Bennett Out, Holmes In

Since running back Cadillac Williams suffered a season-ending injury two weeks ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been looking to upgrade their backfield. Last week we learned that the main target to replace Williams was Chiefs running back Michael Bennett. Monday evening the trade was finalized to make room for Priest Holmes in Kansas City.

Though the trade may have been a shock to Bennett, it might end up being salvation for his career. After a brilliant training camp filling in for Larry Johnson, who was sitting out in a contract dispute, Bennett's carries have diminished since the second week of the season in Chicago.

In that game, he fumbled after catching a pass deep in Bears' territory. Since then he's only seen a few plays despite the fact that Johnson hasn't been able to put together four solid quarters running the football.

Meanwhile, the Bucs are a good football team, as they are tied with the Carolina Panthers for the NFC South lead at 4-2. Bennett could have landed in a worse place, but he'll likely become Tampa Bay's starter now. This week the Bucs travel to Detroit.

This signals some change in Kansas City's backfield. Going into the game against the Bengals this past Sunday, rookie Kolby Smith was going to see more action, but with the Chiefs offense sputtering in the second half he never saw the field.

That will change on Sunday as Smith will be the backup until Priest Holmes is activated to the 53-man roster. That's right - Superman is back.

Holmes will practice on Wednesday as the scout-team back, meaning this week he'll be doing his best to impersonate Raiders running back LaMont Jordan. Holmes has been a workout warrior since his return to the team in August.

When he came to River Falls he was out of shape and looked like a mere mortal. His muscles, though defined, weren't bursting out of his shirt at the seams. But he's worked hard to get this opportunity and the man you can never count out looks like he has finally rid himself of the kryptonite that Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman placed on him nearly two years ago.

Nobody really knows what to expect from Holmes, but he seems like a different person than the one who was dominating NFL defenses with ease the first time around. Right now he's a bit more reserved and for the most part has been a stellar teammate.

In fact, he's been working with all the running backs, including Johnson, and offering wisdom to players like Smith and converted fullback Boomer Grigsby. Holmes has been at Arrowhead for every home game this season, supporting his teammates. That's a departure from what he'd been doing since the injury in 2005.

Those are all good signs for Holmes, who has an opportunity to help KC's running game. He's never going to be able to carry it 20 or 25 times, but 10 or 12 carries is not out of the question and that's exactly what this offense needs.

The Chiefs have to be careful that Holmes' return does not affect the already volatile temperament of Larry Johnson. The man with the big contract has acted like a big baby since he's been unable to run consistently.

This move should serve notice to Johnson, who has to decide to become a member of the team in every aspect or continue to sulk. At that point the coaching staff might just put him on the bench alone to reflect on what he has to do to regain the respect of his coaches and his 52 teammates.

But regardless of which running back carries the load from here on out, it's abundantly clear that you can never count out Holmes. He's beaten the odds once again.

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