Let the trash talking begin between the teacher and the pupil in Kansas City. The war of words has taken off on one end, as Chiefs running back Priest Holmes has fired the first shot towards the back in played in front of for a few years, his understudy at the time – Larry Johnson. With Johnson sitting at home awaiting more money from his team, Holmes is taking advantage of being back with the team for the first time since what many thought was a career-ending injury. On Wednesday, Holmes finally took the stand stating that if Johnson wants to sit at home, he’ll take the starting running back job right back.
“Somebody has to get the money,” he said. “Hey, if L.J. wants to leave the money out there, guess I’m going to take it. If he wants to come get it, it’s rightfully his to take. He’s earned it. But if he chooses not to come back, well, somebody has to take it. Why won’t it be me?” Holmes was the Chiefs stud back between 2001 and 2003. In those three seasons he ran for a total of 4590 yards and 62 touchdowns. The season he injured his hip, 2004, he still ran for 892 yards and 14 scores, then in 05 when he took a helmet to helmet hit that ended his season, he ran for 451 yards and 6 TD’s.
While still on the physically unable-to-perform list, Holmes is starting to get his legs back. At practice on Tuesday, he was in pads, taking handoffs and taking shots from blocking pads. There is no question that the heart is still there for Holmes. Now its a question if he can take the punishment of being a back again in the National Football League. Both his coach, Herm Edwards and Chiefs President, Carl Peterson have said that Holmes will not be the feature back. “If he’s able to come back, he understands and accepts the fact that he would have a different role than when he was the starter,” Edwards said.
Despite that, it doesn’t mean that Holmes is not out to prove his coach, president and critics wrong. He thinks if he can show enough in camp and in the preseason, the team will give him a shot. And with L.J. not with the team, that is all Holmes is asking for. “This is about perseverance and having a great story to tell,” Holmes said. “I think that all the valuable years I’ve put into my tank, there’s a lot in me still.” And there is no question that Johnson is taking to heart the words of Holmes, and taking notice that he is being called out by the player he played behind and watched shine while he sat the bench.