Spencer Ware enters his third season with Kansas City in 2017, after posting the best season of his career in 2016. Ware started 14 games and led the Chiefs with 214 carries for 921 yards last season, while also posting three touchdowns rushing and two touchdowns receiving.
For the first time in his short career, Ware won't have Jamaal Charles to look up to entering 2017's training camp, meaning he will be in line to take on more of a leadership role in a room that has added a rookie in Kareem Hunt.
"The leadership has been outstanding," running backs coach Eric Bieniemy said of Ware this offseason. "These guys have been together for a number of years. They know what is expected. They understand that it isn't about one individual, it's about the group. So, whoever's out on that field, they must represent and do a great job because why?
"Every time we're out there, the expectations are high, the stakes are high. We want to make sure no matter who is in there, they know what they're doing. These guys coach each other up. Sherm (Anthony Sherman), Spence, Charcandrick hold the other guys accountable, as well as each other."
Ware on coming back to the Chiefs in a leadership role:"There's a lot of responsibility as far as showing leadership out here on the field and off the field. No pressure though. I go out there every day and work how I was when I was behind Marshawn [Lynch] in Seattle and how I did when I was behind Jamaal [Charles] when I came here. It's the same mindset and the same work ethic, I'm just a little bit older and a little more mature."
Ware put together the best season of his career in 2016, highlighted by the best game of his career in the Chiefs' Week 5 matchup away against the Oakland Raiders. Ware rushed 24 times for 131 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon.
Ware led all Chiefs players with 214 rush attempts on the season and compiled 921 total yards rushing, a career high. His 1,368 yards from scrimmage led the Chiefs and was good for 13th in the entire league.
According to Pro Football Focus' Michael Tagliere, Ware has broken 65 tackles on 351 touches during the last two seasons. As he notes in this piece, that's a broken tackle once every 5.4 touches, which is a better mark than that of Le'Veon Bell, who has broken a tackle every 5.6 touches over the last two years.
With Charles now a member of the Denver Broncos, Ware should receive the primary looks in the Chiefs run game, along with Charcandrick West. After compiling 921 total yards rushing in 14 games in 2016, the idea of Ware 1,000 yards in his third season in Kansas City shouldn't be out of the question, and that feat would catapult him into the elite at the position of the National Football League.
Ware and West will be tasked with the guiding of rookie Kareem Hunt, the all-time rushing leader at Toledo, where Hunt had 4,945 total yards rushing.