In addition to addressing recent off-field incidents, Mike Tomlin's press conference yesterday served to confirm what many have already known: Willie Parker has been relegated to second on the Steelers' depth chart, behind Rashard Mendenhall.
Some are already penning Willie's obituary, following the rationale that being the #2 will mean a reduction in production. And while I'm not ready to ascribe the "1a and 1b" label to the Steelers' backfield situation, situational is just what the RB is likely to be from here on out. My guess: Mendenhall will be a slightly less than every-down-back, with FWP spelling him and/or returning to service when it strikes Arians' fancy. Let's not forget that Melwelde Moore has displayed the best hands out of the backfield as well, meaning The Steelers are likely to employ the bane of Fantasy Football Fans everywhere: The Running Back by Committee approach.
I cursory glance around the AFC shows many of the top-tier teams doing the same. Consider Buckhalter/Moreno in Denver, Addai/Brown in Indy, the Jets' tandem of Washington/Jones and until recently whatever you want to call Belicheat's approach in New England. As defenses vary their coverage schemes it is in our best interest to vary our personnel to oppose them, no?
What's more, recall that Willie did some of his best work in 2005, his break-out year, sharing time with Jerome Bettis.
Listen, I'm not advocating this approach, merely denoting it and the fact that we are quite fortunate to have two and a half relatively healthy capable backs, definitely a (quick-) step up on much of the competition.