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ArrowheadHawk
06-07-2006, 08:12 AM
Wanted: running backup
With Holmes’ status still doubtful, the Chiefs are seeking a ball carrier to spare Johnson.
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

The Chiefs got back to business Tuesday after a two-week break from practice, but they had the same old cast of halfbacks behind starter Larry Johnson.

They used journeyman Dee Brown, Broncos castoff Quentin Griffin, a few undrafted free agents — and still no Priest Holmes.

It’s not a totally unimpressive collection. Brown one season made three starts for Carolina; Griffin as a Bronco once ripped the Chiefs for 156 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

It’s just not a collection that inspires the Chiefs to believe they can remain as one of the league’s best rushing teams in the event of injury to Johnson.

As time ticks down to next month’s opening of training camp, the Chiefs remain unsure whether Holmes will be with them. They certainly aren’t counting on that, so their backup halfback situation is an increasingly urgent source of uneasiness.

“I’m not the GM and I don’t know what personnel decisions we’re going to make, but I’m not sure we’re through yet at that position,” guard Brian Waters said. “That is one of our points of emphasis, and if it isn’t, it should be. Depth has always been a big thing for this football team. We’ve shown when we have great depth at key positions, we’ve been successful.”

The Chiefs have patiently waited for Holmes to determine whether his neck condition would allow him to play this season. They’ve made no move for a back other than to answer the phone last month when New Orleans called offering Michael Bennett.

The Saints signed the former Vikings first-round draft pick but later drafted Reggie Bush, making Bennett expendable.

Even as coach Herm Edwards said of the conversations with the Saints, “I don’t think they’re going anywhere,” he indicated the Chiefs won’t wait for Holmes indefinitely.

“You’re always looking to upgrade, and that’s what’s good about the time between now and opening day,” Edwards said. “There will be some guys on certain teams that people are willing to let go. We’ll evaluate the guys we have here and our scouts will evaluate guys on other teams, especially if Priest doesn’t come back.”

The Chiefs, meanwhile, are looking at Brown, who played sparingly for them last year, Griffin and the other candidates. They’re finding it difficult to make an accurate assessment this time of year with practice in shorts and T-shirts.

“You don’t know how guys are going to run with their pads on, you don’t know if guys can hold on to the ball or break a tackle,” Edwards said. “You don’t know any of that kind of stuff until (training camp) starts.”

Even if Johnson stays in one piece, Edwards will use a second halfback. He said he wants the Chiefs to attempt a minimum of 35 runs a game and that they won’t ask Johnson to carry all of that load.

None of their other backs, Holmes included, is close to being the same kind of runner as the big, physical, 230-pound Johnson. Holmes is listed at 213 pounds, Brown 210 and Griffin 195.

Each is a finesse runner, so the Chiefs would have to change their methods with Johnson on the bench.

“We’ll go to a change of pace,” Edwards said. “We’ll do a little something different with those guys than we’ll do with LJ. We’re going to run the ball 500 times. We can’t expect him to run it 500 times.”

Brown, Griffin and the other backup candidates came to the Chiefs from the scrapheap, but they’ve squeezed much in recent seasons from runners who weren’t in great demand. Johnson was a late first-round pick and Holmes a free agent with no other lucrative contract offers.

That speaks well for their chances of getting something from Brown or Griffin if it comes to that.

“If we had to deal with, say, Dee Brown or Quentin Griffin or any of those guys, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them be successful,” Waters said. “(Offensive coordinator) Mike Solari, the thing he’s been really good at is figuring out what the strengths of the backs are and what plays they would be good at.”

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/football/nfl/kansas_city_chiefs/14756839.htm

cmh6476
06-07-2006, 08:19 AM
35 times a game seems like a ton, but if it helps keep the other team off the field I'm all for it.

ct
06-07-2006, 08:43 AM
Getting 35 runs a game, if we can get up to 60 snaps a game, makes for a decent ground control balance. That's about 60-40 run/pass, which would indicate we are in solid control of the football game, and that is a very good thing.

F* the return to MartyBall drama some whine about in here, if we can achieve the aforementioned ratio, I will be a happy camper!

noa
06-07-2006, 10:22 AM
I'd be perfectly happy to see LJ 25 carries a game, with the rest being split between Priest and QGriffin. Priest can be used in short yardage and red zone situations and Griffin for a change of pace. I think that's a pretty good running attack.

jlscorpio
06-07-2006, 11:17 AM
I'm intrigued by the Bennett rumors. Behind our line, he could break one at any time.

KCChiefsFan88
06-07-2006, 11:38 AM
The lying FRAUD that is Herm Edwards with his Martyball crap trying to destroy this great offense.

A conservative, ball-control offense might be okay for a team with a good defense, but the Chiefs don't qualify as having a good or even average defense.

Chief Faithful
06-07-2006, 11:39 AM
Getting 35 runs a game, if we can get up to 60 snaps a game, makes for a decent ground control balance. That's about 60-40 run/pass, which would indicate we are in solid control of the football game, and that is a very good thing.

F* the return to MartyBall drama some whine about in here, if we can achieve the aforementioned ratio, I will be a happy camper!

I'm sure KCJohnny is happy with these turn of events.