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How Will Parker and Mendenhall Share the Load at RB?

Willie Parker-Rashard Mendenhall.

Rashard Mendenhall-Willie Parker.

You figure it out.

That’s the question when it comes to the Steelers running game, and as the season nears Thursday vs the Titans it will be interesting to see how coach Mike Tomlin decides on who gets the ball, and when.

Parker has had just four carries this preseason, and since he’s not inked past this season, it would make sense that the Steelers would want to give their first-round pick from a season ago a long look. The question is, can Mendenhall carry the load if he gets the chance?

Tomlin sounded Monday like Parker would start Thursday as the feature back.

“Willie Parker is our runner,” Tomlin said. “He (Mendenhall) is going to get an opportunity to get his touches. But more importantly than anything else, Willie Parker is our runner.”

Mendenhall has something to prove after last seasons shoulder injury in week four that ended his season. He ran hard in preseason, but it will be a whole new ball game vs the Titans Thursday night.

Even Ben Roethlisberger seemed okay and aware that there may be two guys getting their hands on the ball this week and beyond.

“Willie will be just fine, he’s a great running back, but we’ve also got some great running backs who can fill the void if necessary,” Roethlisberger said. “That’s what’s special about this offensive group is we’ve got a lot of guys who we can fill in with.”

It should be one battle to watch as the season gets underway in just a few days.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. DrGeorge

    September 10, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Let’s not forget Mewelde Moore. He carried the water in the stretch drive last year, when Parker was injured and Mendenhall unavailable. Moore is a better receiver than Parker or Mendy, and he has a knack for finding the opening. Running Parker between the tackles is akin to throwing a Swiss watch at a stone wall; it will shorten his career. Mendy is still unproved and subject to spells of fumblitis. I’m glad we have Moore.

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