Chiefs RB Spencer Ware Grateful for Opportunity in Kansas City

After a breakout performance on Sunday, Ware shared his feelings about being in KC

He didn't have the overjoyed smile you would have expected considering it was his best game to date as a professional football player.

He was understated, calm and respectful as he stood by his locker and recounted the game in which he stepped in for the injured starter Charcandrick West, who left Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers early with a hamstring injury.

Spencer Ware was drafted out of LSU in the sixth round (No. 196 overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, and before 2015, he hadn't had a carry in his professional career.

After spending his first year with the Seahawks in 2013, Ware was released prior to last season and was out of football until the Chiefs called him shortly after the 2014 season had ended.

So, after an 11-carry, 96-yard performance that included a couple of fourth-quarter touchdowns, Ware wasn't in a "look at me" mood while sitting by his locker surrounded by smiling and cheering teammates. For Ware, it was more of a "reminiscing and recalling his journey" kind of mood.

"I'm extremely grateful for Kansas City, [general manager] John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid for giving me an opportunity here when nobody wanted me," Ware said. "I show them my gratitude by how I play on the field each and every day."

It wasn't lip service. That wouldn't happen less than 15 minutes after a game in which he had three times as many yards rushing as he's had offensive snaps in his two years as a professional football player.

It was the manifestation and realization of the work he put in and those he credits for allowing him to earn this chance.

He was more focused on sharing his gratitude for the opportunity rather than basking in the glory of his moment.

And it was indeed, a moment.

"My thanks go to God for keeping me strong through the hard times and making me end up where I am today," he added.

Ware had shown flashes of his ability throughout training camp and the preseason, but with a stable of backs in Jamaal Charles, Charcandrick West and Knile Davis, the opportunities he was given earlier this season were limited.

He was promoted from the practice squad shortly after Charles' season-ending injury.

"He's a powerful kid that has shown us the caliber that you just saw today in practices and the preseason," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Ware. "It's a tribute to Dorsey and the job that he's done on bringing talent in here.

"We were down a few different spots and guys stepped in and did a nice job."

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Ware has impressed Reid and his teammates with not only his physical abilities, but also the mental side of the game.

"He's smart," Reid noted. "Remember he went to LSU as a quarterback. He has the aptitude part of this thing. He can handle stuff. That's why we have him playing the tailback and fullback. He understands the pass game. He's got good hands, good athlete.

"He's a big, physical guy. He's dirty tough." 

While he may have initially been a quarterback, he sure doesn't run like one. Ware routinely found yards after contact against the Chargers on Sunday, running like a man trying to prove himself.

"Find a way to get positive yards, run physical," Ware said of his running style. "That's the mindset—hit them or get hit. That's how it's always been since I was in college."

That style endeared Ware to the thousands of Chiefs fans in attendance at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday cheering all throughout his dynamic 52-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.

His teammates weren't surprised by his performance.

"Hats off to him," quarterback Alex Smith said after the game. "I don't think any guy in the locker room is surprised, just the way he goes about his business—a real pro who was ready for this and you're extremely happy for him.

"It was crazy. I mean we were getting ready to get [Anthony] Sherman ready for some carries, but Spencer had some really good runs today."

Ware took advantage of the opportunity given to him by Dorsey, Reid and company, and judging by his initial and natural reaction after the game, that's not something he'll soon forget.

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