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Mendenhall has officially displaced Willie Parker

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has confirmed what Fox’s Jay Glazer reported last week: Willie Parker has gone the way of Wally Pipp.

After talking about a running back rotation last week, Tomlin said Tuesday for the first time that Mendenhall is higher on the depth chart.  And it seems unlikely that will change anytime soon.

“It’s great to have Willie back,” Tomlin said, “but Rashard has the hot hand if you will.”

The Steelers are as healthy as they have been all season. 

Troy Polamalu responded well to his first game action in a month, and the team expects to have the entire 53-man roster available for this week’s game against the Vikings.

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35 Responses to “Mendenhall has officially displaced Willie Parker”
  1. Triryche says: Oct 20, 2009 1:59 PM

    Hate to toss a player aside, but addios Willie. He just doesn’t have the power to be an inside runner, which Mendenhall obviously does. If there isn’t a shot at catching the outside corner, FWP doesn’t get solid yards. With him, its always been 1 yard, 0 yards, -1 yards, then hitting a 10 yarder. Just no consistency. With Mendenhall, there is a much better chance at a consistent run game.
    Parker did a good job for several years, but his time is over. Hate to say it, but ever since Bettis retired, just have never been a fan of his. As a Steeler diehard, we love our 5 yards an a cloud of dust. With FWP, it was all or nothing (mostly nothing).
    Maybe they can trade him and Limas Sweed (hands of Dwight Stone), to Tyler Chicken, in regards to getting nothing but chicken related concessions (Chicken Dogs, Chicken Beer)

  2. DocBG says: Oct 20, 2009 2:04 PM

    Will be a good, close game between the vikes and pittsburgh, Thank god its not CBS
    Its funny because if the vikes lose a bunch of fanboys from a 3-2 team will say how bad we suck, but if we win they will continue to run their mouths about how lucky we are, and how we deserve to only be 3-4.
    Btw Bob Nelson, here is a great place to work on your secret mission.

  3. CdnMike says: Oct 20, 2009 2:05 PM

    PLEASE!!!!! Let Winfield be healthy for this game! PLEASE!!!!

  4. kravon says: Oct 20, 2009 2:07 PM

    Bring on the Vikes and Broncos

  5. realityonetwo says: Oct 20, 2009 2:11 PM

    Parker’s gone the way of Wally Pipp, except that his replacement ain’t all that (62 YR at home vs. the BROWNS)…

  6. DonTerrelli says: Oct 20, 2009 2:18 PM

    All because that one fumble, Willie

  7. greenngld says: Oct 20, 2009 2:42 PM

    Triryche, that is one of the dumbest posts ever. I don’t care about Parker or the Steelers, but your comments aren’t even factual. Parker had 3 seasons in a row over 1200 yards and over 4 ypc, then he got hurt. Your example of how it’s “always” been…let’s see, that averages to 2.5 ypc and if he averaged 20 carries per game…800 yards for the season. I’ll assume most Steeler fans know more about football and their players then you do.

  8. spyboots says: Oct 20, 2009 2:48 PM

    Willie got into the starting lineup the same way, with all those injuries his first year.

  9. i'm president charlie! says: Oct 20, 2009 3:00 PM

    As I continue to say….The Steelers will rotate 3 running backs all year, its a great luxury.
    Use Mend(ING)hall (pronounced according to Soloman Willcotts) early to loosen up the defense.
    Use Willie to spell Mendinghall
    Use Moore on 3rd down as well as late in games.
    I’ve been very impressed not only w/ Mendenhall’s ability to keep his legs churning, but also catch the ball out of the backfield. Something Willie Parker did not do very well.
    Any team would love to have a guy like Willie Parker as their 2nd or 3rd running back.

  10. MrMojoe says: Oct 20, 2009 3:01 PM

    Don’t worry. Parker will play when the Ravens break Mendenhalls shoulder again. He is soft.

  11. Gordon Tremeshko says: Oct 20, 2009 3:21 PM

    Steelers fans. What is your honest estimation of the Vikings? I’m sick of reading brain dead posts from Packers and Bears homers regarding my beloved team. I’d like to get the opinion of a fan from outside of the NFC central. You guys have a winning tradition, so you should have a good eye for when a team is or is not a Super Bowl contender.

  12. i'm president charlie! says: Oct 20, 2009 3:26 PM

    MrMojoetroll – soft like the Ravens defense this year? Or soft like their whiny/blame the official fans? Have fun on your bye week w/ 3 consecutive losses.

