Kevan Barlow made a visit to the Steelers on Friday, and he could be a player that could help the team out in a big way as a backup running back. Barlow is a free agent, and playing his college ball at Pitt, this could be a player that could give some relief to Willie Parker and Najeh Davenport, currently the most experienced running backs on the roster. Barlow has been with the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets in six NFL seasons.
His best season was 2003 with the 49ers, when he rushed for 1,024 yards on 201 carries, a 5.1-yard average. Last year for the Jets, he gained 370 yards on 131 carries, an average of 2.8 yards. The Jets let him go in after the season in February. If the Steelers are going to take some pressure off of Ben Roethlisberger in 2007, they are going to need to run the ball better than they did last season. Parker was a stud back, and did make the Pro Bowl, but he is going to need some relief himself this next season.
Barlow is not going to come in and run for 800 yards or anything like that, but again, could give some spot duty to the team. The Steelers were expected to take a running back in last Saturday’s draft, but passed and instead picked up two free-agent running backs this past week.