September 23, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) stiff arms New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Casillas (52) on a run during the first quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

My All-Time Kansas City Chiefs Team: The Running Backs


 

For this week’s installment of my All-Time Team, I turn the focus onto the backfield.  The Chiefs have had their share of premium running backs.  The joys of lists are to spark debates, get you thinking.  That’s why we all love them.  I have the feeling that leaving a name off my list may just do that.  I pick my top three and fullback below.

 

Starter – Priest Holmes

Holmes joined the Chiefs in 2001 after four seasons in Baltimore.  He then turned into one of the best free agent acquisitions of the 2000’s.  Under Dick Vermeil and the Chiefs high-flying offense, Holmes thrived.  From 2001 to 2003, Priest reigned on Sundays; earning 3 Pro Bowl invites and made 3 First Team All-Pro selections.  He was also named the 2002 NFL AP Offensive Player of the Year.  Look at these stats.  2001 he led the league in rushing with 1,555.  In 2002 he led the league in rushing touchdowns with 21.  In 2003 he set the then NFL rushing touchdowns in a season record with 27 TD’s, a record that has since been broken.  In both 2002 and 2003 he led the league in combined rushing and receiving yards.  He put up video game numbers for 3 ½ years until injuries derailed his career.  Despite that, Holmes still sits among the top of most Chiefs rushing records, including the franchise yardage mark at 6,070 and rushing touchdowns at 76.  His versatility and numbers during his prime made him my starter.

 

Backup – Jamaal Charles

It is just a matter of time before Jamaal sits atop this and many other lists.  The offensive mind of new Head Coach Andy Reid may help contribute to that.  Charles already sits fourth all-time on the franchise rushing yardage list and with a big year could move into first.  Charles currently is 1,534 yards from Priest Holmes’ record.  When Charles is healthy not many would argue he is the most explosive force in the NFL.  After tearing up the NFL in 2010 during his first full season as the feature back, Charles earned his first Pro Bowl birth and First Team All-Pro bid.  After losing almost the entire 2011 season due to an ACL injury, Charles bounced back to earn his second Pro Bowl birth in 2012.  He proved to be back from his injury in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints, when Charles almost single-handedly won the game.  He busted loose on a franchise record 91-yard touchdown run and finished the game with 233 yards.  Charles also owns the franchise record for yardage in a game, 259 yards against Denver in the final game of the 2009 season.  This past season Charles broke Jim Brown’s career average yards per carry record of 5.22 with his own of 5.82.  The record stood for 47 years.  As I stated earlier, it’s just a matter of time before his name is first on the list.

 

Backup – Larry Johnson

Here is where it will get interesting.  I have flip-flopped on this spot several times before I ended with LJ.  My heart said Christian Okoye, my mind said Larry Johnson.  Looking through the numbers, Johnson was just as dominate as Holmes was.  But LJ’s exit from Kansas City was so awful that many of us, myself included, forget how dominant he was for a short period of time.  After taking over for Priest Holmes, Johnson blew up on the scene.  In his prime, Johnson made two consecutive Pro Bowls (2005 & 2006) and also was a First Team All-Pro in 2006.  Here are some key stats to LJ’s tenure in KC.  He finished second in career rushing yardage at 6,015.  Johnson put up the two biggest rushing totals in a Chiefs uniform in his prime years.  In 2006, he set the franchise record for single season rushing yardage at 1,789.  He followed that up the next year with the franchise second best effort with 1,750.  He also finished the 2005 season with an amazing 9 straight games rushing over 100 yards.  These are all amazing numbers for a running back.  But as the off-field issues grew, the contract got bigger and the offensive line got older, Johnson’s time in Kansas City fell apart.  Charles replaced him, just as Johnson replaced Holmes.  Let’s just say we have had a nice little run here in Chiefs Nation at running back.

 

Fullback – Tony Richardson

This was about as home-run of a pick as you could have on this list.  T-Rich blocked for two of these running backs on the list and is considered one of the greatest fullbacks of all-time.  During his tenure in Kansas City, both Holmes and Johnson benefited by Richardson’s blocking, earning themselves numerous Pro Bowl picks.  For his own efforts during those seasons, T-Rich made two Pro Bowls himself.  He was named to the All-NFL Decade Team for the 2000’s and set a record, blocking for nine consecutive 1,000-yard rushers (including his time in Minnesota and New York).  The perfect teammate, Richardson also led the team in rushing during the 2000 season with 697 yards.

