Priest Holmes is still the Kansas City Chiefs’ all-time leading rusher and leader in touchdowns. By that measure alone, Holmes is worthy of inclusion in the Chiefs’ Hall of Fame.
But Holmes, announced by the Chiefs on Saturday as this year’s entrant to their Hall of Fame, is deserving for many other reasons. The Chiefs had some great offensive teams for many of Holmes’ seasons (2001-07) in Kansas City. They had the pass-catching tight end in Tony Gonzalez, an efficient quarterback in Trent Green, an underrated wide receiver in Eddie Kennison and a great set of blockers, but the package wasn’t complete without Holmes. That showed in the final game of the 2002 season when the Chiefs and their high-scoring offense, playing for a postseason berth but without the injured Holmes, were shut out by the Oakland Raiders.
Holmes also caught the ball well. He led the Chiefs in receiving in two of his seasons when the Chiefs went his way more than that of Gonzalez. Holmes wasn’t merely an outlet receiver, one the opponent felt comfortable leaving uncovered in the flat. He could and would line up wide, run a good route and beat coverage to make a play.
His signature plays, though, were ones that featured Holmes in the open field. He had great vision and patience for letting the blocks develop in front of him, so Holmes was a natural on sweeps and screens. Even if that’s exclusively how he was used by the Chiefs, Holmes would still have been a useful player.
But Holmes’ game was complete. Now the Chiefs’ Hall of Fame is complete with Holmes as a member.