Priest Holmes created a stir at the Monday night Hall of Fame Game against Green Bay when, responding to sideline reporter Lisa Guererro's question of what else he needed to be ready for the season, he smiled and replied, "Get paid."
It was Holmes' amiable way of saying two things. One, that's he's fully recovered from last December's hip injury and is ready to resume his place among the NFL's elite runners this year. And two, that he wants a contract extension and the signing bonus that pays him like one of the NFL's elite runners.
"I'm going to talk about it if no one else is going to talk about it," Holmes said after carrying three times for nine yards -- with a long run of eight yards -- and catching two passes for a mere three yards in the loss to San Francisco. "I think the more you believe in something and talk about it, it comes true."
Holmes has been taking a usual load of preseason reps for a veteran coming off an injury. He got five touches against Green Bay and five against San Francisco. But he wasn't involved in the Chiefs' goal-line offense that failed to score on a fourth-and-1 play, though he insists that he wasn't being protected from the close-quarters contact.
"It just so happened that I got all my touches (before the goal-line call)," Holmes said of the "pitch count" placed on him. "It's not that they didn't want me taking contact, but they wanted to look at some younger guy in that goal-line situation. Those don't happen often in a game -- especially for us because we score a lot from outside the red zone."
Still, though, wasn't Holmes anxious to test himself in the toughest of all tough-yardage situations. "Why find out about me?" he asked, grinning. "I'm fine. It's not about proving myself. I'll have plenty of those opportunities this year."
--Kansas City's youngest players, who didn't get a chance to show their stuff when the Green Bay opener was terminated by lightning in the third quarter last week, didn't show much when finally given a chance against San Francisco.
Offensively, KC didn't get a second-half first down until the final minute of the game. After the first-team offense left the field after two series, the Chiefs reserves went three-and-out (or less) on nine of 10 series.
Defensively, KC reserves gave up two second-half touchdowns.
"I was very disappointed in how our seconds and thirds performed," Vermeil said. "Some of those guys looked like they've never been on the practice field. Of course, some of them didn't play last week so this was really their first preseason game as well."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We were ranked 32nd last year -- and that's only because there wasn't a 33rd team. But right now these guys are very driven, very motivated, to come out of the NFL cellar. When I came here there was all this talk about how good the offense was and how bad the defense was. These guys want to get that monkey off our backs." -- Defensive end Vonnie Holliday, in his first months as a Chief, on the eagerness of the KC defense to turn around last year's dismal performance.