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View Full Version : Big change, huh? Parker still getting Steelers' tough yards


The Duke
09-18-2007, 03:50 PM
PITTSBURGH ? Willie Parker must be wondering what's happened to the new system that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was supposed to bring to the Pittsburgh Steelers this season.

With Parker following up his 1,494-yard season of a year ago with 235 yards in two games, this must feel much like that same old predictable Steelers offense to one of the AFC's top offensive players.

Maybe there are more four wide receiver sets this season, more alignments with three tight ends, yet Parker is still getting the tough yards - the yards that are putting the Steelers (2-0) in the lead and keeping them there.

"I felt like this was a big game for me," Parker said after running for 126 yards and a touchdown as Pittsburgh beat Buffalo 26-3 on Sunday. "I wasn't satisfied at all (with the opener)."

In that game, Parker gained 109 yards in a 34-7 rout of Cleveland, but he was disappointed that he didn't gain a lot more yardage. He tripped once with an open field in front of him and fumbled another time.

Against Buffalo, Parker's running helped the Steelers control the ball as they built a 12-0 lead on four Jeff Reed field goals in the first half, and he ran for a score in the second half.

"Willie opens it up for us when he has 100-yard games," wide receiver Nate Washington said. "Teams have to try to stack the box (to slow Parker), but when we're making plays as receivers they have to respect us, so they can't stack the box anymore."

Coach Mike Tomlin agreed that it's unusual to push a player who is coming off a 100-yard game, yet that is exactly what the coaching staff did last week with Parker.

"We challenged him a little bit," Tomlin said. "He challenged himself to bounce back because he ran for 100 yards last week but he wasn't pleased with his performance. He came back this week and read blocks and had nice (running) tracks and did a good job of running the ball and taking care of it."

Wasn't it only a couple of years ago that the Steelers were worrying where NFL No. 5 career rusher Jerome Bettis' replacement would come from?

Parker cost the Steelers almost nothing as a undrafted rookie free agent from North Carolina in 2004. Since then, he has had two 1,000-yard seasons and helped them win a Super Bowl with a 75-yard touchdown run against Seattle in February 2006.

Parker has three consecutive 100-yard games going back to last season and five in his last six games. He ran for 753 yards in those six games, an average of nearly 126 yards, despite being held to 29 yards against Baltimore on Dec. 24.

Through two games this season, the Steelers are averaging 195 yards rushing.

"But I'm not satisfied," Parker said. "I can't say I'm satisfied."

An example?

Parker said he should have scored on a second-down play from the Bills 1-yard line in the third quarter. On the next play, Ben Roethlisberger threw his second touchdown pass in as many games to rookie tight end Matt Spaeth.

Parker, sixth in the league in rushing a season ago, is third - 32 yards behind leader Travis Henry of Denver. He has 3,117 yards in his career despite having started for only two-plus seasons and already ranks 10th in Steelers career rushing.

Notes: The Steelers remain home Sunday to play the 49ers (2-0). Frank Gore, third in the league a year ago with 1,695 yards, has 136 yards this season. ... The Steelers offered no injury update Monday on LB James Harrison, who hurt his neck on the final play of the first half Sunday. ... The Steelers have already led the AFC North longer this season than they did all of last season, when they won their opener but then dropped six of their next seven.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/2007-09-18-81611153_x.htm

Edman
09-18-2007, 03:55 PM
Don't you get it? Willie Parker sucks because he doesn't weigh 250 pounds. Take away all of his big runs and he has nothing.

moedap
09-18-2007, 04:00 PM
Don't you get it? Willie Parker sucks because he doesn't weigh 250 pounds. Take away all of his big runs and he has nothing.

LOL

rog
09-18-2007, 04:06 PM
I love Parker he has a fire inside him to be the very best everytime he gets on the field.

Stlrs4Life
09-18-2007, 04:18 PM
Not surprised one bit. gotta love the guy.

NateC
09-18-2007, 04:27 PM
Why would we want Willie parker to stop making big plays? LOL name me another back who can dink you for 2-4 yards almost anytime behind our O-line, and also just rip you up anytime he finds space. He can dink and dink and dink. and also just roll when he hits a whole. Willie is a Great back he is a feature back if you dont see that your opinion will be disregarded by me from now on on most matters. we also have Najeh. most teams now do a nice 2 back system we have a home run threat on the field when willie is on it. lol its flippin really cool. Bettis never had big plays like willie. Bus's Big plays were 20 yard scampers. Willie can hit 20 yards so fast you think he only ran 10 . If he can run for 20 + yards 3-5 times a game.... my God, You best believe that opens up Playaction and so much more.

