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I-Want-Troy's-Hair
09-11-2006, 11:06 PM
Monitor him? They need to get another back in there to help him out. Parker is good but he's not 29 carries a game good if they want him to last 16+ weeks....We don't want to get him killed.

Willie Parker reported to Heinz Field for the 2006 NFL regular-season opener dressed more for his vacation than his vocation, right down to the shades he sported in the locker room.

But Parker also showed up with a purpose.

"I looked in the closet and was like, 'Well, we play Miami, and I want to end up in Miami,'" he said. "So I put on my clothes like I was going to the beach.

"Everybody was like, 'Willie, we ain't in Miami.' I said, 'We're going to be there.'"

The Steelers took their first step toward Super Bowl XLI in February at Dolphins Stadium by beating the Miami Dolphins, 28-17, last Thursday night.

The win was inspiring for a number of reasons, from the Steelers' fourth-quarter rally to the relatively seamless fashion in which Charlie Batch replaced Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.

Parker contributed 115 yards rushing, but it took him 29 carries, which concerned, as well as pleased, coach Bill Cowher.

"We'll need to make sure we monitor how much we're using this kid," Cowher said, "because he's not a big kid."

The Steelers entered the season with running backs Verron Haynes and Duce Staley, who made a brief appearance against Miami, on the roster. Fifth-year pro Najeh Davenport was added to the mix the day after the season opener.

"We're going to need Duce down the road," Cowher said prior to the acquisition of Davenport.

Parker, 5-foot-10 and 209 pounds, exudes confidence as a third-year pro, but even he isn't sure if he could absorb such a pounding on a regular basis.

"Every game?" Parker said. "I don't know, man."

At 6-foot-1 and 247 pounds, Davenport has more size than Parker or Patrick Cobbs (5-9, 210), the player released to make room for Davenport on the roster.

Davenport also has a career average of 4.9 yards per carry in the NFL, but he carried just 217 times in four seasons while complementing speed runner Ahman Green in the Green Bay backfield.

"It was my team, but it was A.G.'s show," Davenport said.

Davenport played just eight games as a rookie in 2002 before sustaining a season-ending eye injury.

He missed one game in 2003 (wrist, hamstring), five in 2004 (shoulder, hamstring) and 11 last season (broken ankle).

The Packers re-signed him as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but released him after Davenport averaged 2.7 yards per carry in the preseason.

"We got a new system, a new coach," Davenport said. "I came to work every day. I wasn't in their plans, I guess.

"I run hard and I play hard. You're going to get hurt. This is a contact sport, a violent contact sport. Unless you're out there with battle armor on, you're going to get nicks and bruises, and I got a couple of them."

Davenport said he drew interest from Dallas and Miami upon being released, but he signed with the Steelers in part because of their appreciation for big backs, such as the recently retired Jerome Bettis.

Davenport hopes to learn the offense well enough to suit up Monday night in Jacksonville.

"That's the plan," he said. "I'm ecstatic. Whatever they want me to do, fullback, running back, special teams. I think they brought me in to exemplify some of the things they've been missing that 'The Bus' brought. I have jitters now. This is what I do."

MattsMe
09-11-2006, 11:11 PM
The title of this thread made me think Willie was hurt!

I love the idea of him showing up to the game dressed like that though. Good article.

SteelShooter
09-11-2006, 11:34 PM
That's cool!

Already trying to motivate his teammates. I really respect that!

Midnightwriter07
09-12-2006, 04:19 AM
Myabe the singing of Davenport will show Staley that he isnt needed for short yardage situations and he will get his wieght down and that being a porky asss isnt necessary.. then at week 8 Staley will look like a new man and he will be used in the second half of season.

clevestinks
09-12-2006, 05:19 AM
Willie is going to be great. His speed is almost unmatched at the RB position. He does need Haynes and now Davenport to take some of the big hits on short yardage though. Although a third and one with Willie in the game, could go sweep to the outside for one he has the speed. Or Willie in the game and Krider for the first down, they wouldn`t see that coming!

