Kansas City Chiefs.
You really have to hand it to Chiefs GM Carl Peterson for not taking this whole Larry Johnson holdout personally. Oh wait, that’s exactly what he did. Peterson, in a story that somehow slid under the radar on Friday, criticized his running back, saying that he’s not in the same class as LaDainian Tomlinson.
“Larry is a terrific back. But I don't put him in the LaDainian Tomlinson category," Peterson said. "Hopefully, he can get there, becoming a more complete back like LaDainian. This guy wants money beyond LaDainian Tomlinson. That's not going to happen with us."
Is that statement true? Of course. But that’s the kind of thing you should keep in house. And not take these things personal. Running backs holding out of training camp is as common as rookies singing college fight songs in the cafeteria. This over-reaction is similar to the snit Rich Brooks got in during his tenure with St. Louis when he traded Jerome Bettis to the Steelers. Peterson should have just taken the high road on this and not blown out his running back. Hey, at least the Chiefs coach is an even keel guy.
This situation would be bad on a team with a solid quarterback situation. But it’s exasperated even more when you have a quarterback situation that might be worse than Oakland and the New York Jets. The Chiefs are planning to start one of the Huard brothers (like it matters which one) or Richard Todd’s younger brother. Yeah, good luck with all of that. Why don’t the Chiefs just rid themselves of any big-play receivers, too? Oh that’s right, the Chiefs haven’t had a big-play receiver since Otis Taylor. (Alright, Carlos Carson was dope.)
But who cares about all of this. The foundation of any team is the offensive line. The Chiefs have two future Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive linemen—on the recently retired list. And the team didn’t bother to address this need in free agency or in the draft.
Maybe Johnson should just take the Priest Holmes employment plan, “retiring” for a couple of years, and coming back when this team doesn’t blow.