 

So what do you think Addicts?  Let me know.  Next installment I will tackle the receivers, so make sure to check it out.

 

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Tags: Chiefs Featured. Popular Jamaal Charles Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs Larry Johnson Priest Holmes Priest Holmes. Kansas City Chiefs Running Back Tony Richardson

  • 2dogs

    Need another category for Joe Delaney. Best human being, saint, angel?

  • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

    I would swap out LJ for Marcus Allen.

    Priest vs. Jamaal is tough. I think, production-wise, especially TDs, you have to have Priest be the starter right now…but just think what Jamaal would have done behind Roaf and co.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Also, Priest had the benefit of a downfield passing threat.

      • steve james

        Ahh the what if game. What if Cassel had Greens line? We might still be suffering. That 27 touchdowns is something I think even Charles is going to have a hard time getting. Priest was enough of a beast he could blow through in the red zone, where now with Charles they give it to a bigger back. Peyton should have had about 10 touchdowns, to bad.

      • KCMikeG

        Which maybe someday Charles will experience. Can you imagine him behind a healthy OL with an actual passing attack? He did 1,500 coming off an ACL with NO passing attack and an OL held together with duct tape and baling wire. He will be GINORMOUS this year!

    • Tony Parker

      preist was a beast. agree with u on Allen, this guy got u those tough yards that u needed. LJ turned into a guy that looked like he never carried a pigskin in his life. i would take Priest, Chrales & nigerian nightmare.

    • BoiseChiefPotato

      I’m really amazed that you picked LJ over Allen… its like you wanted to start a fight!

  • Pessimisticchiefsfan

    Trade Charles.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      lol

    • mnelson52

      You funny

    • Jim Harper

      Moron

  • Lyle Graversen

    I’m taking Jamaal over Priest. I love Priest, one of my all time favorite Chiefs. However, Jamaal just has another level ability. As highly as I think of Priest, I think if you swapped them out and put JC on one of the best offenses in the history of football and put Priest on the dumpster fire offenses that JC has played with I think JC would outperform Priest.

    • Kyle ferguson

      I agree although you can’t call him the greatest chiefs running back of all time yet, I think when Jc hangs up his cleats it will be a no brainer

    • KCMikeG

      Plus Jamaal has come back from a major injury while Priest couldn’t.

      • Ameridude

        Hard to compare a serious neck injury to an ACL, though…and Charles had the advantage of youth. Preist was an aged 32 at the time of his injury while Jamaal is, even now, only 26

  • Pauly

    How could you possibly leave out Marcus Allen? Granted his time was short in KC, but he was the definition of a RB while in KC. Oh yeah! He’s a Hall of Famer too. Kick LJ off the list put Marcus at #1, and drop the other two down a number.

  • Troy Utt

    Priest Holmes……….Starter
    Jamaal Charles……..Backup
    Marcus Allen…………Backup
    T-Rich…………………..FB
    Joe Delaney…………..Honorable Mention
    I refuse to put LJ anywhere in any conversation with the “all-time great running backs” we have had heren in KC! He was jettisoned out of town & rightfully so!

    • KCMikeG

      Amen brother! Before LJ I would take Podolak, Okoye, Mike Garret, Curtis McClinton, Kimble Anders even Herman Heard and let’s not forget Abner Haynes. In his 70 games as a member of the Texans and Chiefs, he rushed for 3,814 yards and did so with the second-best yards per carry average (4.8) in team history next to Charles. Haynes was also an excellent receiver out of the backfield, amassing 2,739 yards on 199 catches.

      • Troy Utt

        I struggled with this one, as I badly wanted to put Okoye in at FB… I guess you could say for old times sake, as that was the name I heard in my younger years. Almost embarassed to admit that I completely forgot about Kimble Anders, not that it would have changed my picks. But because Anders in my opinion was one of the best in 3rd down situations coming out of the backfield during his time!

      • Jim Harper

        Exactly Mike. There are plenty of backs ahead of LJ. Funny you bring up Abner Haynes. He was my original favorite player.

      • oldchiefsfan

        Nice, somebody who remembers Chiefs History

    • Jim Harper

      Nice work bringing up Joe!

      • Troy Utt

        Thanks Jim… It only seems like the right thing to do!
        The kind of players, & kind of men that get lost in today’s NFL! My 8yr old son is fully aware of Joe D, who he was, and what he did… As well many of the players of the 60′s & 70′s, that were all well before he was born. But were the men that shaped the early days of our franchise, many of whom are considered the GREATS even outside Chiefs Nation!
        WAR CHIEFS!!!

