Ernie Holme’s eventual downfall
Holmes, despite his talent, had two problems to overcome. The first was his weight. He was always in Chuck Noll’s doghouse over his weight. In an email from Reggie Harrison former steelers running back from 1974-1977 upon hearing the news of Ernie Holmes' passing in 2008, he explained a little bit about Holmes battle with his weight:
"Ernie and I were on Chuck Nolls weigh list because we were both overweight. I tried hard to help him with his, and he tried hard to help me with mine…we gave a team picnic one day…before training camp…we had meatballs the size of tennis balls, we had 16 oz steaks, hotdogs, hamburgers, ribs, crabs, man we had it going on. I watched Ernie eat 6 plates of noodles with at least 5 meatballs each time, 5 plates of ribs and crabs, I don’t know how many plates of hot dogs, and a hand full of hamburgers with cole slaw and potato salad. This is no lie; he had the nerve to ask for a DIET COKE. That’s no [expletive]. I loved the guy as my brother; he was one hell of a brother…- Reggie Harrison
Despite any efforts to keep from being overweight, it was not enough to eventually keep from being cut. After the 1977 season, Noll cut Holmes as he could not get his weight where Noll wanted it.