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83-Steelers-43
08-24-2006, 09:31 AM
Steelers find it's hard to replace a Bus


By Rick Starr
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, August 24, 2006


It's not easy to replace a runner called The Bus.
Steelers coach Bill Cowher said it might take a couple of running backs to fill Jerome Bettis' former role.

Bettis pounded the ball inside in short-yardage and goal-line situations and scored nine touchdowns in 110 carries during the Steelers' Super Bowl run last season.

"I can't say right now there's been one person, like we had with Jerome," Cowher said Wednesday at Steelers training camp at St. Vincent College. "I don't think that's a bad thing. That's the way it was last year. This year is a different year, and we'll go from there."

Running back Willie Parker will get first crack at goal-line duty when the Steelers (0-2) play the Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) in a preseason game Friday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

Cowher said Parker will play the first quarter with the starters -- and this time he won't run off the field in most short-yardage situations.

"Whatever the coach decides, I'm all for," Parker said. "Catching balls, short yardage, goal line, I'm all for it."

Although Parker was the starter, he scored only four rushing touchdowns last regular season while putting the team in scoring position numerous times with 1,202 rushing yards.

"I feel like I ran the ball up and down the field," he said. "That glory would be great. The more touchdowns you get, the more attention you get."

Cowher said the search for Bettis' replacement will carry into the season.

"That's going to have to be something that plays itself out," he said.

Fifth-year running back Verron Haynes also will have more opportunities in third-down situations, Cowher said.

Playing strictly a backup role, Haynes has scored three career touchdowns in 53 career games.

Running back Duce Staley, who gained 25 yards in 12 carries during the first two preseason games, could be left without a role.

Asked if Haynes' and Staley's roles remain up for debate, Cowher said, "I don't know if debate is the right word. We're looking at them. Verron's had a very good camp. And I think Duce is working himself back into running shape.

"Verron has proven to be a very, very good third-down back," Cowher said. "And I think with Willie being the starter, and having those other two guys, you can never have enough good running backs the way we play the game."

Staley's agent, Derrick Harrison, said he wasn't aware of Internet reports that the Steelers were attempting to trade his client.

"The Steelers haven't made us aware that's the case," Harrison said.

Asked about the trade talk after practice, Staley said, "No comment, other than it's like I keep saying. I want to keep playing here."

Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett said reports that Staley is about to be traded were not accurate.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_467451.html

83-Steelers-43
08-24-2006, 09:34 AM
So much for the Staley rumors. Until I heard a report out of the Pittsburgh/Steelers media, I wasn't buying it nor bothering to even comment on it. Gotta love that national media........:rolleyes:

HometownGal
08-24-2006, 09:40 AM
I don't think anyone can really ever replace The Bus, but as far as a third down back and a goal line hawk, if Staley can stay healthy, he's the perfect choice, imho. He has two more weeks to get it together and I'm hoping he will. If not, Verron is very capable in those situations and seems very eager to play no matter in what capacity.

I'm with you, 83. I'm not giving credence to any Staley trade rumors unless I hear it directly from the Steelers. :cool:

BlackNGold203
08-24-2006, 10:02 AM
Staley is going nowhere.....theres no need for the Steelers to cut cap space...there are no other viable options...Staley stays....

:cool: :cool:

stlrtruck
08-24-2006, 10:16 AM
The only thing that's going to replace the BUS is some kid who was taught to play football the old fashioned way - hard nosed, hard knocked, smash mouth!
Last time I checked those players are coming fewer and farther apart!
I think Duce can do it but he's proven the last two years that he can't make it past the 8 game mark. Veron is unproven but has promise. Humes needs to get some stick 'em (from what I've seen in the pre-season) in order to hold on to the ball. Parker's just speed to burn and (imho) not much of the power back that we've been accustom to in the BnG offense!
So maybe we need to take a different approach. It's going to be difficult to find a BUS-like RB so why not "tweak" the offense to compliment the RBs we currently have on the roster.

Midnightwriter07
08-24-2006, 01:36 PM
yeah and the Falcons media wasnt playing up that they were trying toget rid of Duckett either.. It makes sense they let Staley go, althought unless we are getting a big back ( Duckett is now gone so i cant see it unless it is Davenport from G.B.) then i dont see why would. Stay tuned though, could get interesting

nicesteel4life
08-24-2006, 02:04 PM
Rumors Suck!

83-Steelers-43
08-24-2006, 02:47 PM
Staley is going nowhere.....theres no need for the Steelers to cut cap space...there are no other viable options...Staley stays....

:cool: :cool:

I agree.

Much like the Duckett story, it sounds like the media wanted to pump up a story, get the fans razzled and they found one. Did we want Duckett? I'm not doubting it. Did the Steelers FO (the guys that make football decisions for a living) feel we needed him at the price the Falcons were asking? Obviously not.

Now all of a sudden the NFL network breaks a story about Duce on the trading block and we have two people close to the Steelers organization (Staley's agent and Lockett) stating that it's simply not true.

Go figure. I can't wait until the regular season officially begins.

tony hipchest
08-24-2006, 03:16 PM
how much time will kornheiser and theisman spend on this story in tomorrows eagles/steelers broadcast?

clevestinks
08-24-2006, 03:33 PM
I hate to disagree, but Bettis has had limited carries last season, so who is to say that Haynes or even Parker couldn`t carry that burden? Not to mention I can see Humes coming in 1st ans goal from the 1, and everyone will be anticipating him taking over as Bettiss replacement, fake to Humes, Ben to Heath for SIX. I think Bens numbers will go up also. Lets not forget that Jerome almost cost us a trip to the Super Bowl, the so called goal line specialist, almost blew it big time! I love the guy, but his role on the field was a little blown out of proportion.

SteelerFanInCA
08-24-2006, 03:55 PM
The only thing that's going to replace the BUS is some kid who was taught to play football the old fashioned way - hard nosed, hard knocked, smash mouth!
Last time I checked those players are coming fewer and farther apart!
I think Duce can do it but he's proven the last two years that he can't make it past the 8 game mark. Veron is unproven but has promise. Humes needs to get some stick 'em (from what I've seen in the pre-season) in order to hold on to the ball. Parker's just speed to burn and (imho) not much of the power back that we've been accustom to in the BnG offense!
So maybe we need to take a different approach. It's going to be difficult to find a BUS-like RB so why not "tweak" the offense to compliment the RBs we currently have on the roster.

Yeah, I have to agree with you on "tweaking the offense" a little more. As in maybe involving Heath Miller a little bit more. I think having a good TE like Heath will help in making up the difference for not having the Bus in the backfield for goal line situations.