  13. Roboto says: Oct 20, 2009 3:37 PM

    I recall the Steelers putting a nice hurt on the Ratbirds runningback not too long ago. Ha!

  14. BetterThanYou says: Oct 20, 2009 3:46 PM

    “The Steelers are as healthy as they have been all season. ”
    Except for the fact that the best run-stopping DE in the NFL is on their IR list.

  15. spyboots says: Oct 20, 2009 3:53 PM

    Heinz Field is one of the hardest places to kick; Jeff has the experience there.

  16. swepsgirl18 says: Oct 20, 2009 4:15 PM

    I think Willie being “down graded” is a good/bad thing. But I have to give Rashard props. I think Tomlin can still use Willie on the pinch yards or the 1 yrd TD drives and if he fails there pass to Miller. He seems to live in the end zone. YEA!
    I’m just glad #43 is back and I look forward to seeing him play. (Our area didn’t cover the game last week) But I’m sure they will this week. Really hope we can hold the Viks. And to all the die hard Steeler fans……See ya Sunday in the black and gold!

  17. cfuska says: Oct 20, 2009 4:22 PM

    Gordon Tremeshko says:
    October 20, 2009 3:21 PM
    Steelers fans. What is your honest estimation of the Vikings? I’m sick of reading brain dead posts from Packers and Bears homers regarding my beloved team. I’d like to get the opinion of a fan from outside of the NFC central. You guys have a winning tradition, so you should have a good eye for when a team is or is not a Super Bowl contender.
    =================================
    Do I think they are a Super Bowl contender? Absolutely. Do I think this is going to be a tough game for the Steelers this week and if these two teams should meet in the SB? Absouletly. Did I believe at the beginning of the season that Favre would have this team at 5-0? Absolutely not. Do I think they have the talent to make the SB? Absolutely. Do I think they have the experience and know how to make it all the way through the post-season? Aside from Favre, no, I do not. So basically yes, they have the talent, but do they have the experience and know how. We’ll find out come January. There’s a take from one Steeler fan for you. As far as Packers and Bears fans go, the Packers are just jealous and the Bears….. well, they’re just the Bears. Should be a good matchup this week and I home my Steel City boys can pull it out.

  18. j-daddy says: Oct 20, 2009 4:29 PM

    A Steeler fans take on the Vikings . . . .
    The Vikings are a very good team, I’m not sure that they’re the class of the NFC, but they have to be in the conversation. The defense is solid, but much like the Steelers this year, I wonder about it in the fourth quarter. I think they’ll have a hard time stopping Ben and Ward and Holmes, but I also believe the Steelers will end up without a 100 yard rusher.
    At the start of the season, I wasn’t sold on Favre, but he has won games for them this year, San Francisco and against the Ravens. He’s playing well, and it certainly helps to have the best running back in football taking handoffs from you. The O-line is solid, and I like Shiancoe at TE, the Vikings should have up-graded the wideout spot a little bit in the off-season.
    Are the Vikings a Super Bowl contender? Very much so, but I think they are a step or two behind New Orleans and perhaps the New York Giants. I’d be worried about Favre breaking down in December, and Peterson is going to have to be dominant for the Vikings to get to the Super Bowl.

  19. Deb says: Oct 20, 2009 4:39 PM

    @Gordon Tremeshko …
    Spent the last few days w/my brother. We’re both diehard Steelers fans but debated the Vikes after he said he’d prefer to play them 4-6 weeks from now. Here’s the gist of our discussion:
    He believes Favre will break down in the last third of the season due to age and arm problems. I believe Favre is less likely to break down because the Vikes are a more complete team than the Jets and AP can help take pressure off Favre’s arm. He points out that, despite having AP, Favre is throwing a lot. I point out that the Vikes system works well for Favre and if he starts having arm trouble, he’ll back off the pass. He’s playing w/a lot of enthusiasm. And the Vikes have a strong defense.
    So my brother’s convinced you’re headed for a disappointing end of season. I think if Favre remains healthy and continues to play with the enthusiasm he’s shown, you’ll win your division and continue advancing until you face New Orleans. Then it’s anyone’s guess. The Saints look very good.
    All that said, if we play our game as we should Sunday, I feel confident we can hand the Vikes their first loss–but we’ll have to work for it.

  20. d.b.cooper says: Oct 20, 2009 4:49 PM

    Steeler fan here…
    The Vikes are good, but Favre won’t last. Even if he lasts, he’ll do something stupid in the end.
    The best team in the NFC is the Saints. I have a strong feeling they are going to the SB.
    Vikes BETTER get home field advantage over the Saints….that is your only chance.

