The Pittsburgh Steelers officially released running back Najeh Davenport on Saturday. Davenport was affectionately known as “The Dump Truck” in reference to the infamous incident where he was arrested for pooping in a coed’s closet. Najeh, not to be confused with Giants defensive end Usi Umenyiora, who enjoys pooping on hookers instead of Jimmy Choo sandals, rushed for a career high 499 yards last season and 720 in total over his two year career with the Steelers.
This move should come as no surprise to members of Steeler Nation. Davenport sealed his fate when superstar RB Willie Parker went down with a broken leg late last year. Dookie had a good game against the hapless St. Louis Rams but did, ahem, squat in his final two games and the playoff debacle against Jacksonville.
More importantly, Davenport repeatedly proved incapable of performing in the role the Steelers envisioned for him. For years and years, short yardage situations were an easy conversion with big backs like Bam Morris and then Jerome Bettis barreling ahead. Since the Bus went into the garage, Davenport was looked on to fill that role. Despite good size and serviceable speed, he showed time and time again he wasn’t up to banging ahead for that tough yard or two when needed. If anybody here has ever scratched their head wondering why the Steelers were running quarterback draws or laterals to the flat on third and 2 or fourth and goal from the one foot line, there’s your answer.
Davenport signed a contract extension last season increasing his pay (and cap hit) to about $1 million this year. With the free agent signing of Mewelde Moore, who will assume the role of third-down/pass catching back as well as return kicks, and the drafting of first round stud Rashard Mendenhall, who will be our new big bruising wrecking ball, there was really nothing left for Davenport to contribute.
I’ll miss the Dump Truck. Not just because telling the story about the coed’s closet will never get old. Because I was really hoping he’d eventually do something notable or praise-worthy so it wouldn’t be the only thing he was ever known for. Let’s face it, how would you like to be forever associated with a stupid thing you did back in college?
I mean, who DOESN’T do crazy stuff in college? I was a nerd who went to a nerd school and I still did a few shameful things. Nothing as bad as taking a shit on a sorority girl’s cardigan but there was an incident involving a bathtub, a Pirate Parrot costume, and a beer bong which I know I wouldn’t want plastered all over the morning sports page…