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Arians Says Parker the Starter at RB When He’s Ready to Return

Scott Brown, of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, reports Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said RB Willie Parker (toe) will be the team’s starter when he is healthy because at this point Parker is proven and RB Rashard Mendenhall has not proven himself yet. ‘Willie Parker’s a proven commodity. When Rashard is (proven), then we’ll re-evaluate him. I hope it gets to that problem. I’d like to have those two healthy at the same time,’ Arians said.

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. mark

    October 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I guess I cant argue with the sentiment, but if Mendenhall has another good game (100yds+) I will be interested to see how the team works Parker back in. I understand he would start if healthy, but how long do they go with him if he is continuously knocked for losses? Will they wait for the homerun which seems to come fewer these days or do they go back to a grinder like Mendenhall might be turning into? I guess its a nice problem, but lets see what Mendenhall does this week too.

  2. Mike

    October 10, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Let’s pump the brakes on Mendenhall being the next coming of Jim Brown. In part, being a professional means playing consistently. 34 is not even close to a level of consistency that is necessary. he played great against SD. Show me again Rashard. I want to see how he does after getting stuffed on 6 or 7 straight carries. Does he fold up or does he keep grinding? Parker was taught by one of the best grinders of all time. I want to see long-term consistency, mental toughness and ball security. So far, 34 has displayed none of those attributes.

  3. DrGeorge

    October 11, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Mark and Mike: a tip of the hat to both of you. The media has anointed Mendy much too quickly. Stats alone are misleading. Against an injury-riddled Detroit defensive line, behind our much improved O-line, Mendy, like any decent NFL back, should produce lofty stats today, and next week against the anemic Browns, just as he did against the decimated defense of the Chargers. But can he run well against a solid defense, like the Vikings and the Ravens? Will he break tackles? Will he fall forward at the end of runs for crucial yardage? Or against a stalwart defense like those, will he continue to fall down when touched and collapse like a cheap cardboard box? The jury is still out.

  4. Jusncrdable......

    October 11, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Well fellas I think mendes the truth ,even last year he was showing glimpeses in the game he got hurt against the ravens he was running well actually that run that he got hurt on he had a 5 to 7 yd gain. Plus mende finishes lowers his head and finishes so far. he has it just let it happen. I love parker he is very light and on first contact he falls watch the earlery games.,and that oh its the chargers oh it the lions they are all pros do u think u or I can run for 100 Plus yrds and there playing the world champs there bringing there A game. Much respect to mende mark my words he will be great.

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