On the heels of a visit to the team last week, former Pitt running back and former Jet and 49’er Kevan Barlow has signed a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers to help out a running back core that is somewhat thin after Willie Parker. Barlow is a seven year pro, and played his first five seasons with the San Francisco 49’ers, then moved to the Jets last season, but was released after one year.
Barlow has one 1,000+ yard season under his belt, and that was 2003 when he rushed for 1024 yards and six touchdowns. Barlow’s production since that season has dropped. He ran for 822 yards in 2004, 581 yards in 2005 (his last with the 49’ers) and then just 370 yards last season with the Jets. He was slated when he went to New York to possibly be the teams top back, but early on it became evident that he was not going to be, and ended up playing in 12 games, starting three.
After Parker, the Steelers running back core is downright weak. They resigned former Packer back Najeh Davenport this past offseason, but last season Davenport was not even close to being the Jerome Bettis type back the Steelers thought they were getting. Davenport ran for just 221 yards on 60 carries, but could not seem to get the big yards when the team needed to give Parker a break. After that the teams current running backs are Gary Russell, John Kuhn and Paul Mosley.