  21. i'm president charlie! says: Oct 20, 2009 4:50 PM

    as a steelers fan i love how the vikings are built = a strong offensive and defensive line. vikings were a quarterback away from being a true contender and now they have one. having peterson pounding the rock takes a lot of pressure off favre, which will hopefully lead to less costly interceptions on his part. the emergence of harvin and utilization of berrian/rice/shiancoe only make the vikings more dangerous in the vertical game.
    the vikings are not just built for a dome, but built for all types of weather, which will be helpful come playoff time.
    the one area i’d worry about as a vikings fan is the secondary. the strength of their pass defense is their ability to get to the quarterback. Winfield is awesome (top 3 cornerback), but things fall off dramatically from there. if they continue to have a great pass rush they will be able to mask these weaknesses.

  22. Gordon Tremeshko says: Oct 20, 2009 5:02 PM

    Cfuska and J-daddy,
    Thanks for the input. Your opinions pretty much mirror my take on the Vikings this year. Being a Vikings fan, I’m conditioned for dissapointment, and it is interesting to see how others outside of the local market view the team’s chances.

  23. Gordon Tremeshko says: Oct 20, 2009 5:11 PM

    @ Deb, db & i’m president Charlie,
    Thanks. Great comments.
    I agree with d.b. that the Saints are the class of the conference at this point.

  24. steeltownpride says: Oct 20, 2009 5:32 PM

    Gordon
    I dont think it will be a cakewalk for either team . Both play great Defense . You have the advantage with AP . I think where the Steelers match up good is the passing game to your secondary . No Winfield this sunday will hurt alot . Along with Sharper in NO thats a big whole . Ben isnt the qb from 04 . He isnt the game manager anymore . He is the game period .
    However Ben cant throw if he is laying on his back from the pressure the Vikings will bring . So the key to this game is how the Steelers offensive line protect Ben from your D line . The best D line in football by far . Tired of hearing about the Giants and their D line .
    If Ben is running for his life like he did in Philly last season . ( Leslie F a JJ deciple) the Vikes could make it a long day for the Steelers . If the O line holds up and gives Ben time in the pocket i think he can and will carve up the Vikings DB’s . But thats alot of what of’s and could’ves .
    One thing is very clear . This will be the most physical game either team might face this season . So it should be a very good game . I would like to think the Steelers would hold homefield . So i think the Steelers win in a shootout of sorts . Like a 31-28 game . If this game was in Minn i would think the Vikes win it .

  25. Deb says: Oct 20, 2009 5:56 PM

    @ Gordon …
    I’ll be all Steelers on Sunday. But once that game is over, I’d love to see Favre & the Vikes make a SB run. And if my beloved Steelers don’t make it to Miami, and the Vikes do, I’ll cheer them on. I’d get a kick out of seeing a supposedly washed-up 40-year-old win the Lombardi. Until then, though, I’m holding out for a Steelers repeat :-)

  26. Gordon Tremeshko says: Oct 20, 2009 6:48 PM

    steeltownpride
    Here is my take. If Winfield doesn’t play, Steelers win. The Vikings pass D and even their run D suffers too much without him in their (as evidenced by the Raven’s 4th quarter passing yards). The Vikings D line can only make the difference if they can pull Big Ben down. Although he may not be quick, from what I’ve seen, he has shed many potential sacks.
    If Winfield plays, Favre gets some time and the Viking’s O line opens up some holes for AP, I think it’s a toss up. Although, I have only seen highlight’s of the Steelers games this year, so I’m not sure where your weaknesses really lie.

  27. Gordon Tremeshko says: Oct 20, 2009 6:58 PM

    @ Deb,
    If the Vikings end up don’t making a run, I’ll probably pull for the Steelers in the AFC and the Saints in the NFC. I just don’t want to see the Pats or Indy win for the AFC. I don’t have any real hatred for either of them (as I do for the Packers and Bears), I’m just sick of seeing those same two teams sitting near the top for the better part of the past decade.

  28. PervyHarvin says: Oct 20, 2009 7:03 PM

    @ Gordon –
    Good question. Was very strange getting honest input from fans outside of our division.Us NFC North fans are like crazed dogs day in and day out, handing out way more nasty smack to each other than logical football. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the daily cagematch,but was nice hearing from a teams fans that were not our bitter rivals. Thanks Pitt. fans and may the best team on this given Sunday win!
    @ Deb- That take on Favre was right on in my opinion. Favre says his arm feels better than ever. I think it’s obvious he was hurt last year. See his throws now? Awesome. And if his arm needed a lil break, we got 2 great backs(AD and Taylor) to take the pressure off. Great take!

