Priest Holmes to be Honored Today

October 11th, 2009 by Lee Eldridge

Priest HolmesPriest Holmes was one of my all-time favorite Chiefs. Always the underdog. In college, injuries put him behind Ricky Williams for playing time. He went undrafted, and then spent four semi-productive years in Baltimore. Another injury and first round draft pick Jamal Lewis made Holmes expendable. Nobody wanted him. Nobody signed him. The Chiefs kept tabs on him, and signed him after the NFL draft in 2001. He looked like a prototypical third down back. He started the season splitting carries with fullback Tony Richardson. The Chiefs certainly didn’t know what they had signed until a few games into the season. Holmes became a star. Was the league’s offensive MVP in 2002 despite missing the last two games due to injury. Came back and had a fabulous year in 2003 rushing for 27 touchdowns. And then another injury midway through the 2004 season basically derailed his career. Played some of the 2005 season splitting time with Larry Johnson before another injury ended his season prematurely. And he made a very brief return in 2007 before retiring for good.

His three and a half year run from 2001 through the middle of 2004 were among the best and most productive runs for any running back ever. His nose for the goal line was truly amazing. He played behind a great offensive line, and Tony Richardson was possibly the best blocking fullback in the league. But Priest’s ability to get to the end zone from inside the 20 yard line was truly spectacular. I remember having a conversation with a friend about whether or not the lost years in Baltimore would prevent Priest from entering the NFL Hall of Fame. Unfortunately it was the injuries that will keep Priest out of the Hall of Fame.

Congrats Priest. You deserve this award.

From the Kansas City Star:

Former Chiefs running back Priest Holmes, the team’s all-time leader in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns, will be honored Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium before Kansas City plays Dallas.

Holmes was the league’s offensive MVP in 2002, and he played in 65 games over parts of seven seasons with the Chiefs. He retired during the 2007 season. Holmes spent his first four seasons in Baltimore.

Now 36 years old, Holmes spends his time working with a foundation that awarded scholarships to 19 high school seniors last year.

On Thursday, Holmes received a proclamation from Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser.

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