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Livinginthe past
09-27-2007, 05:40 PM
An interesting comparison between a Steelers RB legend, and a legend in the making.

http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h218/n_mckeown/fwp-franco.jpg
http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h218/n_mckeown/fwp-franco2.jpg
http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h218/n_mckeown/fwp-franco3.jpg

For conclusions and the result of the comparison click on link provided.


http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com/Articles/11_1690_Tale_o%27_the_Tape%3A_Fast_Willie_vs._Fran co.html

tony hipchest
09-27-2007, 07:17 PM
great article.

In Parker’s first two seasons with consistent playing time he averaged 1,350 yards. If he is able to maintain these numbers he would surpass Harris’s rushing total in six more seasons. Although it’s a lofty goal, it would put Parker at 32 years old, just past the dreaded 30 year mark for running backs. In comparison, Harris played 13 NFL seasons, retiring at the age of 35.

what sucks is that willie still seems like a 23 year old rookie or 2nd year starter. hard to believe he is so close to 30.

the article makes great points such as franco never eclipsing 310 carries in a year, and i would just add that franco was accused of stepping out of bounds, (which helped him last so long) as opposed to winding up how earl campbell is today. i cant say willie steps out of bounds. i often see him flying onto his back out of bounds :nono:

good summation:

Parker is the running-back version of the iPod. He is flashy, productive and has the ability to do things his predecessors couldn’t. While it’s impossible to know how productive Parker will be eight years from now, it’s safe to say as an undrafted free agent he is one of the biggest steals in recent memory. Going from a part-time player in college to a Pro Bowl player in the NFL is accomplishment enough, but to be on a pace similar to that of a Hall of Fame icon is extraordinary.

But it’s a long way from a sure thing. Harris was rarely spectacular, but his consistency and rare ability to stay healthy and productive for so long established his legacy as one of the greatest running backs of all-time.

...i like to think willie can do it (even though he might command an alexander type contract on his next deal).

if he can stay with the steelers i would hope hes got his eyes set on matching francos rings as opposed to emmitts record.

Preacher
09-27-2007, 07:30 PM
Thanks LITP...

that was a good read...

Atlanta Dan
09-27-2007, 07:46 PM
Thanks LITP

Good read but the yards per season stats are skewed - Franco only played a 14 game season his first six seasons until 1978 when he was leaving his prime.

Livinginthe past
09-27-2007, 08:07 PM
Thanks LITP...

that was a good read...

You're welcome, Preach!


Thanks LITP

Good read but the yards per season stats are skewed - Franco only played a 14 game season his first six seasons until 1978 when he was leaving his prime.

No problem, Dan :cheers:

Thats a valid point you make, but alot of the stats were broken down yards per carry and yards per game - lessening the effect of the difference in games played in a season.

I guess thats where 1,000 yards per season became known as the bench mark of a successful season - these days, with the 16 game schedule you can't really say that.

Balancing the figures to take account of that 1,150 (approx) should become the new benchmark, but it wont because it isn't as round and convenient as the previous number.

Anyhow, the magic number for yards per game to achieve the relevant benchmark for a successful season is approx 71.4.

Franco was and (even more importantly) Willie is ahead of that curve - you could even make an argument that playing only 14 games puts less stress on the athletes body - but thats just one variable among many.

Bottom line - Willie Parker is a great RB...... UDFA, or no UDFA.

You guys are lucky to have him.

MasterOfPuppets
09-27-2007, 08:36 PM
Franco was and (even more importantly) Willie is ahead of that curve - you could even make an argument that playing only 14 games puts less stress on the athletes body - but thats just one variable among many.

. franco also didn't have to run through 320 lb tackles and 250 lb linebackers !

tony hipchest
09-27-2007, 08:56 PM
Bottom line - Willie Parker is a great RB......

:jawdrop:

franco also didn't have to run through 320 lb tackles and 250 lb linebackers !

good point. just to play the devils advocate for willie parker-

franco never had to rush against the steel curtain (let alone ham or lambert). franco had about 10-20 lbs advantage of some of the greatest backers of the day (that he faced).

other than being one of the quickest players on the field you would have to say parker is at a distinct disadvantage running through players like b. urlacher, s. merriman, r. lewis, or a. thomas.

now this is no knock on franco, cause in his day him and campbell were like jerome was in his day (a man amongst boys)

pound for pound, parker is like the rb version of hines ward. will people ever call ward "better" than swann or stallworth? its a tough call and compelling debate.

revefsreleets
09-28-2007, 09:26 AM
Ultimately, Franco is going to trump all these guys because of his postseason performance and 4 rings. Stats don't count as much as championships. Now if Willie can add a couple more rings to his collection, that's a different story!

