Battle Gets Run Game Moving

From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

Jackie Battle did not want to speak to the media on Sunday after his 119-yard rushing day against the Indianapolis Colts.

Now don’t read some prima donna type attack here from the little used running back. His chest wasn’t all pumped up after the best day of his career.

Rather, his head was still a little fuzzy from a helmet to helmet hit he took in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs 28-24 victory over the Colts. Trainer David Price walked him out of the training room after most of his teammates had already been dressed and gone. Battle just shook his head and said he wanted all the attention to go to the offensive line.

So while he might have been a little out of focus, Battle showed he still knew what was important – the big guys up front that open the holes. They did that Sunday and Battle ran through them for big yardage. Averaging 6.2 yards per carry, Battle ripped off 19 runs for those 119 yards.

Included in Battle’s performance was a 24-yard run that now ranks among the biggest gainers on the ground for the Chiefs this season. He had 5 runs over 10 yards and 10 runs over 5 yards. Only once in those 19 carries did the Indy defense stop him for negative yardage.

Plus, he caught two passes for 21 yards. While he wasn’t interested or capable of talking about his performance, his teammates were.

“You could tell that Jackie always believed he was a runner and he didn’t like it too much when we relegated him in our minds to just a special teams player,” said head coach Todd Haley. “He’s another player on our team that has continued to develop here through the last couple years and that’s just so critical to being a successful team.”

There was one thing Haley and coordinator Bill Muir wanted to get done with the Chiefs offense against Indianapolis on Sunday: they wanted to breathe life into the team’s running game.

With Jamaal Charles out, Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster were next up and they had very limited success in the season’s first four games. So on this day, the Chiefs turned to Battle, the proverbial forgotten man in the team’s offense for the last four years.

In 37 NFL games, he had carried the ball 51 times for 155 yards. He was always a pre-season runner, racking up 472 rushing yards on 114 carries in August games during the 2008-09-10-11 seasons.

In the days leading up to the game, Battle talked about how he didn’t consider himself anything but an NFL running back. Maybe special teams was where he spent most of his playing time, but he didn’t think that was all he could do.

“I always considered myself capable of playing in this league,” Battle said.

Against an Indianapolis defense that came in ranked No. 28 in the league against the run, Battle showed there was no doubt he could handle the load. In the second half, the offense went smash mouth with a lot of two back and two tight end formations. Again, Haley was determined to stick to his plan and run the ball.

“I’m so happy for Jackie,” QB Matt Cassel said. “He’s a guy that never complains, just goes out, works hard and will do whatever you ask him to. He’s a guy that just grinds and grinds and grinds, and as you can see, when he gets his opportunities, he can play.

“There’s never a time when I’ve seen him get hit where he doesn’t somehow fall forward. Hopefully he’ll continue to grow in this offense.”

2 Responses to “Battle Gets Run Game Moving”

  • October 9, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Battle was a difference maker in this game. Hopefully the cobwebs will clear and he’ll continue to get his chances.

  • October 10, 2011  - ED J says:

    Oh yea no doubt Battle was huge this game. Joned broke off some nice runs too. But looks like Battle will be the primary workhorse hopefully he can continue to have success

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