HometownGal
09-12-2006, 07:13 AM
Cowher is right here - expecting Willie to do it all is asking too much of this kid. Bringing in Davenport was a smart move and they still have Haynes, both of whom have speed and can be used in the short yardage situations. If the Steelers decide to keep Duce, they can work him into the mix once in a while as well. I think the acquisition of Davenport was a genius move as long as he can stay off of the injury report.

Midnightwriter07
09-12-2006, 08:01 AM
Cowher is right here - expecting Willie to do it all is asking too much of this kid. Bringing in Davenport was a smart move and they still have Haynes, both of whom have speed and can be used in the short yardage situations. If the Steelers decide to keep Duce, they can work him into the mix once in a while as well. I think the acquisition of Davenport was a genius move as long as he can stay off of the injury report.


yes yes and yes

Lyn
09-12-2006, 08:10 AM
For almost a decade Warrick Dunn has gotten alot of touches a game and he is 180lbs soak'en wet. Tiki Barber is the same weight as Willie and he pounds the rock, 20-30 times weather it's rushes or reception. I'm tired of everybody, right down to the coaches, cutting Willie short.This is something other backs his size have been doing without any problems.
If anything the lack of play time in college, I feel, is a plus for Willie's body with all the pounding that he missed.

floodcitygirl
09-12-2006, 08:19 AM
For almost a decade Warrick Dunn has gotten alot of touches a game and he is 180lbs soak'en wet. Tiki Barber is the same weight as Willie and he pounds the rock, 20-30 times weather it's rushes or reception. I'm tired of everybody, right down to the coaches, cutting Willie short.This is something other backs his size have been doing without any problems.
If anything the lack of play time in college, I feel, is a plus for Willie's body with all the pounding that he missed.Interesting point Lyn....but I don't know. If Willie isn't even sure that he can take it...???? Davenport sounds like he has a great attitude...let's hope he stays well.

Lyn
09-12-2006, 08:22 AM
Consider this about Davenport. The packers cut him (IMHO) becasue they didn't feel he could stand up to the punishment of an every down back. We signed him (IMHO) to carry the ball around 4 times a game, on a good night.

He may end up more durable as a short yardage - limited carry back.

Or not. We'll see. Low risk, low reward type signing to me.

Any back should carry anywhere from 20-23 times a game, on a good day.

Mosca
09-12-2006, 08:40 AM
Consider this about Davenport. The packers cut him (IMHO) becasue they didn't feel he could stand up to the punishment of an every down back. We signed him (IMHO) to carry the ball around 4 times a game, on a good night.

He may end up more durable as a short yardage - limited carry back.

Or not. We'll see. Low risk, low reward type signing to me.

Any back should carry anywhere from 20-23 times a game, on a good day.

I know where you're coming from Lyn, but I have to ask, although a back can do that, are the Steelers (or any team) a better team if they do it? Or is a team overall more effective by having two backs, with different styles, staying fresh for the whole game and the whole season? 20 carries a game I can see; but 30, that's a lot.

There isn't that much talent to go around, that every team can have that combination IMO. Which is probably part of the reason Barber and Dunn have carried the load they have. If the Steelers can have that competitive talent advantage then they should, I think.

I don't see Davenport's injuries as the "non-durable" type; an eye injury and a broken ankle are more bad luck injuries that could take down anyone. I'd be more worried if he was pulling a groin muscle every 3rd game.

I think this might turn out really well. I know we all hope so.


Tom

HometownGal
09-12-2006, 08:49 AM
Consider this about Davenport. The packers cut him (IMHO) becasue they didn't feel he could stand up to the punishment of an every down back. We signed him (IMHO) to carry the ball around 4 times a game, on a good night.

He may end up more durable as a short yardage - limited carry back.

Or not. We'll see. Low risk, low reward type signing to me.

Any back should carry anywhere from 20-23 times a game, on a good day.

I think his history of injuries may play into the reasoning behind the Pack cutting Davenport and favoring Ahman Green, though he has a propensity for injury, too. I agree with you that at least for the present time, Davenport will be used sparingly every game but his contributions could be key on third down. He also can be used for that quick dump off pass - he does have good speed (and that, of course, will depend on how well his ankle has healed).

