I've got to disagree with much of what has been written here. If this year has taught us anything it's you can never have too many RBs. Trading Willie would be assinine. Especially if you are counting on an unproven Mendenhall taking up his slack. I would really like to annoit Mendy as a great RB but he hasn't shown that so far ... not that he has had much of a chance. So going into next year we still don't know what we have in Mendy.
My question with Willie is why are they constantly using him to run up the middle? Isn't he the type of guy you want to get into space? Why aren't they throwing him the flares and screens out of the backfield like they used to early in his career? I agree that he is still not healthy but he seems to me to be hitting the hole harder than he has his entire career ... and please don't blame our short yardage failures on Willie. We are last in the league in 3rd and 1/4th and 1 situations and we've tried every running back on the roster. Face it, our line sucks in that situation. I mean when it's 4th and goal at the 1 and your right tackle just falls over without hitting someone you aren't going to have a lot of success no matter who runs the ball. Which in that case it was Russell, not Willie.
Now MM has to be one of the best free agent signings this team has ever had. He reminds me of an old Steeler, Preston Pearson. Pearson was uncanny coming out of the backfield on 3rd down and making a catch for the first. Unfortunately the Steelers let him go to the Cowboys where he had the majority of his success. I think MM is the reason Ben now is comfortable checking down on the pass.
I say they stick with the 3-headed monster except throw a little more to Willie, run a little more with MM and use Russell exclusively in the short yardage.