There have been many comments about what the long term plan is for the RB position. This has included "trading FWP," "making Mendenhall the #1," etc. I think that the Front Office looked at the RB position prior to the draft for one reason and one reason only...they know that the average life of an NFL RB is 5 years and this is FWP's 5th year. My thoughts on this go as follows:
1. FWP is going no where this year. He is a proven starter and more improtant a high character player and team mate that the Steelers value.
2. Mendenhall will be brought along slowly. He will not replace FWP as the starter this season unless FWP is hurt. He will slowly evolve as the primary 3rd down back as the season goes on.
3. Moore will start the season as the 3rd down back, but by the end of the season this will be Mendenhall's role. At this point he will exclusively a returner.
4. Russell will not get many chances this season until the second half of the season. When Moore becomes exclusively a returner, Russell will start to dress and team with Mendenhall to give the Steelers a big backfield late in games to beat down the opponents. If Russell can prove he can block then he may displace Davis which would accelerate his entry into the backfield.
1. Odd man out come next season will be Moore. Mendenhall will make his 3rd down role obsolete.
2. Parker will not be traded and will play out his current contract which is good value.
3. The #1 and #2 of the future will be Mendenhall and Russell.
Just my thoughts because I'm really bored waiting for camp to start.