GRETZ: They'll Never Learn
Jul 28, 2007, 3:06:09 AM by Bob Gretz - FAQ
RIVER FALLS, WI – Some people are oblivious to history.
The latest example is Priest Holmes, his return to the Chiefs and the reaction of some in the media and among the fans to this startling news.
It took all of five seconds after the story broke that Holmes was returning after being away for 18 months for the first conspiracy theory to surface; the comeback was a negotiating ploy by Carl Peterson in his on-going contract talks with Larry Johnson. Supposedly Peterson convinced Holmes to announce his return to pressure Johnson, who is holding out for a re-worked deal.
Anyone running around spouting that drivel has paid no attention to Holmes and his history. It’s been a long, long time since anybody told Priest Anthony Holmes what to do, let alone the general manager of a football team. If you think Holmes would allow himself to be injected into the contract dispute with another player, then you are delusional.
Holmes is his own man. He keeps his own counsel. He comes and goes at his own pace and own schedule. Always has.
It’s not accurate to say that Peterson was shocked by Holmes’ decision to return. He’s never under-estimated the running back, never counted him out. But when the first call came from Holmes’ agent last week, Peterson was a bit surprised.
“We have been in touch with Priest over the last couple of months,” Peterson told the media on Friday. “He has indicated to me that he is very excited about coming back and playing football for the Chiefs.
“Nothing will ever surprise me regarding Priest Holmes. He is truly a unique individual. He dances to his own tune. He prepares himself for football in his own way.”
Some view Peterson as a Wizard of Oz-like figure that sits behind a curtain and pushes buttons and pulls levers and people jump about at his command and whim. Like the little dog Toto, let me pull back the curtain to reveal that while he has a powerfully deep voice, he’s not omnipotent. Peterson may be a King, but he’s not a Wizard and he can’t make somebody like Priest Holmes do something the player does not want to do.
What comes with his return remains to be seen. Holmes will take part in drills sometime this weekend. When the Chiefs can assess his physical condition, they will schedule his return to full practice work.
That does not mean he’ll be in the starting lineup in Houston come September. It doesn’t mean that he’ll even make the final roster. Anybody that says they know what’s going to happen with Priest is lying.
Questions abound. Holmes may return to practice, get bounced around a few times, knocked down once or twice, and decide that he has finally had enough. I doubt that, but the answers will come with time.
Remember this: Priest Holmes has made millions of dollars while being under-estimated. The league did not think he was worthy of a draft choice. He signed as a free agent with Baltimore and in his second season ran for over 1,000 yards. The Ravens did not think he was worth keeping, retaining Jamal Lewis and allowing Holmes to become a free agent. That worked out real well for Baltimore, as Lewis ended up serving time in jail on drug charges and he battled injuries and conditioning problems. He’s now gone off to Cleveland. All Holmes did was come to Kansas City and rush for nearly 6,000 yards in three full seasons and two half seasons. After his hip injury in 2002, he was counted out and his career was over with a Bo Jackson-like injury. All he did the next season was set an NFL record with 27 rushing touchdowns.
For anyone with a sense of history, or a brain that functions at a higher level than their ego, why would anyone ever under-estimate him again?