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Priest article (1 Viewer)


Herm Edwards was in a storytelling mood during an interview session Tuesday at the NFL meetings, joking at one point about Larry Johnson's fondness for running over defenders rather than around them.

Then Edwards, the Chiefs' coach, turned serious for a moment.

"Playing for 16 games will teach him that he can't do that all the time," Edwards said.

Johnson might need to learn that lesson and a few others about surviving a full season as the Chiefs' featured back. The Chiefs appear to be preparing for life without Priest Holmes, whose midseason neck trauma last year allowed Johnson the opportunity to have one of the most spectacular rushing half-seasons in NFL history.

The Chiefs haven't given up on a return from Holmes. But one month before the draft and seven weeks before the first offseason practice, the Chiefs still have nothing definitive on Holmes or from him.

"It's a very slow process," Edwards said. "He's just kind of laying low. I've talked to him once, basically when I first got the job. At that point, he anticipated coming back. I don't know where it stands at this point.

"He's taking his time in figuring out what to do. There's no rush. There's no deadline when he has to make a decision, but it's his decision to make."

President/general manager Carl Peterson said he doesn't expect Holmes to participate in a three-day May minicamp or any of the 13 other offseason practices scheduled for May and June.

In one of his first moves as Chiefs coach, Edwards told Johnson he would be the starting halfback regardless of Holmes' availability. But no Holmes would mean all Johnson all the time, just as it was for last season's last nine games.

In those games, Johnson never failed to top 100 yards and twice went over 200. He totaled 1,351 yards and scored 16 touchdowns in those games, a pace that over a full season would have blown him by the NFL records.

The Chiefs are, like everyone else, wondering, what if?

"We're going to find out," Edwards said. "That's going to be the key for him. All of a sudden it's not (nine) games, it's 16 games. How's he going to react to that? He'll react to it well."

Not all backs like the pressure of constant expectations and the burden of carrying an offense. Johnson, often angry at his lack of playing time earlier in his career, does enjoy it.

He will have to learn to adjust and compensate physically. But Johnson showed not the slightest bit of wear and tear in the season's final moments last season. He finished with a 201-yard, three-touchdown game against Cincinnati.

"I would assume the number of games and carries he might get would not have any negative effect on him because he's such a big, strong, physical guy," San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer said.

Edwards seemed to be stumped about what to do with Holmes if he does play. He had a similar situation while coaching the Jets with young LaMont Jordan and veteran Curtis Martin.

"It's always hard to do to try to play two running backs," Edwards said.

"We haven't talked about it as a staff, but if that comes about, that's what we'd have to do, make a decision that he's going into the game in this part of the game. He'd have a package built around him. He'd be a good change-of-pace runner for us."

"At times it will look a little bit boring. If you've got a 14-point lead and they kick a field goal and all of a sudden the game is kind of tight and you're supposed to open your offense back up? I don't know about that. When you have the lead and you can run the ball, you own the clock. We have the type of runner that can do that. We have an offensive line that is pretty solid."


What do you get from that article?

well I think it's interesting that the staff hasn't discussed how they'll use him.
I agree. sounds like they havent really even talked to the guy. theyve left it entirely up to Priest, so if he returns fine, but if not oh well, theyre ready to move on. I think theyve pretty much resigned to the fact that Priest probably wont be back. Honestly though, theyve got LJ....you know they just cant wait to feed that kid the ball.
Priest is done. He restructured his deal to be cap friendly to retire. They KNOW he isn't coming back. It's just in limbo today because the media thinks there is still some hope. I have it at about 99% Priest is done.


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