Notebook: Is Chiefs’ running game at full strength best in league?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, who continues to rehabilitate from an anterior cruciate ligament surgery to his right knee, has yet to hit the practice field during organized team activities (OTAs).

Jan. 9, 2016; Houston; Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware (32) rushes for a touchdown against the Texans at NRG Stadium. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Jan. 9, 2016; Houston; Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware (32) rushes for a touchdown against the Texans at NRG Stadium. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

But one of the league’s top running games will only get better when Charles returns to the fold and Spencer Ware feels the Chiefs’ backfield at full strength is the best in the league.

“I believe so,” Ware said. “I think we’re pretty good.”

There is plenty of debate on what team has the best running attack in the NFL, of course. And arguments will be made for the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Still, Ware has a point for the Chiefs to command the top spot when considering Charles and Charcandrick West.

Without Charles the final 11 games of the 2015 season, the Chiefs finished ranked sixth in the league in rushing (127.8 yards per game) by effectively utilizing Ware and West.

Ware totaled 403 yards rushing and a team-high six rushing touchdowns, while West led the team in rushing with 634 yards on 160 carries.

A 100 percent healthy Charles in the mix could prove the Chiefs have the best stable of running backs, which also includes Knile Davis, in the NFL.

“I’ll leave all the ratings and all that to you guys (media), but I know what we can control,” Ware said. “And how we are, we’re going to go out there and we’re going to battle, we’re going to make big plays and we’re going to try to win games.”

SETTLING IN

Wide receiver Rod Streater is finding life in the Midwest a lot different from the past four seasons with the Oakland Raiders.

“California, there’s a lot of traffic,” Streater said with a chuckle. “Here, crazy thunderstorms. I kind of experience a lot of that.”

Don’t worry about the weather, however, because Streater is enjoying himself in Kansas City since signing a one-year deal in March.

“I like it here,” he said. “It’s a little bit slower, not too crazy on the highways. The barbecue is amazing here, lot of good food, so I’m pretty much excited to be here.”

Food aside, Streater has an opportunity to compete for playing time and the process of picking up the playbook has gone smoothly through seven days of OTAs.

“It’s really easy to catch on,” Streater said. “They make it easy to understand and it looks really good, so I really haven’t had much trouble with it.

“We’ve been putting in extra work with the quarterbacks afterwards, just trying to make sure we connect, but everything’s been looking good.”

NUMBER TAKEOVER

Outside linebacker Dezman Moses returned to the Chiefs after signing a contract and apparently got down to business.

Well, uniform business.

Andy Mulumba, who signed a one-year deal in March, wore No. 54 through the first six days of OTAs.

But Moses, who sported that jersey number the past three seasons in Kansas City, wore the number Tuesday. Mulumba now wears No. 40.

No word on what it cost Moses to get his preferred number back.

PRESENT/NOT PRESENT

Defensive lineman Jaye Howard returned Tuesday after missing three days the past week for what the Chiefs categorized as “personal reasons.”

Rookie cornerback Vernon Harris, an undrafted free agent out of Dartmouth, made his first appearance of OTAs. Harris missed the first six days because of the NCAA quarters system.

Running back Jamaal Charles (knee), outside linebacker Justin Houston (knee), wide receiver Mike Williams (hamstring) and safety Eric Berry (unsigned franchised tag) missed a seventh straight day of OTAs.

Outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee) participated in the stretching portion of practice without his helmet and did not participate in team drills.

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Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for The Topeka Capital-Journal and ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

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