  • Jason Seibel

    I’m with Patrick on this one. LJ may have left the team just short of Priest’s record, but he shouldn’t even mentioned in the same breath as Holmes and Charles. To me, there’s more to being a Chief than just the numbers you put up. LJ didn’t hold up to any of those ideals. He doesn’t belong anywhere near this list. You should have gone with Marcus or Christian.

    • calciomoti

      Its comments like this that make wonder how “honorable” Chiefs nation really is. I’m sure that when he who shall not be named was tearing shit up, you were calling for him to be released because his off the fields antics were questionable at best…right?

      I tore down the fathead of him when he was cut, and rejoiced upon his release!

      But when he played here, he belongs on this list, no matter how much you and I hate him. And yes as a running back I put him above Marcus and Christian…even though I watched then play every Sunday, lj was the better chief running back…but you bet you’re ass, he is dead last on my list of human beings.

      • Troy Utt

        Funny you mention tearing down the fathead…As one year for Christmas my wife not knowing & trying to do a good thing bought me an autographed LJ helmet… Of course at the time you could not even touch the Ridell helmet for the $250-$300 she paid for it…
        Obviously it is worthless… The good news is, I can take the helmet to training camp this summer & get all the autographs I want! The only real inner dilema I have been struggling with, was whether or not to remove his name before going! (for more than the obvious reason!)

        • calciomoti

          Yeah, my sister got the fathead for my son and I at Christmas and we were like…damn. Thanks!

          WE Did keep the arrowhead that came with it though.

          • Troy Utt

            I’m just glad that this helmet will again be worth some money! Needless to say my wife has not dropped that kind of cash on another personalized Chiefs item…

      • Jason Seibel

        That’s a little unfair. I cheered just as loudly as anyone during the LJ administration, but that doesn’t change the fact that if we’re talking about the best Chiefs running backs he doesn’t belong with the likes of Holmes, Charles, Allen and Okoye. Just my opinion. I don’t care about his numbers. They were nice but he was a super douche.

        • calciomoti

          His numbers were nice? His numbers were the best a chiefs ruining back EVER Had…but you’re right, he was a douche so he should not be in the list…perfect sense.

          Now, who’s being unfair?

          I just want to be clear here…fuck lj. He’s apiece of shit human.

          But he belongs on the list.

          • Jason Seibel

            Actually, they were the “second best” that a Chiefs’ runningback EVER had. Haley cut him with 75 yards to go in order to surpass Holmes.

          • calciomoti

            My bad Jason, I should be more specific, in a season, he had the two best seasons ever.

            IHope you’re not taking this personal because most of the time I agree with your posts…I don’t always respond though.

            All I’m trying to say is, when he was on the field, he belongs on this list. Off the field is a different story.

            That’s why he its and always will be he who shall not be named.

          • Jason Seibel

            No, man…I don’t take anything personally. I’ll just agree to disagree with you on this one, though. I totally get what you’re saying that based on numbers along LJ deserves a place on the list. My point is solely that if I can only keep three RBs from the Chiefs, I’m going with Priest, JC and Marcus or the Nigerian Nightmare. LJ doesn’t even get the nod from me. That’s all!

            Glad you enjoy my posts. Hopefully you’ll keep reading! Take care and GO CHIEFS!!!

          • Jim Harper

            LJ’s numbers are deceiving because he had too many carries to get them. Secondly the moment he lost his line he became pedestrian. His problem was he ran straight up and down and was stopped at the line of scrimmage far too many times. We are talking 2 good years here. By the time Haley sat him down he was completely ineffective. Jamaal came in and ran wild with the same line. No he does not belong on the list

          • calciomoti

            I promise to continue reading…Chiefs til I die! You’re right Jason, this time we must agree to disagree.

            @Jim Harper

            There is nothing decieving about them, he averaged over 4 yards per carry with his entire career. In fact his lowest avg was 3.5 the year he injured his ankle and was never the same. Here’s his stats on the year that you say he had too many carries. 416 – 1789 – 4.3 ypc 20 tds 41rec 410 2 tds. That was the first year he was our feature back. The previous year where he started only 7 games I believe he had 336 – 1750 5.2ypc 17 tds 33rec 343 1td.

