Talk out of the Steelers camp is the depth at RB this week. Rashard Mendenhall and Willie Parker may not be Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier from the 1970's, but according to scouts it wouldnt be unheard of for each of them to top 1000 yards this season. The Steelers have also chosen their 3rd down backs, Mewelde Moore, a FA from the Vikings and Gary Russell a second year guy. Carey Davis has won the job at FB and he is a three tool player there: he can run, block, and catch.
In the preseason opener, Parker had 3 carries for 20 yards, Mendenhall had 7 for 34 yards.
Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians said he may use Parker and Mendenhall at the same time in a "pony" backfield formation.
Look for the RB position to get some serious competition in Cleveland this year. Third year back Jerome Harrison didnt get many carries his first two years with the Browns(43) for meager outputs(202 yards), but he does have more athletic skill to catch passes out of the backfield compared to a much slower Jamal Lewis. Right now Jerome is trying to solidify his spot on the roster via special teams.
The other RB in this mix is Jason Wright. He has seen more work than Harrison the past couple of years both in carries(122) and yards(466 yards). He also has caught more passes than Harrison over those to years(30 vs. 11).
Marvin Lewis thinks that with the arrival of first round draft pick, LB Keith Rivers, he finally has a defensive piece to build that unit around. No coach on the Bengals doesnt believe Rivers will be the starter by opening day. Marvin was very impressed that Rivers was in game shape despite the holdout. Rivers is practicing with the first team defense and is playing in a spot that is very similiar to the one he played 4 years in at USC.
Well just when you thought the Ravens would use the preseason to have a QB step-up as the #1 starter, both Kyle Boller and Troy Smith showcased their weaknesses in the preseason opener versus the Patriots.
Its not that Bollers numbers looked all that bad(11 for 15, 102 yards), but two turnovers in less than a half of football had the coaches cringing.
Troy Smith just looked shaky out there(5 for 12, 74 yards) as his incompletions were completely wild and the Patriots dropped an easy interception. Somehow, Troy Smith won the right to start the second preseason game. Call it the best of the worst promotion. Coach Jim Harbaugh even is giving Troy a full first half to showcase what he's got on August 16 vs. Vikings.
Joe Flacco? He went 0 for 3 with a fumbled snap on his second play.