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07-29-2001, 03:19 PM
Holmes just right for Chiefs

Running back brings a different look to Kansas City's backfield

By Rick Dean
The Capital-Journal (http://chiefszone.com/stories/072901/foo_holmes.shtml)

RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- Priest Holmes can appreciate the almost heavenly irony of the situation.

Judged not big enough to play for Baltimore coach Brian Billick, who was trying to bulk up his Ravens offense, Holmes was exactly the right-sized running back for the new Kansas City Chiefs, who are trying to slim down and hurry up their attack.

"I never thought it was a reflection on my ability," Holmes said of losing his job in Baltimore to Jamal Lewis, the 5-foot-11, 231-pound rookie who rushed for 1,578 yards last year in the Ravens' Super Bowl campaign.

"Billick's background (as offensive coordinator with Minnesota) was with tall, big receivers like Randy Moss and Cris Carter, and big running backs," Holmes added. "It was just a matter of time before he got the running back he wanted in there."

The Chiefs, under new head coach Dick Vermeil, also wanted a new look in the backfield.

After a decade of employing big backs in a power-oriented running game, Vermeil wanted a smaller runner who could turn the corner, catch the ball on the perimeter, pass protect when necessary and still run inside effectively when asked to do so.

He wanted Marshall Faulk, the 5-11, 211-pound All-Pro running back he had during St. Louis' 1999 Super Bowl campaign. But as the Rams haven't lost their collective minds, Vermeil turned instead to the suddenly available Holmes.

At 5-9, 213 pounds, the former Texas back is markedly smaller than the banger backs employed during the physically dominating tenure of Marty Schottenheimer.

That might have been a problem in 1995 were Holmes asked to run between the tackles 20 times a game. But in 2001, things have changed.

Today, when the Chiefs talk about their featured back getting 20 touches a game, they most likely mean 13 carries and seven receptions. Total yards from scrimmage, a combination of rushing and receiving yards, is the new barometer of a runner's worth.

Indianapolis' Edgerrin James, for example, was the NFL's rushing leader last year with 1,709 yards on an average of 24 runs a game. James also added 594 receiving yards on four catches a game for 2,303 yards from scrimmage.

Faulk, in contrast, ranked only eighth in rushing (1,359 yards on 15 carries a game). But with 830 receiving yards added in, his total yards count reached 2,189, putting him No. 2 behind only James.

It's as a combination runner/receiver that the Chiefs think Holmes can be most effective.

In 1998, before a knee injury the following year set him back, Holmes rushed for 1,008 yards (averaging 14.5 carries a game) and added 260 receiving yards. That's 1,268 total yards, a figure the Chiefs believe will increase when Holmes gets more touches.

"We hope to be able to do a lot of different things with the people we have," noted offensive coordinator Al Saunders. "We hope we have some guys who can be effective ball carriers after they make a catch or are handed the football. (Holmes) can be one of those guys. We think he can be a very, very dominant player for us."

At times, Holmes will line up in a two-back set alongside fullback Tony Richardson. On other occasions, he might shift out and become a slot receiver, hoping to create a mismatch with a linebacker he can outrun.

"In the NFL, if you can get a running back working one-on-one against a linebacker in open space, you've got an advantage," Holmes noted. "That has to affect a defense. They don't know if they're about to get hit by a big guy (Richardson) or passed up by a smaller, quicker guy (himself)."

That explains why Holmes likes the idea of sharing backfield duty with Richardson, a more typically sized Chiefs back at 233 pounds.

"Tony is a guy with size who will make a defense worry about who's in our backfield," Holmes said. "I might be in there or I might be lined up in the slot and Tony will be running the ball. Or he might be catching the ball. Either way, we'll have both the size and the speed to compete.

"I'm excited about the opportunities," Holmes added. "On days when I'm down and not getting it done, we've got someone else who can carry the load. (Richardson) knows the system, he's hungry, he's ready to shine. You have to know we've got two guys you have to reckon with."

Fat Elvis
07-29-2001, 03:39 PM
There's a Red Storm brewing on the horizon... TRich and Priest Holmes

THUNDER and LIGHTNING


Gonna tear up the NFL....

