KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Running back Charcandrick West loves to eat candy, Skittles in particular. He gets the occasional shipment delivered to his locker at the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice facility and sporadically tweets a message professing his love for the circular candies.
West consumed so many Skittles last season that he felt fueled by the stuff.
“I feel like I was too heavy and my body wasn’t responding to that," he said.
It showed in his performance. West averaged just 3.3 yards per carry last season and rushed for 293 yards last season a year after led the Chiefs in rushing with 634 yards and was a consistently effective receiver.
West said this week as the Chiefs gathered for the start of their offseason conditioning program that he’s sworn off the Skittles and other sugary substances. He indicated he’s dropped 10 pounds from last year, to 195, and that’s made him more explosive and given him more energy.
“I’m trying to eat better," West said. “It was bad the way I was eating. I was eating candy, Skittles. You’ve seen me eating all the Skittles.
“My energy level is way up. I feel better. I’m not tired from eating candy right before I go to bed. I feel it’s going to help me out a lot. I haven’t felt like this in a long time."
West might need the boost if he’s to keep his job with the Chiefs. They expect some competition for the three running back roster spots. Spencer Ware, last year’s leading rusher for the Chiefs, and C.J. Spiller, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards for the Buffalo Bills in 2012, are among the competitors. The Chiefs also seem likely to draft at least one back.
West would likely claim one of those roster spots by returning to his 2015 form. That’s why he’s staying away from the candy. It’s powerful motivation, though he admitted to being tempted.
“My biggest thing is eating a lot of sweets," West said. “I’m, like, 21 days without sweets. You’ve got to pray for me on that one."