ShutDown24
09-18-2007, 04:29 PM
He is a pro bowler in a superior confrence. nuff said.

bradness113
09-18-2007, 05:14 PM
what can i say:

http://storesense2.megawebservers.com/HS2216/-strse-1069/Fast-Willie--dsh--You/Detail.bok

That says it all my friends... :)

slippy
09-18-2007, 05:30 PM
i'm impressed with his growth as a back. he now runs through arm tackles that used to bring him down in his first 1 1/2 years as a starter. and how can you not love his attitude!

verks36
09-18-2007, 05:40 PM
well it isnt anything surprising. Bruce aint dumb if Willie is going to be as succesful as he as has been and the steelers have a huge lead of course we are going to run willie.

If it is a tight ball game or we are down..... well that has yet to be discovered

revefsreleets
09-18-2007, 05:57 PM
Has Providence seen this yet?

Edman
09-18-2007, 06:57 PM
I'm sure he's seen it, but I'm sure he won't comment on it here since it goes against his argument that Willie is not a legit RB for the Steelers.

It's real sad that there are still some Steeler fans who won't accept Willie and think we need a fat back to run the ball. Willie is a gamebreaker who runs harder than critics give him credit for.

MasterOfPuppets
09-18-2007, 07:42 PM
I'm sure he's seen it, but I'm sure he won't comment on it here since it goes against his argument that Willie is not a legit RB for the Steelers.

It's real sad that there are still some Steeler fans who won't accept Willie and think we need a fat back to run the ball. Willie is a gamebreaker who runs harder than critics give him credit for.
just like the "we need a tall reciever people " :jerkit:

stlrtruck
09-19-2007, 07:33 AM
I look at all those Arians and Roethlisberger promises about the offense sort of like this. In the World Series of Poker you don't play your hand immediately. You bait people into the bidding pool so you can get their chips and become the chip leader. So the Steelers maintain the status quo until it's time to show the hand and by then, it will be too late and the Steelers will shock the world - AGAIN!

GBMelBlount
09-19-2007, 08:31 AM
IMO surprisingly solid OL play thus far is also a big reason Willie's done so well this year. I also think Najeh at 250 pounds has been a nice complement to Willie.

rog
09-19-2007, 12:45 PM
IMO surprisingly solid OL play thus far is also a big reason Willie's done so well this year. I also think Najeh at 250 pounds has been a nice complement to Willie.

Couldn't agree with you more, Najeh is going to prove to be pretty damn important to the team this year he's our closer.

Jman
09-19-2007, 12:53 PM
Dumptruck looked good indeed.

I look at all those Arians and Roethlisberger promises about the offense sort of like this. In the World Series of Poker you don't play your hand immediately. You bait people into the bidding pool so you can get their chips and become the chip leader. So the Steelers maintain the status quo until it's time to show the hand and by then, it will be too late and the Steelers will shock the world - AGAIN!

That's a pretty good way of looking at it. I think enough is said there.

Hines0wnz
09-19-2007, 05:28 PM
I will only add that anything Willie does is not surprising me anymore. He is the real deal.

steelpride12
09-19-2007, 05:57 PM
Yes i'm a huge Parker fan, but i owe all of his beautiful runs to the O-Line that helps carve those holes he explodes through thanks alot guys!

aries4972
09-19-2007, 06:24 PM
Willie will have 1600-2000 in '07 :banana:

Dragonrider
09-19-2007, 06:53 PM
Willie Parker is a class act and has proven himself. I have been impressed with his attitude and work ethic from the start. One of the most impressive things he said came in his first year as a starter. When asked about his day after going over 100 yards. He said his best run went for four yards on a third down and kept the chains moving. Yes he is one of if not the fastest backs in the league. But he also knows the importance of running between the tackles and getting the hard yards. Give me a team of players with the attitude he and Hines Ward have and I would go to war any day.

FSUBoo
09-20-2007, 03:07 AM
That's one of the things that I love most about the Steelers. We don't have any of the TO, Randy Moss princess types of player. I don't think people need a prima dona, me first type of guys fit our sytem. The organization does a good job of finding the type of players that fit our system, and don't become cancers on our roster. Them finding Willie is a perfect example of this. Great character guy, and he trains hard and fights for yards. He runs extremely powerfullly for a man of his size.

Galax Steeler
09-20-2007, 04:05 AM
I belive willie will only get better as the year progresses.

Justin Otstott
09-20-2007, 07:35 AM
I for one have gotten over the "we need a fat back" and love willie, I been saying willie was the future at the start of our SBXL season!!!