Cincinnati Bengals Claim Former Steeler Gary Russell

The Bengal ThingContributor IApril 17, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Running back Gary Russell #33 of the Pittsburgh Steelers pushes down kicker Neil Rackers #1 of the Arizona Cardinals durng a kick return in Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

According to Geoff Hobson of bengals.com in this article:

"Cincinnati picked running back Gary Russell off waivers Friday after he played in 15 games last season, including the postseason, and had five rushing touchdowns. The 5'11", 215-pound Russell was cut Thursday when the Steelers re-signed backup quarterback Charlie Batch."

This is a great move for the Bengals. Gary Russell will not be a dominant back this year and will only provide some breaks for Cedric Benson, but he will likely get the ball in some short-yardage situations and also be a valuable assist in special teams.

And with the loss of former KR Glen Holt, Russell will likely compete with WR Andre Caldwell for kick return duties. In my opinion, this is hugely beneficial because Caldwell needs to stay injury-free in order to make his mark with quarterback Carson Palmer.

Russell will also provide the Bengals some security. With Cedric Benson still a bit of a question mark and only signed to a two-year deal, the Bengals are still looking for "the guy" of the future, and Russell can add valuable competition to the mix and possibly step up and be the feature back if need be.

But the best thing to come from this pickup is a decrease in the likelihood that the Bengals select a RB with the sixth overall pick of the draft. I will not even begin to detail why that is such a ridiculous consideration.

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