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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Random thoughts

I talked at length to running back Mewelde Moore this week at OTAs and came away impressed with the young man.

While many free agent running backs the Steelers have signed in the past come in looking to carry the ball as much as possible or even win a starting job, Moore – who was signed away from Minnesota – seems to be more than happy to fill his niche with the Steelers.

What will that niche be?

Returning punts and possibly kickoffs and being the third-down back.

Those were both jobs Najeh Davenport filled in the past.

© Gary Russell, another young back the team has, looks awfully good running with the ball. His cuts are sharp and he has a nice burst.

Russell saw limited playing time as a rookie in 2007, but the team liked him enough that it didn't dare try to put him on the practice squad.

With the addition of Moore and first-round draft pick Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers have a very crowded backfield.

© A national writer took the Steelers to task recently after Mendenhall suffered a strained hamstring during mini-camp, citing that and 2007 No. 1 pick Lawrence Timmons' groin injury as evidence that the Steelers are pushing their young players too hard in these drills.

Maybe he should take a look at Cleveland instead.

Cornerback Daven Holly blew his knee out in the Browns' workouts, adding just another injury to a long list of them that have happened to Cleveland players in that team's workouts.

And after trading Leigh Bodden in the deal to get Shaun Rogers from Detroit, cornerback was one spot the Browns couldn't afford to lose anyone.

Cleveland's run defense may be better this season, but the pass defense promises to be awful.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear Russell is looking good. I'm really pulling for him, I think he could be special. But like you said, we have a crowded backfield... Is there any chance Davenport gets released? He would be my pick. Keep the young talent and their potential. I think we've seen all Davenport has to offer.

Patrick said...

Davenport you would think would be a June 1st cut, but for some reason this team seems to like him. Maybe hes a good guy, but for the good of team and roster logistics, I hope he is released.

The only other option I would think is Davenport moving to full back (apparently he has practiced some there?) and Carey Davis being on the practice squad or released, though Tomlin and Arians seem to like him a lot too. Ideally I would think, Parker/Medenhall as 1-2 punch, Moore for 3rd down and Davis as FB. That leaves Russell as a healthy scratch weekly or on the PS, if he lands on the PS he'll be a Brown or Patiot before the ink dries.

Dale, how do you see this shaping up assuming that Russeel continues to progress and Davenport continues to be nothing more than what he is?

Anonymous said...

OK, we have 5 RBs who are deemed to be above average, with only 4 slots (not including Davis for this thought). What are the odds that a RB could be traded for a draft pick next year? My thoughts would be most likely Russell, maybe Davenport. If so, what round pick do you think the Steelers would look for?

Anonymous said...

I hope we keep Russell. I question Davenport's character. We should stay young at the position imo.

Dale Lolley said...

They're not going to cut Davenport before the end of training camp and Davis isn't going anywhere. Davenport will be kept around in case there's an injury. And he can play fullback as well.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but barring injury, Davenport will probably get cut at the end of training camp, right?

Dale Lolley said...

I'm not so quick to cut him as others. Russell has to prove he can play special teams.
But ideally, that would be the situation.