Why Mendenhall Will Remain The Starter

Rashard Mendenhall will not be relinquishing his job to Willie Parker any time soon.  Parker will remain in a subordinate, spot duty role.  There are several reasons. 

Obviously, Mendenhall's yards per carry; over five per carry, compared to Parker's sub-four yards per carry total makes it an almost no-brainer. 

The fact that Tomlin picked Mendenhall can not be overlooked.  Tomlin picks better than people are giving him credit so far.  He is the reason Stephan Logan was picked to come to the Steelers this year.  He's the reason there's a short yardage surprise the Steelers have squirreled away for a rainy day in Isaac Redman.  Tomlin picked Mendenhall.  That says a lot.

Mendenhall has brought the Steelers more of a short yardage threat in the interim.  The line has a lot to do with that.  If the line just happened to jell when Parker was hurt, it's no indictment of him but it is what it is.  Success has been reaped using this formula.  Mendenhall is smart, obviously.  Rashard Mendenhall is a very well versed, intelligent young man.  Fast Willie Parker is a nice guy but he will never be confused for a Rhodes Scholar.  I think Mendenhall being punished for not acting up to his potential has pushed him to meet or exceed his potential since then.  Another sign of his intelligence is his response to that challenge. 

Willie Parker should still get a load of carries.  I don't want to see his days as a Steeler end but I have the feeling that's what is coming.  The Steelers do have a great problem on their hand, having all the talent on the active roster and Redman on the practice squad.  I see a potential two headed monster today that could be a three headed monster, but the passing game is so successful that neither seem likely to happen.  Parker will probably leave the Steelers next year and Redman will be on the active roster and we fans will be harping that we don't get to see the two headed monster. 


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