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Thread: Staley takes high road on inactivity

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Staley takes high road on inactivity

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06257/721683-66.stm

    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Duce Staley does not understand why the Steelers keep signing running backs to try to do a job he feels fully capable of handling.

    One week ago, it was undrafted rookie Patrick Cobbs, acquired in a trade with New England. Now, it's veteran Najeh Davenport, signed off the scrap heap Friday after Green Bay released him.

    "It's part of the business," Staley said yesterday after practice. "I can't really sit here and say I've never seen it before because I have. It's part of the business, and that's something that's going to be done whether I like it or not."

    All he wants, he said, is the chance to show he can still cut it at age 31. It's something, he said, he cannot do in practice. He says he still has the zip in his legs required for a successful running back in the NFL.

    "Oh, yeah, I know I do; I know I do. It's all about opportunity, to get in there and prove that. You and I can sit here and talk about it back and forth forever, but, until you get a chance to get out there on the field in real live action with the first team, you won't know.

    "In practice, you work on angles, you work on plays that you're trying to put in for that week, but, as far as going against the first team all-out, we're not going to do that. We're not going to have the type of practice we're going to have in camp. Only games can simulate that, therefore you won't be able to prove that in practice."

    Staley agreed in March to take a $1 million cut in salary to $1.5 million this season. Once he was on the roster for the first game, he was on their books to make his entire salary in 2006 no matter what. Yet the Steelers, by their very actions and sometimes words, show they do not think he is the man to fill the role vacated when Jerome Bettis retired: Backup to starter Willie Parker with some running on the goal line thrown in.

    They signed Davenport, who stands 6 feet 1 and weighs 247 pounds, to do that job.

    "He's a proven big back," coach Bill Cowher said Tuesday. "We were kind of looking for that. ... Looking at our football team, the ability to get Najeh and what he's done, I've watched him play and I think he fits what we're looking for."

    Staley rushed for 707 yards in his first seven games with the Steelers in 2004. He missed most of last season after knee surgery, but helped them win their game against Green Bay with 76 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries after Parker was hurt in the first quarter.

    The coaches counted on him handling the Bettis role this season, but were disappointed with his training camp practices. Cowher gave Staley by far more runs than anyone in preseason games, 42 compared to John Kuhn's No. 2 rank at 18. Staley gained 92 yards (2.2 average) with a long run of 6 yards.

    He made it into one play Thursday against Miami as a blocker in the backfield on a pass. Cowher said Davenport could dress Monday night, which would leave Staley inactive in all likelihood.

    "I'm not here to sit and talk bad about it or say anything bad about it," Staley said, promising he will cause no problems. "What I am here to do is help my teammates win. Having a negative attitude won't get the job done. So I'm going to stay positive, and things will work themselves out."
    IF nothing else you can never say he's not a team player.

  2. #2
    Living Legend Steelersfan's Avatar
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    I would have liked to have seen him get a few carries against the Fins. Granted he didn't run well in the preseason but I believe part of that is the way our line was playing then.

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    The Absolute Truth Koopa's Avatar
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    those are words of a man that is satisfied....he had plenty chances to prove he can do it in preseason and he flopped....right now he just likes the free checks..
    "SA, it's more than a FEVER it's an ADDICTION" -BlacknGold Bleeder

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    Living Legend Steelersfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koopa
    those are words of a man that is satisfied....he had plenty chances to prove he can do it in preseason and he flopped....right now he just likes the free checks..
    He also wasn't playing behind the best line during the preseason either. He had some runs where he never had a chance and some others where he should have gotten more yards. That's why I would like to see him in a game that matters with our starting line to see how he does. If he sucks then cut the guy already.

  5. #5
    AZ_Steeler's Avatar
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    I would be satisfied too if I was getting 1.5 million for the season and not having to take any hits

    I would really like to see the Steelers give Staley an opportunity in a game situation, to see what he has left in the tank. He is a team player though, I'll give him that.

  6. #6
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    As much as we are all pissed off at Staley for his lack of performance either because of injury or not taking advantage of the opportunities he's had since then...I too would like to see what he's got left when he's behind our starters now the regular season is under way.

  7. #7
    Top 30 Friday133's Avatar
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    i wouldn't mind seeing staley get some carries, but its got to be hard to spread the ball around that much.

  8. #8
    Steelerlyn's Avatar
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    Man, he is so deep in the dog house that a guy they signed last week after he was released by Green Bay (possibly the worst team in the league) is ahead of him on the depth chart. Cowher must really be fed up with the Duce.
    Peace & Yours in Black 'N Gold,

    Lyn

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