Mewelde Moore Could Put Willie Parker Out of a Job

Eddie RossellCorrespondent INovember 11, 2008

"Fast" Willie Parker is exactly what his nickname states: fast. He has been to the Pro Bowl twice in his four-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and has the record for the longest run in Super Bowl history of 75 yards. He was the Steelers MVP in 2005 and helped lead his team to a Super Bowl victory in that same season.

But "Fast Willie" has not played in at least four games so far this year and has been a tremendous loss for a team that has been riddled with injuries, especially at the running back position.

First round pick Rashard Mendenhall was supposed to carry the load with Parker out, but an injury ended his season. This left Carey Davis, a fullback, to take the starting role, only until he too was injured.

Enter Mewelde Moore. He was once our fourth-string running back and is now a starter. He has not started over Willie Parker, just in place of him, but he has been a great boost for the offense.

Utilized more in the return and passing game rather than rushing, Moore was a little underappreciated when he was with the Vikings. He had potential, and Mike Tomlin saw it while coaching in Minnesota, which is probably why the Steelers picked him up. And he has a been one tremendous backup, out-rushing Parker after both have had four starts.

In Willie Parker's four starts, he has 333 yards on 87 attempts for a 3.8 yards per carry average and four touchdowns. But Willie did not catch any passes during that time.

In Moore's four starts this season, he has 377 yards on 93 attempts for a 4.1 yards per carry average and five touchdowns. Mewelde has also been bigger in the passing attack than Parker has. He has caught 22 passes for 171 yards and a score.

The numbers also cannot show how much better of a runner Mewelde seems to be than Parker. Willie tries to run up the middle when he should bounce it to the outside and try to get around the corner, where his speed can flourish.

Moore seems to know exactly what kind of runs he should make, quick cuts to both the inside and outside that result in nice gains for the offense. One will often see Mewelde Moore exploding through holes and picking up first downs.

He has a little bit of power, but not much, considering that goal line stand the Colts had against the Steelers when he ran it up the gut three straight times and was stuffed all three times.

Honestly, I have no qualms about letting Mewlede Moore be the premier back in Pittsburgh. If he is going to produce more than Parker and help the Steelers get to the Super Bowl, then I would not have a problem with him taking over the starting role.

I think that if Mewelde Moore continues to play great and even improves, he could have a future with the Steelers.