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C-Mac
08-29-2005, 11:27 AM
Vermeil: Too much running talent is no problem

By ELIZABETH MERRILL

The Kansas City Star


Less than 24 hours after his backup sprinted, cut and swaggered his way to a 147-yard night, Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil wanted to make something clear.

There is no running-back controversy. There will be no running back controversy. And if anyone tries to start a running back controversy …

“It ain’t going to happen here,” Vermeil said Sunday. “I won’t allow it. Not today, not tomorrow, not next week.”

Vermeil, apparently, foresees this week’s water-cooler chatter over the Chiefs’ running-back situation. His starter is Priest Holmes, a three-time Pro Bowler who owns more records than K-Tel. The No. 2 back is Larry Johnson, a 2003 first-round draft pick who’s made it no secret that he wants to play more.

Johnson captivated Arrowhead Stadium on a sticky late-summer night when he broke through a huge hole and raced 97 yards for a touchdown against Seattle. Vermeil said that wasn’t even his best run. He raved about the 18-yard burst in his first snap and the 11-yard run at the end of the first quarter.

“He runs with an attitude,” Vermeil said. “He’s running to punish the tacklers. He’s better right now than last year by far.”

But regardless of what happened, the 16.3 yards per carry, the 16-yarder up the middle that was called back by a holding penalty, Vermeil said it didn’t change the way the coaches plan to use both running backs this season.

He’d only say that Holmes and Johnson will line up in the same backfield on some plays, that they’ll get their share of snaps and that their roles will vary on the opponent and the situation.

When asked whether he can keep both of them happy, Vermeil said, “I don’t know if everybody can be happy. They can be professional. I think Larry can, and I know Priest can. Larry had a tremendous training camp, and he’s everything that I thought he would end up being.”

Some NFL teams have made the dual running-back situation work. In St. Louis, where the Chiefs close out the preseason Friday night, they use Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson. Faulk is a veteran finesse runner who’s headed for the Hall of Fame; Jackson is a second-year bruiser who won the starting job in the offseason.

Pittsburgh and Atlanta have also had success using two running backs. The Steelers made it to the AFC championship game with Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley, and the Falcons had a good balance of speed and power with Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett.

Johnson was stuck at No. 3 on the depth chart heading into last season, and then Holmes and Derrick Blaylock suffered injuries. In the last six games of the season, Johnson erupted for 541 yards and nine touchdowns.

In an interview late last week, Johnson said he deserves to be starting somewhere in the NFL but understands the Chiefs’ situation.

“I’m good at being No. 2, but I don’t want to stop there,” he said. “I want to be No. 1. But that all comes through with production and how the season goes.”

Vermeil, who stresses team chemistry, said he likes Johnson’s fire. And honesty. Of course he wants to start, Vermeil said. Who wouldn’t? When Johnson was younger, he was known to occasionally pout over his lack of playing time. Now his passion is spilling out onto the field.

“It’s better to do that than pout,” Vermeil said. “Some guys go in a shell and just complain. Larry’s gone the other way. He’s turned it up a notch. He’s learned and gotten better from Priest.

“All I know is we have two (high-)quality running backs. And you can never have too many good ones.”

ptlyon
08-29-2005, 11:39 AM
No way Merrill wrote that - she must have stolen it from Pos...

el borracho
08-29-2005, 12:42 PM
How good are Johnson's hands? Can we put Johnson in the seam or split out wide as a receiver?

Count Alex's Losses
08-29-2005, 12:48 PM
Johnson has great hands.

GIVE HIM THE DAMN BALL, AL!

Amnorix
08-29-2005, 12:58 PM
Keep one thing in mind, Mr. Johnson -- you're playing behind what is far and away the best OLine in the NFL. My deceased grandmother could get yards behind that line.

You're not Priest Holmes. Wait your damn turn.

Count Alex's Losses
08-29-2005, 12:59 PM
Keep one thing in mind, Mr. Johnson -- you're playing behind what is far and away the best OLine in the NFL. My deceased grandmother could get yards behind that line.

You're not Priest Holmes. Wait your damn turn.

He's not Priest Holmes? Really?

Priest Holmes wouldn't have reached the 50 on that run that LJ broke.