            Priest Holmes is my favorite Chief of all time, but ljs stats, his ability to turn nothing into something consistently should get him on the list even if it was only for a few years. By the way, those are the two greatest years of ANY Chiefs RB. Even Priests…if you recall in 2006 he carried the team into the playoffs during herm the germs first year…because it wasn’t huard or green who helped any…oh and thank god the line could still block somewhat that year, because roaf was gone, shields was old, waters was a stud, they were still a very good line in 06.

            Jim and I must have been watching different games or something, because whether any of us like/liked lj or not, he was special until herm broke him.

          • Jim Harper

            So how do you account for his lack of production up until Haley benched him and put Charles in? Charles ran all over the Broncos with the same line that LJ could not do shit with!

          • calciomoti

            I cannot account for it..other than the d stacked against him and Charles ran allot of draws…maybe oh was pre occupied with jay-z who knows, more importantly who cares? It got him out of town right?

    • Pauly

      I never liked LJ. Numbers or not he always made me hesitant to accept him. Came in expecting and not earning. My wife did the same thing. Bought me his jersey in alternate black. I wore it once, and after he was cut I gave it to Goodwill.

      • Troy Utt

        LOL… I said virtually the same about the LJ helmet my wife bought for me one Christmas… I have it thrown in the closet & refuse to display with my other memorabilia… At least I can take it to training camp this summer, get the autographs I want and the helmet will at least be worth what my wife paid for it again! As I don’t know of anyone that would give me $250-$300 for an singned LJ helmet!!!

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Priest Holmes is my favorite Chief of all-time. He warrants HOF consideration. I’ll pit his four season stretch from 2001-2004 against any four years from any runningback in the history of the NFL. He was THAT good.

    • jimfromkcj

      Stacy, I know you guys don’t like LJ as a person, but he was much better than Priest 2 years before they finaly made him the starter. Then they ran the guts out of him in one year. Only one player has managed to come back strong after a season like he had. I can understand his frustration after they drafted him high and than set him on the bench because they were trying to let Priest set records. When LJ was in a position to break those records they screwed him out of the chance. I would place LJ only behind Podolac as a Chief’s RB.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        I don’t have any issue with Larry Johnson. Partly because I don’t always expect football players to be stellar people. He would’ve broken Priest’s records if given the opportunity, but he was already in a steep decline by the time that happened. He may have been a better pure rusher than Priest (that’s debatable), but overall Holmes was the more complete back. He could do EVERYTHING. He was also a prolific scorer. From top-to-bottom, the Chiefs have NEVER had a runningback more dynamic than Priest Holmes.

        • Jim Harper

          True that!

      • Jim Harper

        The Chiefs did NOT screw LJ out of any records. He screwed himself out of them with his antics. Most of you do not remember, but Mike Garrett was a great back and part of the Super Bowl IV winning team. He won the Heisman in ’65 while at USC, then a great career with the Chiefs. I would also find a place for Okoye and Marcus. Of Course Priest should be #1 with Jamaal #2

  • Jarad

    NIGERIAN NIGHTMARE! Cant match his size and strength.

  • jimfromkcj

    The problem I have with folks picking an all time player or team or season of the chiefs is because very few of the folks who frequent these sites have seen the entire history of the Chiefs. An example of this can be seen here. All of the players have played in the last 20 years or so. It completely ignores the 30 odd years previous that the Chiefs have played in KC. Having seen every season and team that the Chiefs have played, it is amusing that they ignore the best teams that the Chiefs ever fielded and the players who played on them. Eddie Podolac played running back on the finest team to ever Play in KC. The 1971 Chiefs team. They just happened to come along as Don Shula was building the finest NFL team ever, who went undefeated the following year in 1972. In 1971 the chiefs and the Dolphins played to a tie in regulation and 1 overtime and the Dolphins won out in a 2nd overtime. Podalac had one of the finest all round games ever played. So I would have to put him pretty high as the Chief’s finest running back.

    • Shane Summers

      Jim, I picked Len Dawson as my starting QB and have many more older players set to be on my lists. This was just one example where I didn’t. Check out the next installment, you won’t be disappointed.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      That is why we keep you round Jim, to educate us youngsters about the Chiefs greats of old. =)

    • Ameridude

      umm….could we please spell Ed’s last name correctly? (Podolak)

      As an 11 year old listening to that game on the radio in church, I have always considered it the “Greatest Game”. The media awards that title to the 1958 (and very first sudden death OT in history) NFL Championship game.

