The Steelers recently saw a former backup running back arrested for graffiti. This is not the first legal issue with a Steelers backup RB. Not even close.
So if you’ve been looking up Steelers news over the past week, which I’m sure all of you have with everything going on now, you might have heard Baron Batch had recently been arrested or vandalism and graffiti. Steelers backup RB gets in trouble with law. If you’re like me, that sentence causes some deja vu to set in.
There’s good reason for that. It’s because it’s happened many times before. This deja vu prompted an investigation and it turns out that if you’ve ever been a backup running back for the Steelers, you may be cursed.
On June 30th the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Baron Batch had been arrested on counts of criminal mischief and other relatively minor charges. This is the incident that inspired this terrible list. He apparently had sprayed graffiti along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.
After leaving the Steelers and getting year in with the Colts in 2014 Jonathan Dwyer, as reported by ESPN as having been called to his home and he was arrested for assault, including of a minor, among other things. The bail was set at $25,000. Though the charges were later dropped it was plenty enough to end his NFL career.
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Rainey was a kick returner/change of pace back. The early Dri Archer. Didn’t work out for different reasons. Like Dwyer, Rainey was an assault that involved a female. Like Dwyer, Rainey quickly lost his job. Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com quoted Kevin Colbert saying, “Chris Rainey’s actions this morning were extremely disappointing. Under the circumstances and due to this conduct, Chris will no longer be a member of the Steelers.”
Yep. You already know about this one. Blount and Le’Veon Bell were apparently driving to the airport when they were pulled over and were later charged with marijuana possession according to the Associated Press. It didn’t turn out as bad as it could have for Bell but Blount added the straw that broke the camel’s back when he walked off the field during the game. The Steelers let him walk to Boston.
Davenport ran afoul of the law for incident involving, you guessed it, violence and women and children as reported by Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Unlike all the other Steelers on this list he went to trial and was found not guilty on all counts by a jury. Regardless, that’s enough to make this list.
These aren’t the only unfortunate incidents involving a Steelers running back, backup or otherwise. These are just the legal ones. And only those of backup running backs too. But we already discussed Le’Veon Bell.
But Mendenhall had that early retirement. He also had an incident where he lost an endorsement with Champion after appearing to tweet about 9/11 conspiracies. Willie Parker went from the Pro Bowl to out of the NFL in the span of a couple years.
Also, consider the following. Isaac Redman had a career ending spinal cord injury. Former Pitt running back LaRod Stephens-Howling returned home after 4 seasons with the Cardinals and before it even gets going he tears his ACL and career over.
Let’s also keep in mind this is only of incidents that happened while a player was with the Steelers or after he left. So Mewelde Moore being involved in the Vikings “Party Boat” incident didn’t count. There are others if you care to Google it.
As impressive as the original list is in terms of legal issues for backup running backs during or after they were with the Steelers, there are many qualifiers on this list. If we were to expand this to unfortunate incidents involving all Steelers running backs this would be a much longer list.
It’s certainly a trend. Is it an unlucky coincidence? Possibly. Are the Steelers as an organizations to blame? Probably not. But it’s odd. And it’s there. So it’s being pointed out. I’m not a superstitious fella myself but make of it what you will.
In case you were wondering, Duce Staley appears to be relatively health and well adjusted.