The Chiefs now know that after the weekend against the Minnesota Vikings they have a valuable backup running back in Larry Johnson. Johnson, who is coming off a sub par rookie season, is ready to show he can play. Now that Johnson says he feels comfortable in the NFL there should be no worries for the coaching staff and fans if Priest Holmes goes down.
"Last year, I was frustrated about my role," Johnson said to the Kansas City Star. "I didn't even know why I was here. This year, I'm just playing ball. I'm not thinking about what I'm supposed to do what hole to hit; I'm just hitting it. My instincts are taking over. Last year, I didn't know if I could play at this level. This year, I know I can."
Johnson did have a good career at Penn State; he led the nation in rushing yards as a senior. He should help take the load off of Holms, down the stretch run of the season, when the team needs Holmes most.
After a career in the Big Ten like Johnson, former NFL journeymen quarterback Trent Green has a home in the Kansas City backfield. Green over the weekend completed his first six passes to anything but starters in the NFL. His longest pass of his first six was 20-yard diving catch by rookie Samie Parker.
"He's probably the most underrated quarterback in the league," said Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield, who was with Buffalo last season when Green torched the Bills for 273 yards and two touchdowns. "When you talk about the Chiefs, people tend to think about Priest (Holmes) and Tony (Gonzalez) and that line, but it all starts with the quarterback."
Fans will not get to the see the starters much on Friday night, but then again the Chiefs coaching staff has not been able to see the starters either. The team is still decimated by injuries. Everybody on the receiving corps should be ready for the September 12 kickoff against the Denver Broncos.
Another one of the Chiefs that looked good against the Vikings was second year offensive linemen Jordan Black. Black, who had a stellar career at Notre Dame is finally showing the
Chiefs what he did in South Bend. However Black will still have to wait his turn at playing because William Roaf is still in the offensive line.
The job for kicker is now all but set, and it looks like the winner once again is Morten Andersen. He did everything right over the weekend including nailing a 50-yarder. He was also good from 35, 40, and 45 yards. While Lawrence Tynes was having a good camp up until the weekend against the Vikings, he missed from 35 and 50 yards out, but nailed his 40 yard plus field goals.
"Put the old guy in front of 6 or 7,000 people and he performs," marveled to the Kansas City Star, Lynn Stiles, Chiefs vice president of player personnel.
The surprise of training camp continues to be undrafted free agent wide receiver Richard Smith. Thanks to injuries to the Chiefs top three wide receivers the little man from Arkansas has been a standout in camp. The Chiefs are expected to start Smith Friday night against the New York Giants.