      Most people don’t realize it, but the Chiefs/Texans franchise has the TWO longest games ever played. The 1962 AFL Championship vs. Houston and the aforementioned ’71 AFC Divisional Playoffs.

      That the league is killing off sudden death OT is a travesty of the highest order.

  • Travis Forsyth

    why is LJ on this list? I can think of a few different backs that were way better then him..mike garrett, robert holmes, christian okoye, barry word, marcus allen, thomas jones, jackie battle, heck, even kolby smith was better than LJ….

  • Shane Summers

    Guys, I had all intentions to leave LJ off this list. The more research I did, the more I couldn’t. He may have been the worse teammate and person the franchise has seen but for a window he was maybe the best back in football.

    • Jim Harper

      Horseshit!

      • calciomoti

        wow…do you even watch football? Or are you just mad? Fuck Larry Johnson, low life scum, but in 2005-2006 you cannot name a better back…LT? Johnson did better, sorry Jim Chiefs fans are better than that…especially you’re posts on this thread.

        • Jim Harper

          No need to be hateful young man. Let’s see. A better back than LJ in 2005 or 2006? Shawn Alexander comes to mind, as does LaDainian Tomlinson. Matter of fact Mr know it all why don’t you look up the USA today’s list of top 25 running backs in 2005. LJ is not even on the list. There is much more to being a great player than personal stats. Being a great teammate is right near the top.

          • KCMikeG

            So true Jim! I agree that LJ was a scumbag and that there were plenty of other backs better than him even at his best. There are without doubt much better All-time Chiefs RB’s.

          • Jim Harper

            Thanks Mike

          • calciomoti

            I will concede with LT and Shawn…but not to any other backs in the NFL during those couple of years.

            I would also like to thank you for the “young man” comment, I do appreciate it!

            I would also like to apologize to you Jim, for being hateful/spiteful to you about this whole list. I am sorry. I do feel that LJ belongs on this list, no matter how much I now despise him.

            I think he broke KC’s fans hearts, because he was not the great human that we all expect our players to be like…c’mon, we all grew up with/lived with
            the saint like legend of Joe Delaney.

            Also, I am actually old enough to remember watching Joe play, along with some others like Carlos Carson, Mike Bell, Art Still, Deron Cherry, Bill Kenney, Budde, and Greene, but I’d have to look up their first names
            I’ve quite forgotten them…you get the picture though.

          • Ameridude

            There was only one Budde whose first name is worth remembering and that would be Brad’s Dad Ed. The forgotten second best Guard in the Chiefs’ glorious history

          • calciomoti

            That’s great you mention that, but I was not alive to watch the great Ed Budde. I just remember his son for some reason…I believe the topic of age came up and I was called a young man, to which I was appreciative.

  • jimfromkcj

    All four of your RB’s were worthy of recognition, Just that it is hard to pick one. I would pick Podolac because of the reason’s I gave. It is also hard to pick a LOT because we have been blessed to have some very good ones. I would pick Tyire for his longevity, Ault for a pure pass defender and Roaf for his run blocking. Safty is the easiest to pick as no one has come close to Johnny Robinson.

  • KCMikeG

    The Priest is my favorite all-time offensive player. Jamaal may well surpass Priest and I will celebrate the moment not just for the achievement by JC but for LJ being pushed down the list on our leaders list. I’m sorry I just can’t stomach LJ on this list. Especially when we could have had Marcus Allen- not just the incredible numbers 44 TD’s, 5,000 yards total yards in 5 years but for what a great veteran leader whose career was nearly ruined by Satan Davis. Plus there is nothing sweeter than taking a Raider and hurting them with him over and over and over.

    Couldn’t we add a Utility RB position for Ed Podolak? During his 9 year career from 1969 to 1977, he became the Chiefs’ 2nd all-time leading rusher with 4,451 yards and 34 touchdowns on 1,158 carries. He was also known for his work on special teams as a pass receiver and return man, catching 288 passes for 2,456 yards and 6 touchdowns while averaging 8.6 yards per punt and 20.5 yards per kickoff return. His 8,178 career combined yards are the second-most in the team’s history. Podolak led the Chiefs in rushing four times, in receiving three times, and in punt returns three times.

  • oldchiefsfan

    No Marcus Allen, Christian Okoye and Ed Podolak? You do realize there was a Chiefs team before Dick Vermeil got here right?

  • Adrian Morales

    larry johnson was a beast until he got paid