Just because Bill Cowher won't say it, doesn't mean I won't: Duce Staley's job is in jeopardy. As Staley has lumbered about practice and games looking like a pregnant elephant, the Jerome Bettis departure has loomed over the short-yardage back situation all summer, casting a dark shadow that threatens to rain on what has traditionally been the team's great strength.
The old Duce would work just great about now.
With Staley not looking like the short-yardage bowling ball the Steelers hoped he could become, the options near the goal line look grim. Verron Haynes may be asked to do some of that work, but he's already expected to shoulder more carries in an expanded role, and he hasn't been an elite down and distance runner yet in his career.
What to do? The Steelers only have a couple options. They can go with Duce and hope that he works himself into an effective football player. That looks like wishcasting, but with few alternatives at this point, it might be what we see for now. The other option is to trade for a bruiser near the goal line. Could the answer be... Jared Lorenzen? Pretty far-fetched, but if Staley doesn't get things going, something's gotta give.
What are your thoughts on the down and distance running back situation? Can Staley get it going? Who's your choice to fill the Bus's formidable goal line shoes?