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the Talking Can
08-28-2005, 06:58 AM
This was written prior to last nights game.
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from the kcstar:

Posted on Sun, Aug. 28, 2005

Priest not getting any props

But doubters only help drive the best player in the NFL

JOE POSNANSKI

People sometimes ask why I’m so fascinated by Priest Holmes. There are a lot of reasons. There’s the chess thing. There’s the audacity in the way he comes back from injuries. There’s his remarkable patience as a runner — I’ve never seen a running back set up his blocks better than Priest Holmes.

But in the end, I think it comes down to one thing.

I’m fascinated that a man can be the best player in the NFL and still get no respect.

This struck me again while reading a football magazine called “Andy Benoit’s Touchdown 2005.” I read the magazine because on the front there’s a blurb from ESPN’s Chris Berman saying it is “one of the most comprehensive NFL previews that I have EVER seen,” and also because they sent it to me for free. Apparently, Andy is 19 years old and was an honor student at Boise (Idaho) High, and I can’t think of a better qualification for writing an NFL magazine.

Andy has a little section called “Write it down.” This is where he makes one of those bold statements you can make when you are an honor student in Boise, such as “Randy Moss is a great talent but a poor football player.” Anyway, here’s his “Write It Down” thought for the Chiefs: “Running back Larry Johnson will replace Priest Holmes by the start of next season if not sooner.”

Andy’s opinion is pretty popular these days. You’ve heard it: Priest Holmes’ time is almost up. Larry Johnson is ready. Anyone could run behind that line. Etc. Many around the country seem to think that Larry Johnson is the superior back RIGHT NOW based on his three consecutive 100-yard games last year.

And it’s just another chapter in the “People will never appreciate how good Priest Holmes is” book. You know the story. Holmes came out of college undrafted — people said he was too small and too slow to play in the NFL.

He ran for 1,000 yards for Baltimore. People said it was meaningless. He got benched.

He came to Kansas City and led the NFL in rushing. People said it was a fluke. He came back and put together the most spectacular 13 1/2 games a running back has ever had — almost 2,300 total yards, 24 touchdowns, he was going to smash all the records — and then he hurt his hip at the end of a long run. People said he couldn’t stay healthy.

He came back, played a full year, set the NFL record by scoring 27 touchdowns.

People said that was because of the Chiefs’ great offensive line (nobody liked to mention that in the nine years before Priest Holmes arrived, the Chiefs didn’t manage to have even a 900-yard runner).

Anyway, now many of these same people say that Holmes is done. He will be 32 in October. He’s coming off a knee injury that was serious enough that he missed half of last season (he was on pace to rush for 1,800 yards and score 30 touchdowns). Running backs don’t last long. Larry Johnson is fresh and a former first-round pick.

And so on. And so on.

“I don’t know what I would do if people didn’t doubt me,” Holmes says. “I’m serious. I think that’s what drives me. If people didn’t doubt me, I’d probably get fat and happy.”

Holmes spent the off-season working out day after day on a Texas military base with retired military personnel. He says there were days that he thought about cutting out early, and one of those guys yelled, “Oh, man, I’m 50 and I’m outworking you,” or “I guess you’re going to retire soon, too.” Holmes would get back to work.

“Those guys will tell you when you’re not giving your all,” he says. “They helped me keep it real.”

Holmes says he’s pretty close to 100 percent. He always says “pretty close to 100 percent.” He doesn’t like giving anything away.

Then, that’s Holmes. He doesn’t talk much. He doesn’t make fancy moves. He doesn’t break 70-yard runs. Maybe that’s why people overlook him.

Maybe that’s why everyone goes crazy for San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson. Hey, Tomlinson’s a great player. He’s fun to watch. But, his numbers are not even close to Holmes’ over the last four years.

Maybe that’s why the national media swarm around Miami’s Ricky Williams, who is a flake but isn’t half the player Holmes has been.

Maybe that’s why people want to talk about Larry Johnson replacing Holmes. Johnson was impressive at times last year, there’s no doubt. He has a breakaway gear that Holmes probably does not have anymore. He showed an ability to hit the hole. Holmes likes his game a lot. “It will be great to team up with Larry,” he says.

But being a great running back, an all-time great, isn’t about the long runs. It isn’t about hitting the hole hard. It’s about being there Sunday after Sunday, gaining first downs, scoring touchdowns, softening the middle of the defense, opening up the passing game, blocking blitzers, making plays on short passes. In these ways, Priest Holmes is one of the best who ever lived. He is — I truly believe this — the best player in the NFL, just as Emmitt Smith was the best player in the NFL in his prime, and Walter Payton was the best in his prime.

But no one else seems to see Holmes that way. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Andy is right. Hey, Chris Berman has never said this column was comprehensive.

Tuckdaddy
08-28-2005, 07:10 AM
THAT'S RIGHT JO! I'M WITH YOU 100%. HOLMES IS NOT READY TO BE PUT IN PASTURE, SO ALL OF YOU BACK THE FUGG OFF!

Terribilis
08-28-2005, 07:33 AM
preach on brother

penguinz
08-28-2005, 09:19 AM
Jo Po is in denial.

Bob Dole
08-28-2005, 09:29 AM
Holmes ain't ready to be put to pasture.

But it's going to take a lot fewer stuffs before the coaches pull the trigger and see what Johnson can do in any given game.

Nzoner
08-28-2005, 09:33 AM
Thanks for posting this,I enjoyed the read,especially after having just read this discussion on another board. (http://www.fftodayforums.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=147616)

It's a link from a ff site but the discussion is dead on to what JoPo is saying.Here's a sample.

dude you really are an idiot. I know faulk wasnt that great that year. That was my point. Thus you comparing faulk losing his starting job to priest possibly losing his starting job is idiotic at best, though quite in line with your idiotic line of thought. Go take an english comprehension class and watch priest be the top fantasy producer in the league yet again...

