Kansas City Chiefs: Priest Holmes

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.


Who's next for Chiefs' Hall of Fame?

February, 28, 2014
Feb 28
In addition to announcing their Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards on Saturday, the Chiefs will unveil this year's entrant to the team's Hall of Fame. The most obvious candidate is Priest Holmes, who is the Chiefs' all-time leader in touchdowns and rushing yardage. I thought the Chiefs would put Holmes in last year but they went with safety Gary Barbaro instead. If it's Holmes' time, it's obviously a great choice.

But there are other deserving candidates. The Chiefs like to wait five years after a player is retired before they put him in the Hall of Fame, so Tony Gonzalez has some time to wait. Larry Johnson needs three more years before he can get in but his time has to eventually come. He's only a few rushing yards behind Holmes, so he deserves it. If Curtis McClinton and Christian Okoye are in, Johnson should eventually be, too.

I think those great Chiefs offensive lines from the Dick Vermeil days need more representation in the team's Hall of Fame. Will Shields is already in and Brian Waters is a lock, eventually. Until then, what about Willie Roaf? He played only four seasons with the Chiefs but was so good during that time that he at least deserves consideration.

Then there's Trent Green, who had four great seasons as the Chiefs quarterback. Green has the highest passer rating for any Chiefs quarterback who's thrown at least 1,000 passes. He would be just the second Chiefs quarterback in their Hall of Fame and deserves to join Len Dawson there some day, perhaps even this year.