  29. Vox's Mommy says: Oct 20, 2009 8:06 PM

    My take on the Vikes
    Solid O-line. Exceptional run blockers and average pass blockers. The best RB in the league. Favre is playing great and making good decisions. He makes average WR’s better and that’s what’s happening in Minnesota. Their WR’s aren’t anything to brag about, but Favre is getting them the ball and affording them the opportunity to make plays. You wouldn’t be doing that w/ T-Jack.
    They have the best D-line in the league and Jared Allen is an absolute beast. I think the Steelers have help over there all day in the form of a TE, or keeping Mendenhall in there to pass block. Max Starks went down in the Browns game this past week and I can’t recall if he came back in or not (I had more than my fair share of Guiness during the game). I hope he’s healthy and ready for a handful this Sunday. Their secondary is spotty, and I have to disagree Gordon that if Winfield plays the Vike’s win. Yes, he gives them a better chance, but he’s not going to decide the game by himself. He’s not in the same league as a Polamalu or Ed Reed. Like I said he gives them a better chance, but he doesn’t change a game like Polamalu.
    I don’t think AP has the same success against the Steelers D that he had against the Ravens. Even with Aaron Smith out, there will be a gameplan in order to stop AP. Whether they will be successful or not is a toss-up, but I’d put my money on it that they will. It will come down to the Steelers O-line against the Vike’s d-line, and Roethlisberger and our WR vs. the Vike’s secondary. The Steelers also have a trio of talented RB’s in the backfield to take some pressure off Ben. All 3 have different styles and I love the luxury of having all 3 (speed-Willie, power-Mendenhall, elusiveness and hands-Moore).
    We could all go on all day about this game, it’s a big one. How this didn’t get primetime status is beyond me. I’m definetely happy we are playing at Heinz Field. It’s a rough turf there and, even though I don’t think the Vikes are a team that has trouble outdoors, that field always favors the Steelers. It’s going to be a great one not only for Steelers and Vikes fans, but for anyone fortunate enough to be able to watch it. I wouldn’t doubt a potentially high-scoring affair.

  30. PervyHarvin says: Oct 20, 2009 10:20 PM

    @ Vox’sMommy -Nice take. Would argue some points. Our receiver Sydney Rice is really getting his groove. Not fast,but can jump like freak. Favre always goes to him if he is left one on one.Steelers best not overlook him. Or TE Shiancoe either. I really don’t agree with thinking Polamalu or Reed stands above Winfield.They are great,don’t get me wrong,but Winfield changes every game for us. When receivers or runningbacks make it to the second level,he is a NFL tackling machine. I believe Rice would have got mowed down by Twon’ instead of embarrassing us last Sunday.
    LOL We could go on and on like you said. Be a great game. I think the biggest single factors is home field advantage and Ben attacking a young secondary. Honestly think you wouldn’t win at our dome. Will be tough for us to win there. Glad AD loves grass lol

  31. Gordon Tremeshko says: Oct 20, 2009 11:30 PM

    All good takes. For the record, I didn’t mean that if Windfield plays the Vikes will win. I said if Winfield does not play, the Steelers will almost certainly win. If Winfield does play, the Vikes have a shot.

  32. this class sucks says: Oct 21, 2009 2:19 AM

    Gordon Tremeshko
    The Vikings can win the SB IF Favre can stay healthy (and I guess the rest of the team) but if Favre can stay healthy than this is a deep playoff team if he goes down late and there is a scramble to get Sage or Jackson in there it might be tough to win that first playoff game.
    As far as this game is concerned the Steelers match up pretty well with the Pats, Troy is good at shutting down the deep ball and they shut down the run, but this could easily be one of those games where Jared Allen walks into 2 or 3 sacks. I think it will be very close I hate to pick anyone over the Steelers so I wont (24-21 Steelers is my guess) but I am a Steelers fan so take that into consideration.

  33. This is not news says: Oct 21, 2009 8:25 PM

    Favre on the qweens vs the Steelers….hmmm…can I be the only one hoping for a 0-0 tie game where both qbs throw 5 interceptions each and break their thumbs?

  34. Vox's Mommy says: Oct 22, 2009 12:40 AM

    this is not news….yeah, you probably are the only one that stupid.

  35. Steelerz4eva says: Oct 24, 2009 2:30 PM

    i never understood how people called him soft.

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