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C-Mac
08-29-2005, 11:25 AM
Priest still No. 1, but L.J. must play

JASON WHITLOCK


Larry Johnson has to play.

It has nothing to do with Priest Holmes. Itís simply acknowledgment that in three preseason games, L.J. has proved that his performance at the end of last year wasnít a fluke.

L.J., to quote an old football coach, is the real deal. He has to play.

Priest Holmes, of course, has to play, too. Heís still the Chiefsí best running back. Heís still the starter. Itís just now heís going to have to share some of his touches with Johnson. This isnít debatable.

It doesnít matter how perfectly blocked and how poorly defended L.J.ís 97-yard run was against Seattle. No one caught Johnson. No one came close to catching Johnson. He ripped down the middle of an NFL field untouched for 97 yards.

You donít stand on the sideline collecting dust when you can race 97 yards on a football field untouched. The NFL is all about big plays and the playmakers who create them.

Holmes is a dynamic playmaker, but he canít run 97 yards untouched. L.J. gives Kansas Cityís ground attack an extra dimension, a dimension KCís receiver-starved offense desperately needs.

Holmes is relentless and consistent, a pass-catching, smaller version of the Bus. L.J. is starting to look like Midwest Airlines, the great little secret no one expected to hang around.

Dick Vermeil and Al Saunders need to figure out how the Chiefs can travel by bus and plane. No one should try to turn this into a Holmes vs. Johnson situation, and Iím mostly talking about Holmes or Johnson turning it into that.

They should both play, and they should both accept that itís in the best interest of the team that they both play. No pouting. No complaints about being unable to establish a rhythm.

If Vermeil and Saunders planned on an 85-15 running split between Holmes and Johnson, the coaches should now formulate a 60-40 plan. Johnson deserves 40 percent of the touches. If the Chiefs run the ball 30 times, Holmes carries it 16 times, Johnson 12 and fullback Tony Richardson or receiver Dante Hall get the two other carries.

I realize just three weeks ago I dissed my friend Jimmy Dodds in this column for even suggesting that L.J. could earn playing time in the preseason. I stand corrected. I never anticipated L.J. looking this good, this confident, this determined.

No one could have anticipated Johnson running this hard. He looks 50 percent better than he did at the end of last year. He looks like a totally different back.

Can running back by committee work?

Yes, last year the Rams used Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson effectively. On the flip, the Bills had to separate Travis Henry and Willis McGahee because neither playersí ego would tolerate splitting carries. Henry and McGahee are both young and in their prime.

Holmes will be 32 by the end of this season. If Johnson continues to develop, Holmes becomes expendable. His age and history of injuries diminish his trade value and make Johnson untradable.

Ego is the unpredictable element in all of this. Will Holmes welcome Johnson into the running rotation? If Holmes wonít, will Vermeil and Saunders risk upsetting Holmes by giving L.J. carries anyway? They must. L.J. has to play.

keg in kc
08-29-2005, 11:28 AM
Been thinking along the same lines myself. Still Priest's gig, but you have to play them both. And I think we've been planning to, and will.

BigRedChief
08-29-2005, 11:29 AM
I'm getting scared. Whitlock is writing too many articles lately that I agree with.:shake:

LJ has to be allowed to flourish. Priest isn't over the hill. It's going to take all of DV's coaching skills to keep this from being a distraction and a fued between the two. RB's have to be arrogant, want the ball to be successful.

jidar
08-29-2005, 11:30 AM
I gotta give whitlock a little bit of credit for getting it right, but just a little bit. Honestly, this is obvious and 99 out of 100 chiefs fans have realized this.

jynni
08-29-2005, 11:34 AM
So if (god forbid - a pox on me for even thinking it) Trent did get knicked up, maybe all SuperTodd would need to do is hand off to Larry - hand off to Priest - etc, etc...

keg in kc
08-29-2005, 11:38 AM
So if (god forbid - a pox on me for even thinking it) Trent did get knicked up, maybe all SuperTodd would need to do is hand off to Larry - hand off to Priest - etc, etc...That might work for a week or two, but eventually teams would just put 8 or 9 in the box every down and make Collins (shudder) beat them.