Many teams have adopted the two back attack which cuts back on that 20-23 carries per game for those RBs, works well for most teams who incorporate it into their offensive schemes, but screws us FF junkies - LOL! :dang: The Broncs were one of the first teams recently to go with the two back attack and it has worked in their favor. If the Steelers choose to utilize both Parker and Davenport in this fashion, it could be a huge bonus, imho.

Lyn
09-12-2006, 08:57 AM
A rb is expected to carry 20-23 times, if it is too much for him, he probably should not be on the team. Willie carried at least 30 times in the Miami game. That is way to much.

X-Terminator
09-12-2006, 09:02 AM
A rb is expected to carry 20-23 times, if it is too much for him, he probably should not be on the team.

Try telling that to Larry Johnson, who split carries with Priest Holmes prior to last season. Or Tatum Bell, who split carries with Reuben Droughns and Mike Anderson the past 2 seasons. I think both those guys are pretty good.

Mosca
09-12-2006, 09:04 AM
He also can be used for that quick dump off pass....

Hehe. I'm sure he could handle it without straining.


Tom

Lyn
09-12-2006, 09:05 AM
Try telling that to Larry Johnson, who split carries with Priest Holmes prior to last season. Or Tatum Bell, who split carries with Reuben Droughns and Mike Anderson the past 2 seasons. I think both those guys are pretty good.

Your point is?

83-Steelers-43
09-12-2006, 09:07 AM
I know where you're coming from Lyn, but I have to ask, although a back can do that, are the Steelers (or any team) a better team if they do it? Or is a team overall more effective by having two backs, with different styles, staying fresh for the whole game and the whole season? 20 carries a game I can see; but 30, that's a lot.

There isn't that much talent to go around, that every team can have that combination IMO. Which is probably part of the reason Barber and Dunn have carried the load they have. If the Steelers can have that competitive talent advantage then they should, I think.

I don't see Davenport's injuries as the "non-durable" type; an eye injury and a broken ankle are more bad luck injuries that could take down anyone. I'd be more worried if he was pulling a groin muscle every 3rd game.

I think this might turn out really well. I know we all hope so.


Tom

Personally, I don't care how many times Davenport carries the ball. Do as your told by our coaching staff, do it successfully and all is good in my book. Parker proved to me that he's capable of playing a whole game, but we don't want that occuring for 16 games or more this season.

Davenport was brought here to give Willie a break while breaking down the opposing teams defense late in the game. That's why we brought him in and I believe he will be successful in doing so. Jerome Bettis was in the same situation last year and he didn't touch the ball over 17 times in any of the games he played last season. Like Bettis later in his career, Najeh was brought in for a certain job. I don't see the problem here, but maybe that's just me?

As for his injuries, I was concerned about his injury problems, but when I looked back at the type of injuries which occured, it's not as big of a deal to me. Rather hear about a broken bone than a couple of pulls and tears.

HometownGal
09-12-2006, 09:07 AM
Try telling that to Larry Johnson, who split carries with Priest Holmes prior to last season. Or Tatum Bell, who split carries with Reuben Droughns and Mike Anderson the past 2 seasons. I think both those guys are pretty good.

Exactly the point I was trying to make. The day of the solo back doing it all is little by little becoming a thing of the past. If a team can utilize two backs during a game/season and that combo is working in their favor, I say you go with it. If the Steelers can do the same with Parker and Davenport, it is quite the bonus.

X-Terminator
09-12-2006, 09:25 AM
Your point is?

You said that a back is expected to get 20-23 carries a game, and if he couldn't handle it, then he probably shouldn't be on the team. I gave you two examples of good backs who didn't get a whole lot of carries the past two seasons, or in the case of LJ, after an injury to the starter (Holmes). By your logic, both Bell and LJ should have been cut because they didn't get a lot of carries, despite their obvious talent.

