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K.C. masterpiece

QB Green, RB Holmes happy in their new home

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Sunday April 22, 2001 12:04 PM

  Trent Green Trent Green passed for 2,063 yards and 16 TDs last season. Ezra Shaw/Allsport

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Trent Green is once again a starting quarterback. Kansas City is no longer the only team in the NFL without a starting quarterback.

Everybody around Arrowhead Stadium was all smiles Saturday, one day after the quarterback-challenged Chiefs finally worked out a deal to pry the man they wanted out of St. Louis.

"We feel so fortunate to have him," offensive coordinator Al Saunders said. "He is a tremendous young man."

About eight hours after the draft began, the Chiefs finally got to make a pick. Without a first- or second-round selection, they waited until the third round and took Syracuse defensive tackle Eric Downing as the 75th overall selection. Five minutes later they acquired Florida State wide receiver Marvin "Snoop" Minnis.

Since Elvis Grbac unexpectedly opted for free agency in February, the Chiefs had on-and-off negotiations for Green, who lost his starting job in 1999 when he went down with a knee injury and Kurt Warner emerged as a star.

  • Pat Kirwan: A 12-year pro football coach, scout and personnel administrator, Kirwan gives his take on the players selected during the first two rounds of the draft.
  • Peter King: Sports Illustrated senior writer King checks in with Five Things I Think I Think, a recap of the first round.
  • Don Banks:'s pro football writer says for the past seven weeks, Trent Green has closed his eyes and tried every day to picture himself in Kansas City red. So much so that it was beginning to color his every thought. 

    Week after week while St. Louis and Kansas City talked trade, Green experienced a special kind of agony.

    Would he stay with the Rams and continue to caddie for Warner? Or would he go to the Chiefs and be reunited with coach Dick Vermeil as the starter?

    "The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions, not knowing if I was going to have to spend another year as a backup or get an opportunity to start," Green said. "But at the same time, it was sad to leave St. Louis. But that's just the way life is and the way things play out."

    On Friday night, the Chiefs finally came to terms with St. Louis, giving the Rams their first-round draft pick, the 12th selection overall, for Green and the Rams' fifth-round choice. In addition, the Rams agreed not to match the offer sheet Kansas City had extended to wide receiver/kick returner Tony Horne.

    The trade left the Chiefs without any picks until the third round, where they had two. They also had extra picks in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds.

    Green, 30, saw action in eight games last year after Warner was injured in a loss to Kansas City. He was 145-of-240 for 2,063 yards with 16 toouchdowns and five interceptions. His average of 8.60 yards per attempt was second in the NFL only to Warner's 9.88.

    Chiefs' First-Round Draft Picks
    Year  Player  Pos.  College 
    2001  NO PICK       
    2000  Sylvester Morris  WR  Jackson State 
    1999  John Tait  OT  Brigham Young 
    1998  Victor Riley  OT  Auburn 
    1997  Tony Gonzalez  TE  California 
    1996  Jerome Woods  Memphis 
    1995  Trezelle Jenkins  OT  Michigan 
    1994  Greg Hill  RB  Texas A&M 
    1993  NO PICK       
    1992  Dale Carter  DB  Tennessee 
    1991  Harvey Williams  RB  Louisiana State 
    1990  Percy Snow  LB  Michigan 
    1989  Derrick Thomas  LB  Alabama 
    1988  Neil Smith  DE  Nebraska 
    1987  Paul Palmer  RB  Temple 
    1986  Brian Jozwiak  OT  West Virginia 
    1985  Ethan Horton  RB  North Carolina 
    1984  Bill Maas  NT  Pittsburgh 
       John Alt  OT  Iowa 
    1983  Todd Blackledge  QB  Penn State 
    1982  Anthony Hancock  WR  Tennessee 
    1981  Willie Scott  TE  South Carolina 
    1980  Brad Budde  USC 
    1979  Mike Bell  DE  Colorado State 
       Steve Fuller  QB  Clemson 
    1978  Art Still  DE  Kentucky 
    1977  Gary Green  CB  Baylor 
    1976  Rod Walters  Iowa 
    1975  NO PICK        
    1974  Woody Green  RB  Arizona State 
    1973  NO PICK        
    1972  Jeff Kinney  RB  Nebraska 
    1971  Elmo Wright  WR  Houston 
    1970  Sid Smith  USC 
    1969  James Marsalis  CB  Tennessee State 
    1968  Maurice (Mo) Moorman  Texas A&M 
       George Daney  Texas El Paso 
    1967  Gene Trosch  DT  Miami 
    1966  Aaron Brown  DE  Minnesota 
    1965  Gale Sayers  RB  Kansas 
    1964  Pete Beathard  QB  USC 
    1963  Buck Buchanan  DT  Grambling  
       Ed Budde  Michigan State 
    1962  Ronnie Bull  HB  Baylor 
    1961  E.J. Holub  Texas Tech 

    "I've been around two great quarterbacks in my career ... Joe Montana and Dan Fouts," said offensive coordinator Al Saunders. "And I really, truly believe Trent Green has the qualities of those people. Great courage, great ability."

    Vermeil signed Green to the Rams as an unrestricted free agent from Washington in 1999. Injured in the preseason, he spent the entire year on the sideline after undergoing knee surgery.

    The surgically repaired knee required another procedure about six weeks ago and he is not expected to be fully ready until training camp in July.

    "We have plenty of time," Vermeil said. "He's got a lot of years left in his career. If it's the middle of training camp, if it's before training camp, if it's the third league game, sooner or later he will be our starting quarterback and play very well."

    Shortly after filling their quarterback need Friday night, the Chiefs signed free-agent running back Priest Holmes, addressing what many felt was their second-worst weakness.

    "Our coaching staff evaluated the unrestricted free agent running backs that were available and we rated Priest the No. 1 guy," Vermeil said. "When we spent some time with him, our respect for him grew immediately, the way he handled himself, expressed himself, his relationship with his players."

    Holmes, 5-9, 205, played in 48 games in four years with Baltimore, rushing 459 times for 2,102 yards and 10 touchdowns. His best year was 1998 when he rushed for 1,008 yards. Something else that made him attractive to the Chiefs were his 88 receptions for 585 yards and one TD.

    He will join fullback Tony Richardson in what will be an almost entirely revamped backfield.

    "There's a term called the three-headed monster," Holmes said. "When you have that is when you have a quarterback, you have a running back and wide receivers. And any time you can kill them slow and you can kill them fast.

    "With the quarterback and wide receivers we have here, we can definitely kill them fast. At the same time, we're going to kill them slow with Tony Richardson and myself."

    Minnis, 6-1, 170, led Florida State with 63 catches for 1,340 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior year. He did not play in the national championship game after being declared academically ineligible.

    "This guy doesn't drop many footballs," Chiefs wide receivers coach Charlie Joyner said. "He's a good football player."

    Related information
    SI's Banks: Green sent to Chiefs for No. 12 pick
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