Katipan
08-29-2005, 11:40 AM
I'm getting scared. Whitlock is writing too many articles lately that I agree with.:shake:

oh come now. where do you think the bastard gets his material? :p

BigRedChief
08-29-2005, 11:42 AM
That might work for a week or two, but eventually teams would just put 8 or 9 in the box every down and make Collins (shudder) beat them.

They would be praising Allah from week one. Green goes down we are screwed. I'd take my chances with Collins throwing to beat you anyday. I wish The Chiefs faced a "Collins" every week.

BigRedChief
08-29-2005, 11:43 AM
oh come now. where do you think the bastard gets his material? :p

Yeah he defintely lurks here but all the KC "reporters" that cover the Chiefs do. It's a great place to get a "feel" for how the Chief fans feel about sonething.

philfree
08-29-2005, 11:44 AM
Anyone who didn't have this figured out by the end of last season wasn't watching the games. I also think Holmes got injured or re-injured his hip on his first carry against the Cards. I hope I'm wrong but what has he done on his carries since then? Sompin ain't right..... :hmmm:


PhilFree:arrow:

CoMoChief
08-29-2005, 11:49 AM
I can't believe I'm saying this but................TRADE PRIEST HOLMES TO CAROLINA FOR JULIUS PEPPERS!!!!! Then sign Corey Simon.
As some of you would say.....DAMNIT CARL!!!!!

Wouldn't it be nice if that could work out?

keg in kc
08-29-2005, 11:49 AM
I thought Priest looked the same as he always has on Saturday. On the two carries for negative yards, Bober missed a block that cost him a 4-yard TD on one and the Seattle d-line pushed our whole o-line into him on the other.

WisChief
08-29-2005, 11:55 AM
I can't believe I'm saying this but................TRADE PRIEST HOLMES TO CAROLINA FOR JULIUS PEPPERS!!!!! Then sign Corey Simon.
As some of you would say.....DAMNIT CARL!!!!!

Wouldn't it be nice if that could work out?

:hmmm:

That would put Peppers and Sims back together....

WisChief
08-29-2005, 11:57 AM
I thought Priest looked the same as he always has on Saturday. On the two carries for negative yards, Bober missed a block that cost him a 4-yard TD on one and the Seattle d-line pushed our whole o-line into him on the other.


Yea, and I'm not in any way worried about Holmes. This type of thing is pretty standard for him. Loose a few, win alot.

I'm all for LJ gett'n more carries, but Holmes, until proven other wise, is a GIMME for 20 tds. No way do you chance that based on preseason good or bad.

InChiefsHell
08-29-2005, 11:58 AM
I can't believe I'm saying this but................TRADE PRIEST HOLMES TO CAROLINA FOR JULIUS PEPPERS!!!!! Then sign Corey Simon.
As some of you would say.....DAMNIT CARL!!!!!

Wouldn't it be nice if that could work out?

You're kidding...right??? :shake:

Chiefs Pantalones
08-29-2005, 12:04 PM
:hmmm:

That would put Peppers and Sims back together....

"That" would never happen. :p

WisChief
08-29-2005, 12:10 PM
"That" would never happen. :p
ROFL

Well, you know "that" has been the CP reason for Sims suck'n.

philfree
08-29-2005, 12:11 PM
I thought Priest looked the same as he always has on Saturday. On the two carries for negative yards, Bober missed a block that cost him a 4-yard TD on one and the Seattle d-line pushed our whole o-line into him on the other.

Yeah the blocking wasn't good on a couple of those plays but he doesn't look the same to me since that first carry in the Cards game. It could just be me I guess. I hope!

