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Steelers flush Davenport
Posted Jun. 29 at 02:53 AM
The Steelers have released Najeh Davenport, reducing (at least a little) the crowd they have at tailback. The 29-year-old veteran is now free to try to latch on with another team.
Davenport became expendable when the Steelers drafted Rashard Mendenhall. The team still has Willie Parker, who’ll start, and free-agent pickup Mewelde Moore likely will play on third downs.
According to an article in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the Steelers also are high on second-year back Gary Russell. The coaches think he might eventually develop into a starter.
Davenport will always be best known for a bizarre incident in 2002 in which he broke into a university dorm and defecated in a laundry hamper. He’s been a servicable backup for the Steelers the last two years; he ran for 123 yards and 2 TDs at St. Louis last year after Parker got hurt early. But Davenport doesn’t have much speed, which makes me think he won’t quite be able to win a No. 2 job with any team this year.
For the Steelers this year, I expect to see Moore playing on third downs, and Parker and Mendenhall get the bulk of the rushing duties – Parker probably will log about 70 percent of the carries. Mendenhall is a bigger back, so the Steelers may feature him in goal-line situations.
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