With the saga of T.J. Duckett finding a new home over with, the word is the next running back that has found himself on the trading block is Steelers RB Duce Staley. Reports say that the Steelers are very comfortable with the backfield that they are currently runnin with, which includes Willie Parker, Verron Haynes, John Kuhn, and Cedric Humes. Staley started his Steelers career with a bang in 2004, running well in the first 7 games, going for 707 yards in those seven games before he got hurt. Then the wheels came off and Jerome Bettis came in and basically took the job for the rest of the year. Then in 05, Staley went in the tank again, getting hurt in the preseason, losing a chance at the starting job to Willie Parker. Parker not only took the job, but ran with it, going for over 1200 yards and setting a Super Bowl record with a 75-yard run. Staley was so down last season that he only carried the ball 38 times.
The big question is does Staley still have gas in the tank after 10 years in the league, and does he have the desire anymore? There were times in his two years with the Steelers that he seemed disinterested, and basically was ready to hand the regins of running the football over to Bettis and/or Parker. Now he is on the verge of getting released, and teams that are interested in trading for him know that the Steelers are likely to go that route.
One report has Staley looking at a possible return to the Eagles. It was the place where Staley ran before Pittsburgh, going for three 1,000 yard seasons and 22 TD’s in 7 seasons. The Eagles are not the only team that needs a back, and the Steelers are fielding calls as we speak about what it might take for a deal, which if the team is going to release him anyway, might not mean it will take much.
Amazing that on draft day the Steelers were in the market for Duckett, worried about the RB spot, and now, just 4 months later, they are in the market to trade a running back. Just shows how fast things can change in the NFL.