Simplex3
08-28-2005, 09:36 AM
But being a great running back, an all-time great, isn’t about the long runs. It isn’t about hitting the hole hard. It’s about being there Sunday after Sunday, gaining first downs, scoring touchdowns, softening the middle of the defense, opening up the passing game, blocking blitzers, making plays on short passes. In these ways, Priest Holmes is one of the best who ever lived.

Ummmm, being there Sunday after Sunday? How many years has Priest finished since he came here? Also, if you aren't on the field it's hard to do any of the rest of those things.

Could Priest have been one of the best ever? Maybe. Baltimore pissed away the best years of his career. Let's not be stupid and do the same thing to LJ. This needs to be Priest's last year.

Skip Towne
08-28-2005, 09:49 AM
Ummmm, being there Sunday after Sunday? How many years has Priest finished since he came here? Also, if you aren't on the field it's hard to do any of the rest of those things.

Could Priest have been one of the best ever? Maybe. Baltimore pissed away the best years of his career. Let's not be stupid and do the same thing to LJ. This needs to be Priest's last year.
Yeah.

Thig Lyfe
08-28-2005, 09:55 AM
I agree with JoPo. Priest has been the best back in the league the past four years, but now because of a few very good performances from LJ we're ready to send him to the glue factory. I don't think we'll "piss away" LJ's best years, because he'll still be a intergal part of the O this year. It's the change-up in speed and style that is going to fluster the heck out of opposing defenses this year.

Maybe the focus is shifting to LJ, but Priest is still an automatic red-zone touchdown and that can't be denied.

morphius
08-28-2005, 10:20 AM
Maybe, just maybe, everyone is talking about LJ because of all the talk of Priest pondering retiring, plus with all the injuries.

No way in hell do rush a TD machine like Holmes out of the lineup, but if you can split the backfield with these two through the year you can have one of the most scary backfields in history.

nomad
08-28-2005, 11:03 AM
Well... 5 for 10yds is leaving the door open in my mind.

I sense THIS may be the year where the Offense will show its age and DV and Saunders will go with the old horse to the detriment of the team.

Hope I'm wrong..

Tuckdaddy
08-28-2005, 11:13 AM
People are talking about LJ because he's been getting the workload since Priest went down last season. Holmes has barely played in pre-season as well. Johnson looks great but Priest is and elusive TD MACHINE! No way he should ride the pine and be replaced.

StcChief
08-28-2005, 11:23 AM
19 year old. I'm not listening to his BS.

David.
08-28-2005, 11:28 AM
19 year old. I'm not listening to his BS.

oh come on, I'm 19 and I'm the smartest person ever!

Thig Lyfe
08-28-2005, 11:29 AM
oh come on, I'm 19 and I'm the smartest person ever!

How did your Algebra course turn out?

David.
08-28-2005, 11:36 AM
How did your Algebra course turn out?

haha...****, you got me.

yeah, i'm retaking it :(

TRR
08-28-2005, 11:41 AM
Well... 5 for 10yds is leaving the door open in my mind.

I sense THIS may be the year where the Offense will show its age and DV and Saunders will go with the old horse to the detriment of the team.

Hope I'm wrong..

Priest Holmes will never be a detriment to the KC Chiefs. He'll rip off another 1,400 yard season, and LJ will get his too. They both can co-exist...We can have the best of both worlds.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Mr. Laz
08-28-2005, 11:47 AM
Good, i hope the success of larry johnson totally ticks priest holmes off and motivates him to his best season.


here's to two 1500+ yrd backs this season! :toast:

Bigwigbob
08-28-2005, 11:59 AM
I am just curious how being old makes you smarter. Some of the dumbest people I know are way older than 19. The truth is the truth no matter how old you are.

tk13
09-02-2005, 02:17 AM
I totally missed this article!! I called the JoePo "everybody keeps doubting Priest" article the whole offseason, and it finally came and I missed it! Great stuff. :)

Count Alex's Losses
09-02-2005, 02:27 AM
Go Priest. Prove me wrong. I'm rooting for you.

alanm
09-02-2005, 02:32 AM
Thanks for posting this,I enjoyed the read,especially after having just read this discussion on another board. (http://www.fftodayforums.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=147616)

It's a link from a ff site but the discussion is dead on to what JoPo is saying.Here's a sample.
I feel stupider for having read the ff posts. :spock:

ENDelt260
09-02-2005, 02:36 AM
19 and in an algebra course? I took algebra in 8th grade.

By the time I was nineteen I'd finished three semesters of calculus. I think if you're 19 and taking algebra, the state defines you as legally retarded.

Oh, wait... I forgot about MU. Guess it depends on which school in the state you're going to.

tk13
09-02-2005, 02:40 AM
19 and in an algebra course? I took algebra in 8th grade.

By the time I was nineteen I'd finished three semesters of calculus. I think if you're 19 and taking algebra, the state defines you as legally retarded.

Oh, wait... I forgot about MU. Guess it depends on which school in the state you're going to.
See, you should write a football preview magazine. You can write under the name of Dick Nathan and get rich! Well, until you blow it all on booze and hookers, then you'll get on an E! True Hollywood Story and be famous!

ENDelt260
09-02-2005, 02:41 AM
See, you should write a football preview magazine. You can write under the name of Dick Nathan and get rich! Well, until you blow it all on booze and hookers, then you'll get on an E! True Hollywood Story and be famous!
Perfect plan!

You wanna be my manager? I'll call you E.

Chiefs Pantalones
09-02-2005, 08:35 AM
I think Priest should start, but I question if he still has enough left in the tank.

We'll find out soon enough.