KCChiefsFan88
08-29-2005, 01:01 PM
Having to choose between LJ/Priest, two talented, starting-caliber RBs is not a PROBLEM.

Now, having to decide between the likes of Mike Cloud/ Rashan Shehee and Donnell Benett to be your starting RB... THAT is a problem

BigRedChief
08-29-2005, 01:05 PM
Keep one thing in mind, Mr. Johnson -- you're playing behind what is far and away the best OLine in the NFL. My deceased grandmother could get yards behind that line.

The DA show this morning was wondering how far the head coach of KU's football team that weighs over 400 lbs could have ran with a hole that big. They set the over/under line at an 8 yard gain.

Calcountry
08-29-2005, 01:11 PM
Keep one thing in mind, Mr. Johnson -- you're playing behind what is far and away the best OLine in the NFL. My deceased grandmother could get yards behind that line.

You're not Priest Holmes. Wait your damn turn.Cockyness in a running back, I like that.

Especially when he can bring it. Hopefully against your crew. ;)

Chiefs Pantalones
08-29-2005, 01:11 PM
GIVE THE BALL TO CRUZ!!!ONEONE

Chief Faithful
08-29-2005, 01:20 PM
Having to choose between LJ/Priest, two talented, starting-caliber RBs is not a PROBLEM.

Now, having to decide between the likes of Mike Cloud/ Rashan Shehee and Donnell Benett to be your starting RB... THAT is a problem

Cloud would have missed the hole, Shehee would have pulled a hamstring in the hole, and Benett would fall down if not hit.

philfree
08-29-2005, 01:36 PM
I hope Smith ends up the 3rd RB. He's pretty good too!

PhilFree:arrow:

Lzen
08-29-2005, 01:47 PM
I hope Smith ends up the 3rd RB. He's pretty good too!

PhilFree:arrow:

I would agree with that. Don't get me wrong, I like what I've seen out of Dee Brown. But Smith was running hard and making some good plays the other night. He really stood out to me.

Lzen
08-29-2005, 01:49 PM
Keep one thing in mind, Mr. Johnson -- you're playing behind what is far and away the best OLine in the NFL. My deceased grandmother could get yards behind that line.

You're not Priest Holmes. Wait your damn turn.

Heh, let's not get carried away. Yeah, it is a great advantage to play behind that line. But not all RBs would show what LJ has shown this preseason (and last year, too). LJ will be a great back for years to come after Priest retires. ;)

Brock
08-29-2005, 01:52 PM
Keep one thing in mind, Mr. Johnson -- you're playing behind what is far and away the best OLine in the NFL. My deceased grandmother could get yards behind that line.

You're not Priest Holmes. Wait your damn turn.

Sorry, we've had some below average running backs before, and they looked like below average running backs even with a superior offensive line.

KC Kings
08-29-2005, 02:54 PM
Keep one thing in mind, Mr. Johnson -- you're playing behind what is far and away the best OLine in the NFL. My deceased grandmother could get yards behind that line.

You're not Priest Holmes. Wait your damn turn.

I guess your grandmother is a lot more athletic than Derrick Blaylock. I don't recall him simply being plugged in behind the best O-line and being productive.

I am not saying that the O-line does not contribute, but we have seen our share of scrub fb's and rb's play in recent preseason games behind the starters and not do squat.

It has been a while since Priest finished a season so LJ will get his carries this year, either splitting the load and allowing Priest to finish strong, or at the end of the season with full time duties after Priest gets worn down.

keg in kc
08-29-2005, 02:54 PM
Sorry, we've had some below average running backs before, and they looked like below average running backs even with a superior offensive line.Yeah. I think Amnorix should be familiar with one Mike Cloud.

ptlyon
08-29-2005, 02:57 PM
Yeah. I think Amnorix should be familiar with one Mike Cloud.

Ya - the same Mike Cloud that now owns a shiny SB ring.

keg in kc
08-29-2005, 03:00 PM
Ya - the same Mike Cloud that now owns a shiny SB ring.I'd be the last one to downplay Mike's integral role in their success that season.

Brock
08-29-2005, 03:00 PM
Ya - the same Mike Cloud that now owns a shiny SB ring.

