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83-Steelers-43
11-19-2006, 07:19 AM
Head to Head: A closer look at the game within the game
Steelers RB Willie Parker vs. Browns OLB Willie McGinest
Sunday, November 19, 2006

By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Not too many people in Cleveland could have been surprised if they saw Willie Parker have two runs of more than 70 yards against the New Orleans Saints.

Parker had a similar 80-yard run for a touchdown in Cleveland Browns Stadium a year ago, an exclamation point of what was a 41-0 Steelers victory on Christmas Eve. It was one of five runs of 25 yards or longer for Parker in 2005, not including his game-changing 75-yard touchdown run in the Super Bowl.

Parker, the National Football League's No. 4 rusher with 847 yards, has six runs of 25 yards or more this season, highlighted by his jaunts of 72 and 76 yards in a seven-play span against the Saints a week ago. He became only the second back in franchise history to have two runs of 70 or more yards in the same game, joining John "Frenchy" Fuqua, who had touchdown runs of 85 and 72 yards in a Dec. 20, 1970 game in Philadelphia.

"Fast Willie, he is fast," Browns coach Romeo Crennel said. "He did 80 yards against us last year. We know he can go the distance. We're going to have to be at our best for every play that he has the ball in his hands if we expect to slow him down."

That, though, is the paradox facing the Browns (3-6) today in their meeting with the Steelers.

Their defense has been tailored to protect a secondary that will be without their top three cornerbacks -- Gary Baxter and Daylon McCutcheon, who each have had season-ending injuries; and Leigh Bodden, who is not expected to play because of ankle injuries. The result: The Browns have allowed only eight touchdown passes -- third fewest in the AFC -- and rank sixth in the NFL in pass defense.

But despite the addition of 365-pound-plus nose tackle Ted Washington -- "The biggest I've faced," center Jeff Hartings said -- and outside linebacker Willie McGinest, the Browns' run defense is not what Crennel had imagined. They allow an average of 143.6 yards per game, which ranks 30th in the league, and have allowed four 100-yard rushers in nine games.

Along comes Parker, coming off a career-best 213 yards against the Saints, 5 yards shy of Fuqua's club-record 218 yards against the Eagles 36 years ago.

"I kind of equate it to Jerome [Bettis]," guard Alan Faneca said. "Jerome always got the tough yards when we didn't do anything [up front]. Willie's intangible is he has a chance to pop it. Sometimes defenses, especially the way teams like to play us lately, they're not going to stick-and-stay in one place. If we can get a good read on how they're going to slant the defensive line or attack with the linebackers, we have a chance to seal it off, kind of what happened on his second one."

Faneca's reference was to Parker's 76-yard run down the right sideline in which he started to run inside, jump-stepped to the outside and beat the Saints around the corner. The play is designed to be an inside read, but Parker broke it to the outside.

"Teams have to respect that, respect the edge," Faneca said. "They can't always keep crashing down in there sometimes, especially after we have a game where we hit two in a row. The next couple teams, whoever has charge of outside gap control, there's going to be a little more extra emphasis on controlling the outside gap."

In this instance, that's McGinest, 34, who is in his first season with the Browns, 13th in the NFL.

Still, most of Parker's long runs have come on inside plays where he uses his speed to get to the outside. That's what he did last year on his 80-yard run against the Browns.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06323/739579-66.stm

clevestinks
11-19-2006, 07:34 AM
Parker and mcginest??? Come on Fast Willie will blow by mctoast, so fast that we`ll be lining up for the point after before he gets out of his stance.

Livinginthe past
11-19-2006, 08:07 AM
McGinest would never beat Willie in a foot race - all that the Browns will be looking for him to do is read the play and shut off the running lane.

On paper, this looks like a blowout win for Pittsburgh - Ben is good enough to hurt them through the air and Willie will rack up 100 yards no problem.

But with both teams at 3-6 Cleveland will probably think this is their time to pull out a shock victory.

NM

Elvis
11-19-2006, 10:22 AM
:tt02: :helmet: :tt02:
Parker vs mcginest?
hmmmmmm:hug: :thumbsup:
parker in a foot race wins every time.. mcginest has been a thorn in our armor ever since his days in N.E. I hope that we take advantage of the Browns sucky run defense... I love seeing our running game dominating...:banging:

SteelCityMan786
11-19-2006, 11:10 AM
McGinest would never beat Willie in a foot race - all that the Browns will be looking for him to do is read the play and shut off the running lane.

On paper, this looks like a blowout win for Pittsburgh - Ben is good enough to hurt them through the air and Willie will rack up 100 yards no problem.

But with both teams at 3-6 Cleveland will probably think this is their time to pull out a shock victory.

NM

I think his glory days are behind him. Usually when guys go to Cleveland their best days are behind them.

Stlrs4Life
11-19-2006, 11:42 AM
Plain and simple, if we can't run on the Browns we will lose today. Plus the obvious, put pressure on Frye.

SteelCityMan786
11-19-2006, 11:43 AM
Keep it below 30 passes and run more then 40 times.

clevestinks
11-19-2006, 06:06 PM
Well I have to apologize, McGinest played well. Sometimes he was just in the right place at the right time. He still has some gas left.

Livinginthe past
11-19-2006, 06:25 PM
Well I have to apologize, McGinest played well. Sometimes he was just in the right place at the right time. He still has some gas left.

He was always going to be good value this year, im not so sure about the rest of the years on his contract though.

Now if he played with a team that had a good offense then you would see him in his favorite positions - chasing the QB and sniffing out the draw plays.

NM

j-dawg
11-19-2006, 07:09 PM
He was always going to be good value this year, im not so sure about the rest of the years on his contract though.

Now if he played with a team that had a good offense then you would see him in his favorite positions - chasing the QB and sniffing out the draw plays.

NM

i'm not sure what the heck you're talking about litp... i know you're a bit biased on your opinion of mcginest considering your team loyalties... but mcginest was brought in to bring a veteran presence on the browns young D. he's been dependable, and hasn't shown anything to suggest he won't be able to do what he's been doing for the duration of his contract.

everyone on this board was saying how the steelers were going to dominate the browns today. i had no reservations, i know the steelers have a better team than their record reflects, i've said as much. our secondary is banged up with all three starting corner backs not playing today, two gone for the season.

this game was a bitter loss... that's all i can say... todays game personifies that we've got the building blocks, but not the right attitude... that's why the browns are a 3-7 team... :banging:

Livinginthe past
11-19-2006, 07:39 PM
i'm not sure what the heck you're talking about litp... i know you're a bit biased on your opinion of mcginest considering your team loyalties... but mcginest was brought in to bring a veteran presence on the browns young D. he's been dependable, and hasn't shown anything to suggest he won't be able to do what he's been doing for the duration of his contract.

everyone on this board was saying how the steelers were going to dominate the browns today. i had no reservations, i know the steelers have a better team than their record reflects, i've said as much. our secondary is banged up with all three starting corner backs not playing today, two gone for the season.

this game was a bitter loss... that's all i can say... todays game personifies that we've got the building blocks, but not the right attitude... that's why the browns are a 3-7 team... :banging:

I try not to let my team bias get in the way of assessing players - but yes, im sure it happens anyway.

Like I say, he has been excellent this year, but you would struggle to imagine him being a force at 38 in the last year of his contract.

I think the Browns are following a similar line to the 49ers - first you have to make yourself hard to beat - then you can think about dominating teams.

The Browns have also been hit very hard by injuries this year - that FA centre springs to mind and also the 3 CB's that you mention (I know all about DB injuries being a Pats fan)

Best of luck the rest of the way.

NM