not waiting on anything. So it doesn't change my approach at all."It's that approach that quickly won Smith the respect of teammates, who spent the opening days of training camp talking about things feeling "different" this year.This was a team with Jay Gruden entering his fifth season as head coach with almost the same core of players except at the most important position."We got a lot of leaders on this team, especially with your quarterback," safety D.J. Swearinger said. "When you get a guy like Alex Smith in here, a lot changes. ... He's changed the leadership of how the offense approaches (the game). When they break the huddle, it's a different bounce. It's a different way he comes on the line and commands the offense."That's what senior vice president of player personnel and retired QB Doug Williams thought the Redskins were getting in Smith, who is coming off a season in which he set career highs with 4,042 yards passing and 26 touchdowns. Cousins threw for 4,000 yards the past three seasons, but Washington wanted a long-term answer and found it in Smith."What we've seen since he's been here is everything that we thought, that Jim (Tomsula) was talking about, from a leadership standpoint," Williams said."When he walked in the building, you could feel Alex Smith taking control of the locker room and being part of what we were looking for from a stability standpoint."The practice field has been the setting for Redskins players getting an up-close look at Smith. Cornerback Josh Norman bemoaned not being able to get enough work in because Smith was too accurate and wouldn't make mistakes, and Swearinger called him the kind of player defenders hate to face.Gruden, a former QB himself and an offensive guru, sees Smith as someone who can run his playbook and is also tailoring some things to him to maximize his mobility and decision-making prowess."Really what CAN'T he do?" Gruden said. "We're just trying to come up with a plan of attack that utilizes his skillset and make him as comfortable as possible."Smith looks and feels comfortable off the field, too. In addition to players admiring how the playbook has grown because of his addition, Thompson and said Smith "seemed to just fit in with us right away."Gruden said Smith "doesn't walk in here like he's king. He's walking in here like he's one of the guys." As one of the fittest players on the team, Smith sets a work ethic example, and his personality is such that Gruden thinks he could play a pickup basketball game with anyone and fit in.Perhaps that's why his transition to Washington has been so seamless that Williams said it feels as if Smith has been around a long time. The Redskins hope he actually is."He has the charisma, he has the character, he has everything that you want in a quarterback," Williams said. "And that's what they're supposed to be: a face of the franchise, and I can tell you this: Alex Smith fits that mold as the face of a franchise."Follow Stephen Whyno on Twitter at ://SWhyno . Custom Minnesota Vikings Jerseys


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