Look, here are the advantages to DUCE:
when healthy, he is a good back. Has good size and runs well, catches well out of the backfield? While someone earlier said they thought he's sitting on the sideline and doesn't care to play. While that is your interpretation, Duce is a class act and has respect for himself not act like a baby and wants what is best for the team. Leave all that primadonna drama for all the other teams, we dont have that with the Steelers and thank god.
Disadvantages: INJURIES. Not a matter of whether he will get hurt, but when. In the future, with Willie looking more and more every week like he isnt going anywhere and should get at least 12 carries a game, he's going to have a smaller role than was first imagined when he got here. Are willing to pay that kind of money for a 3rd down back or someone who will only carry the ball 8-12 times a game.
HOWEVER, for the time being, this season, with a rested and healthy Duce, we could go into january with Willie, Jerome, and Duce. Not a bad backfield for a SuperBowl run. All that matter is winning the Bowl this year.
I wouldn't rule Jerome for next season either. As seen last week and especially last year, he is still very effective, and still the spark and most beloved on the team. This notion you need to have one featured back is bogus, and we could be seeing a new trend like the Broncos, Chiefs, and as the Steelers are developing. Some guys are just so good that its worth getting the most of them as you can (tomlinson), but by having mutliple featured backs you got fresh legs, changes of pace, more selection of plays to suit each runner to keep the D on their toes. This especially true with us right now: Willie has that blinding speed, as fast breakaway speed maybe anyone else in the league. Jerome: we know what he's about. Duce is similar to Bettis is ways but has a pass catching dimension as well (whcih is why many would liek to see him fill that 3rd down Haynes role).
If Jerome leaves, we need to decide what to do with Duce, need to lock up Willie I think (I dont think, and I hope you guys dont, think he is flash in the pan, he's here to stay). But very soon we need to add someone: Draft (Are we willing to go First round on a Back? Have we even done that since Tim Worley?), FA (whose around, I couldnt see us getting a big name), or develop Herron to play a more significant role. Should be interesting, lets hear what yinz think.