Does that make him any less mediocre?

ptlyon
08-29-2005, 03:04 PM
Does that make him any less mediocre?

Say what you want, but he's a mediocre RB with a SB ring.

Brock
08-29-2005, 03:06 PM
Say what you want, but he's a mediocre RB with a SB ring.

Okay. Now if you could explain the relevance of his being on the roster of a Super Bowl team to not really accomplishing a anything noteworthy in KC, I'd appreciate it.

Amnorix
08-29-2005, 03:08 PM
I guess your grandmother is a lot more athletic than Derrick Blaylock. I don't recall him simply being plugged in behind the best O-line and being productive.

I am not saying that the O-line does not contribute, but we have seen our share of scrub fb's and rb's play in recent preseason games behind the starters and not do squat.

It has been a while since Priest finished a season so LJ will get his carries this year, either splitting the load and allowing Priest to finish strong, or at the end of the season with full time duties after Priest gets worn down.

I'd think splitting carries is probably the right answer. I'm not saying LJ rots on the bench, but he really shouldn't be clamoring for more playing time or whatever. I mean, he is playing behind someone who doesn't exactly suck.

Amnorix
08-29-2005, 03:09 PM
Yeah. I think Amnorix should be familiar with one Mike Cloud.


He had a cup of coffee with us. I'm more familiar with im from his BC years. :D

keg in kc
08-29-2005, 03:10 PM
Okay. Now if you could explain the relevance of his being on the roster of a Super Bowl team to not really accomplishing a anything noteworthy in KC, I'd appreciate it."Greg Robinson has two rings."

ptlyon
08-29-2005, 03:12 PM
Okay. Now if you could explain the relevance of his being on the roster of a Super Bowl team to not really accomplishing a anything noteworthy in KC, I'd appreciate it.

My point is if he was still on KC's roster he wouldn't have one.

keg in kc
08-29-2005, 03:13 PM
He had a cup of coffee with us.That's the point. He had years here to learn the system here, and sucked at every opportunity, preseason or regular. A great line can make a good back look great, but it can't do much for someone with no talent or vision.

Personally, I think it works both ways. A great back complements a great line. They feed off each other. In other words, I think Priest can sometimes do as much for the line as the line does for him. One of the great things about the game. Johnson has had several plays in the preseason where it looks like he's developing the same sort of thing, but it's hard to tell for sure until the games matter.

Brock
08-29-2005, 03:13 PM
My point is if he was still on KC's roster he wouldn't have one.

Okay. Well, I'm glad we settled that, for whatever it's worth.

Mr. Laz
08-29-2005, 03:46 PM
we may have the best ground of running back in the league

Holmes
Johnson
Smith

TRich


can anyone think of a better one?

COchief
08-29-2005, 04:05 PM
“I don’t know if everybody can be happy. They can be professional. I think Larry can, and I know Priest can. Larry had a tremendous training camp, and he’s everything that I thought he would end up being.”


Am I the only one that is going to call bullshit on this? F you Dick you thought he would be wearing diapers and buried on the depth chart. What an arrogant ass, senile old phuck.

Tuckdaddy
08-29-2005, 04:07 PM
Johnson has great hands.

GIVE HIM THE DAMN BALL, AL!

GO TO HELL! YOU HOLMES HATING BAD PERSON!

philfree
08-29-2005, 04:09 PM
“I don’t know if everybody can be happy. They can be professional. I think Larry can, and I know Priest can. Larry had a tremendous training camp, and he’s everything that I thought he would end up being.”


Am I the only one that is going to call bullshit on this? F you Dick you thought he would be wearing diapers and buried on the depth chart. What an arrogant ass, senile old phuck.

DV has never said LJ didn't have the talent. I think he's always said just the opposite.

PhilFree:arrow:

King_Chief_Fan
08-29-2005, 04:09 PM
“I don’t know if everybody can be happy. They can be professional. I think Larry can, and I know Priest can. Larry had a tremendous training camp, and he’s everything that I thought he would end up being.”


Am I the only one that is going to call bullshit on this? F you Dick you thought he would be wearing diapers and buried on the depth chart. What an arrogant ass, senile old phuck.

Vermeils last year........... I hope