PhilFree:arrow:

keg in kc
08-29-2005, 12:13 PM
I don't know that I'd worry about it. As far as I remember, Priest has never looked particularly good in the preseason. In fact, our running game generally struggles this time of year, for whatever reason. All of which makes what LJ's doing that much more impressive.

el borracho
08-29-2005, 12:36 PM
How good are Johnson's hands? Can we put Johnson in the seam or split out wide as a receiver?

|Zach|
08-29-2005, 12:36 PM
Every 2nd column!

TRR
08-29-2005, 12:52 PM
I agree with the basis of the article, but I don't agree with the 60/40 split. LJ will get his carries, plus the carries that Blaylock left behind. He'll also get the carries of TRich, be it few.

Don't get me wrong, I love what LJ has done this preseason, but a healthy Priest Holmes HAS GOT TO HAVE MORE THAN 60% OF THE TOUCHES. He's proven that to be true.

Count Alex's Losses
08-29-2005, 12:54 PM
This will light a fire under Priest.

Brock
08-29-2005, 12:56 PM
Larry Johnson > Priest Holmes

WisChief
08-29-2005, 12:58 PM
Larry Johnson > Priest Holmes

yep - LJ, 6'1" 230 > PH, 5'9" 213

:p

Chiefs Pantalones
08-29-2005, 01:00 PM
I think it's best to have just one back do it all, then when he needs a breather...fine.

I kind of know one thing, if Priest gets injured, he won't see the field again. I think LJ will tear it up when given the opportunity, or if...

He may have been this good the whole time and the coaching staff was just hiding it to avoid a RB controversy...who knows? I just think that if or when Priest gets injured, he probably won't see the field again...

Chief Faithful
08-29-2005, 01:03 PM
RBBC is great when you have two great backs. RBBC stinks when its done because there are zero good backs.

Chiefs Pantalones
08-29-2005, 01:04 PM
This will light a fire under Priest.

I agree. Hopefully he stays healthy, if not, we got LJ.

I wouldn't be surprised if Priest doesn't last the season...

ct
08-29-2005, 01:09 PM
Keep F-n Doubting Priest Holmes!!!

Chiefs Pantalones
08-29-2005, 01:15 PM
Keep F-n Doubting Priest Holmes!!!

I'm behind Priest, but I'm not confident he'll stay healthy. He's been beat the hell up the past couple years, like Faulk was in his shining years.

TRR
08-29-2005, 01:17 PM
I'm behind Priest, but I'm not confident he'll stay healthy. He's been beat the hell up the past couple years, like Faulk was in his shining years.

Faulk had some lingering injuries. I'm sure Priest's injuries bother him, but the last two were out of the ordinary. Almost bad luck more than anything else. Priest wasn't used much early in his career. I think the play of LJ could extend Priest's career by a season or two.

Tuckdaddy
08-29-2005, 01:23 PM
HALF? This not a divorce court. No way I give away half of Holmes carries because LJ looks good in pre season. Holmes earned his right to start a long time ago by getting TD after TD after TD. LJ should play the back up role, that's what the number two guys do.

KCTitus
08-29-2005, 01:52 PM
Im suprised Proctor hadnt magically appeared to crow about RBBC...I guess since Johnson and Holmes are not FB's who were converted to RB, it doesnt count.

Brock
08-29-2005, 01:54 PM
HALF? This not a divorce court. No way I give away half of Holmes carries because LJ looks good in pre season. Holmes earned his right to start a long time ago by getting TD after TD after TD. LJ should play the back up role, that's what the number two guys do.

LJ looked good last year also. Actually, he looked better than good, he looked great. Just like now.

Lzen
08-29-2005, 02:06 PM
This isn't RBBC. RBBC is what the Chiefs did back in the 90s. For instance, in 1997 they had Marcus Allen, Greg Hill, Kimble Anders, and Donnel Bennett all get significant carries. I would hardly call 2 guys a committee. This is more like a one two punch. ;)