Question: I know the season still has a long way to go, but when the season's all said and done, do you think Willie Parker will be a contender for the NFL MVP, or at least the leading rusher? And if not, will he have the Steelers to blame for not giving the ball to him enough?
Ben Swogger, New Castle, Pa.
BOUCHETTE: Parker has 600 yards in six games, fifth in the NFL. However, of the four players above him, three have played seven games while Parker has played six. The only one higher who also has played six games is Minnesota rookie Adrian Peterson, who leads the league with 670 yards rushing and has a 6.2yard average. Of course Parker would be a contender for MVP if he continues. But leading the league in rushing is only one part of the equation. It helps if he scores, and Parker has run for just one touchdown. It also helps if he catches passes like LaDainian Tomlinson. Parker has 10 receptions, far down the list, even of running backs. His team also has to be a contender for Parker to be a contender, so it depends on the Steelers' fate as well.