24seven
09-12-2006, 09:36 AM
I look at it like this.. Tikki Barber.. Bout the size of Parker if not smaller.. Not sure if you guys watched the Giants play the Colts but that little sum bitch is one tuff rb.. If he can do it.. Parker can do it.. I feel Parkers got the speed and strength to do 30 carries a game if needed.. Until you hear him complain or get hurt i'm not the least concerned.. Willy is plenty physical for his size....

83-Steelers-43
09-12-2006, 09:46 AM
Until you hear him complain or get hurt i'm not the least concerned.. Willy is plenty physical for his size....

The problem is, if you wait until he get's hurt, where does that leave you? That's why you bring in a back like Davenport to take some of the wear and tear off Parker. You also don't want Parker worn out by week 13.

ARKIESTEEL
09-12-2006, 09:48 AM
The problem is, if you wait until he get's hurt, where does that leave you? That's why you bring in a back like Davenport to take some of the wear and tear off Parker. You also don't want Parker worn out by week 13.

Amen preach on brother man you got it right

HometownGal
09-12-2006, 09:56 AM
I look at it like this.. Tikki Barber.. Bout the size of Parker if not smaller.. Not sure if you guys watched the Giants play the Colts but that little sum bitch is one tuff rb.. If he can do it.. Parker can do it.. I feel Parkers got the speed and strength to do 30 carries a game if needed.. Until you hear him complain or get hurt i'm not the least concerned.. Willy is plenty physical for his size....

I get what you're saying 24seven, but Tiki has been around the league a lot longer than Parker - this is Willie's first season going solo. If Cowher and Wiz can take some of the pressure off of Willie, it can only benefit the TEAM, which is the ultimate goal here. Using two capable RBs can also possibly lower the risk of injury to one or the other and not wear them down as quickly. Why wait until he gets hurt to lessen his load? If Davenport can come in and contribute effectively, as I have said - we're ahead of the game and it gives our O even more versatility.

Tankus_Maximus
09-12-2006, 09:58 AM
I agree with just about everybody on this post. If Willie wants to be the feature back he's gonna have those games where he has to get the rock almost 30 times a game (until Ben gets back I hope). But gettin Davenport, with Haynes & Duce is only a plus. I really wanna see Duce get some reps, he's been the biggest free agent acquisition in a while and I'd like to see the guy earn his coin.

Atlanta Dan
09-12-2006, 10:16 AM
The Steelers guessed wrong on fat Duce - some players might have been motivated to get in shape this past offseason with a possibility of more playing time, but Duce apparently has enough $$$ in the bank from the contract he signed in 2004 and has no inclination to get in shape.

Had the Steelers known then what they know now, I assume we would not have drafted 2 WRs (one of whom did not even dress last week) with the first 3 draft picks.

At some point Parker will miss a game - the absence of any current viable alternatives as an every down back (Haynes is a nice guy but for whatever reason Cowher is not inclined to make him the go to short yardage back) may really hurt.

Midnightwriter07
09-12-2006, 12:42 PM
Interesting point on Reid, 3rd round pick who didnt dress ... I have no idea how they are going to use him and in what capacity.. I thought would be him and Holmes doing all of the return duties.. I wonder if he will be inactive all year

19ward86
09-12-2006, 02:03 PM
30 carries is a little too many, but i think he is a guy that deserves to get the ball about 325 times. when playing the dolphins he proved to me that he is completely different than how he was last year, he still uses speed but (no offense to LT) he reminds me of LT. and im serious, he has that presence to him, the presence of an elite back.

Black@Gold Forever32
09-12-2006, 04:10 PM
Ok I like the Dookie signing. The Steelers do need depth at RB. But for the worries of Fast Willie wearing down due to having 29 carries a game is alittle silly. Just think for a minute when Priest Holmes was carrying the rock in his prime with the Chiefs. He isn't that much heavier then Willie Parker. I think Willie weighs around 209. I think Holmes was around in 213-15 range. So Willie will be fine if he does get more carries in games. So I think this whole big back issue is overrated.

But I don't have a problem with the Dookie signing and saving Fast Willie's legs for the playoffs. That is a good idea. Just trying to say that I think some fans totally overrate and worry to much not having a big back.