NaptownChief
07-29-2001, 03:43 PM
I hope so but my gut feeling is that it will be about 70% Thunder and only about 20-30% Lightning....Just hope that 20-30% lightning turns out to be Holmes and not Blaylock...

NaptownChief
07-29-2001, 03:45 PM
not that I don't want Blaylock to excel, I just don't won't to add Holmes to the long list of wasted cap on bad free agent moves...

milkman
07-29-2001, 04:17 PM
Originally posted by Fat Elvis
There's a Red Storm brewing on the horizon... TRich and Priest Holmes

THUNDER and LIGHTNING


Gonna tear up the NFL....

I've said this before.
If we are going to have a combination backfield of Holmes/T-Rich, let's use an original nickname for them since Thunder and Lightening has already been used.

My submission was Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.

California Injun
07-29-2001, 05:24 PM
milkman,

Wasn't that a name of a movie sometime ago?

Before we start naming our backfield, let's make sure they make the final cut.:)

milkman
07-29-2001, 05:31 PM
Injun,
Yeah, a movie in the 70s with Clint Eastwood and (I think) Jeff Bridges.

DaWolf
07-29-2001, 05:40 PM
I think we're thinking about this all wrong. We're assuming one guy, the "featured back", needs to get 25-30 carries a game. That isn't Priest Holmes. But:

Today, when the Chiefs talk about their featured back getting 20 touches a game, they most likely mean 13 carries and seven receptions. Total yards from scrimmage, a combination of rushing and receiving yards, is the new barometer of a runner's worth.

That can be Priest Holmes. TRich should get most of his carries when we're ready to pound the ball, run some clock, or at the goalline. Holmes should get his touches.

It also depends on a lot of factors.
A)How effective will the D be? If we're always fighting from behind, neither will get much carries.

B)How good will our recievers be? If our recievers suck, we may have to adopt a more run oriented form of the offense like Washington and Dallas have used.

C)What will the offensive line look like? Vermiel sounded concerned today about the pass protection. If the guys don't get up to speed in that department in terms of what is needed for this offense, again the O may have to be adaped for what they are suited for. And in the same light if they are not as strong in the type of blocking needed to get Holmes a corner on the outside but more suited to the banging style that TRich brings, that may determine which direction we have to go.

We shall see....

Chiefs Pantalones
07-29-2001, 06:00 PM
Geez, guys. Its only the SECOND day of training camp. So don't worry about anything.

CG

thats why TC and preseason games are good;)

Chiefs Pantalones
07-29-2001, 06:32 PM
Why won't my last message show up on screen?

Chiefs Pantalones
07-29-2001, 06:33 PM
ok, nevermind.:)

DaWolf
07-29-2001, 07:55 PM
From the Star on today's morning sesion:

Priest Holmes is only 5 feet 9 and 213 pounds, but he showed he intends to be a ferocious pass blocker. He staggered the charging, 240-pound Marvcus Patton during a pass-rush drill.

Rookie running back Derrick Blaylock showed great speed on back-to-back plays. First he ripped off a long run after a nifty cutback. Then he made his way around the corner after taking a pitch.

Archie F. Swin
07-29-2001, 09:11 PM
No more Marty Ball . . . I'm ready


:p

tommykat
07-29-2001, 09:19 PM
Chief Red Pants......like the smiley waving face. Good job.:cool:

Saggysack
07-30-2001, 01:09 AM
Holmes and Richardson has the chance to be the most explosive Thunder and Lightning combo that have been seen so far. The thing that sets them apart from the likes of Ron Dayne and Tiki Barber, Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott is work ethic, dedication, talent, experience, leadership and desire. Dorsey Levens and Ahman Green, Charlie Garner and Tyrone Wheatley are about as good as Holmes and Richardson IMO only lacking in leadership.

Saggysack
07-30-2001, 01:10 AM
Let me add Maturity to that list as well

Rausch
02-17-2003, 01:33 AM
Originally posted by NaptownChief
not that I don't want Blaylock to excel, I just don't won't to add Holmes to the long list of wasted cap on bad free agent moves...


:D

Chiefs Pantalones
02-17-2003, 01:41 AM
It seems everyones got a case of HepaTITUS.:D