Steelers running backs: success and failure over the past decade

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Consecutive seasons since the Steelers have had a 1,000-yard rusher (Rashard Mendenhall had 1,273 yards in 2010)


Seasons since that previously happened (Steelers had no 1,000-yard rusher in 2002, 2003 or 2004)


Le'Veon Bell

Le'Veon Bell stands as the only running back drafted by the team on the roster despite the team having made regular recent investments in the position in the draft.

Only a year after leaving for Arizona, 2008 first-round pick Rashard Mendenhall recently retired. Jonathan Dwyer, a sixth-round pick in 2010, exhibited occasional promise but not enough for the Steelers to prevent him from leaving this week -- also to Arizona. A fourth-round pick in 2012, Chris Rainey was abruptly cut after his rookie season following an off-field incident and 2011 seventh-round pick Baron Batch was cut in training camp last year after two injury-laden seasons.

Beyond that, the picks over the past 10 years read less like a who's who and more like who's that? Frank Summers or Noah Herron ring a bell? Cedric Humes, anyone?


Willie Parker

The Steelers caught lightning in a bottle in 2004 by signing undrafted free agent "Fast" Willie Parker, the team's most prolific back of the past 10 years.

Another UFA, Issac Redman, was an occasional starter but was released in 2013. Fullback Will Johnson was also a UFA.

Traditional free agents have given the Steelers reasonable production, most notably from Mewelde Moore, signed from Minnesota in 2008. Moore had 908 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in the Steelers' Super Bowl XLIII-winning season and was the team's third-down back throughout his tenure.

Green Bay castoff Najeh Davenport's power was a respectable complement to Parker's speed in 2006-07, and ex-Eagles back Duce Staley was headed toward a career-year in 2004 (830 yards in 10 games) before injuries ended his regular season and ultimately his career. Pitt product LaRod Stephens-Howling was signed for 2013 but suffered a season-ending injury in the season opener.

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