Mosca
09-28-2007, 10:20 AM
Because of his low-key style and personality, Franco doesn't get nearly the respect and acknowledgment now that he got when he was playing. The fact that he was named All Pro 9 times during his career says what you need to know about him, by the people who played with and against him. He was All Pro while running behind a line that no one (other than Steelers fans) could name (Mullins, Davis, Brown, Kolb, Mansfield).

You had to see it to believe it; the absolute SMOOTHNESS of his style, he was such a graceful big man. He would get the ball, pause and look for the hole, and then just glide right through it and be gone. It wasn't even like acceleration; he was just through. Sometimes for 3 yards, sometimes for 8, and sometimes for 18 or 50.

People always point to the Dynasty starting with Joe Greene, and Terry Bradshaw; but Joe Greene points to the Dynasty starting with Franco. Franco was The Weapon that made the offense legit.


Tom

Dragonrider
09-28-2007, 07:18 PM
I can't put it any better that what has already been said. Let's just say we have had 2 of the best big backs in history and now one of the best small backs.

bratsinmybelly
09-29-2007, 10:18 PM
Once again we forget about Rocky Blier. Having a player like that on your team keeps you motivated. Willie had the Bus for his first years and thrived in his first year without him. Can he keep it up? I hope so. Franco had Rocky as an example of what a true hero and leader was. Not that Franco wasn't amazing in his own right but I just think it's worth noting that he did have a truly special player and person to push him during his most productive years.

Elvis
09-30-2007, 05:54 AM
I think that it is always fun to compare some great olde' players with some of our new great players. I like thinking of players like John Stallworth and HInes Ward. Or Carnell Lake and Troy Polomalu.. How can you get any better than that? I know alot of old fans of the Steelers back in the 70's and early 80's are gonna remember Lynn Swann more than Stallworth, because of the "so called Big Plays" that Swann made, but Stallworth was a great reciever for like 12 or so years and Swann was only in the league for like 7 or 8. Just that I liked the way Stallworth always took a backseat to Swann and let him have the limelight without missing a beat.
:tt02:

Galax Steeler
09-30-2007, 06:59 AM
Franco will always be remeberd as one of the all time greats.

Michael Keller
09-30-2007, 08:58 AM
Slow down, Franco Harris was BY FAR the Steelers greatest offensive weapon in the first half of the Steeler's dynasty untill Bradshaw matured and the rule changes opening up the passing game were effectuated.

Harris was a supreme clutch runner getting the big yards in big games time after time. He added a force to the offense that was much needed as the Steel Curtain was solid and effective beyond comparison.

Without Franco there is probably no dynasty.

Watch the films even now. Franco was a great runner and Parker may become a great runner. I think Willie Parker may become a great runner as I am very impressed with his improvement over the second half of last year and the first few games this year. I also was dissapointed in Parker's performance in the first half of last year.

FRANCO WAS GREAT[, PARKER MAY BECOME GREAT, AND I FOR ONE SURE HOPE SO.

Michael

BlastFurnace
09-30-2007, 09:29 AM
Slow down, Franco Harris was BY FAR the Steelers greatest offensive weapon in the first half of the Steeler's dynasty untill Bradshaw matured and the rule changes opening up the passing game were effectuated.

Harris was a supreme clutch runner getting the big yards in big games time after time. He added a force to the offense that was much needed as the Steel Curtain was solid and effective beyond comparison.

Without Franco there is probably no dynasty.

Watch the films even now. Franco was a great runner and Parker may become a great runner. I think Willie Parker may become a great runner as I am very impressed with his improvement over the second half of last year and the first few games this year. I also was dissapointed in Parker's performance in the first half of last year.

FRANCO WAS GREAT[, PARKER MAY BECOME GREAT, AND I FOR ONE SURE HOPE SO.

Michael

I agree. For those who never saw Franco play, it is easy to just look at the #'s and think that Parker was/is close. Franco was the Steelers offense from around 1972 through 1977. Case in point, look at what happened to what most say was the best Steelers team in 1976 when Franco and Rocky were out with injuries for the AFCC Game against the Raiders.

Mosca
09-30-2007, 12:53 PM
I didn't mean among Steelers fans, i meant among those who "know". I constantly see all the praise getting piled on the glory backs like Dorsett, Smith, and now LT and Alexander; even Tiki Barber.

But in my eyes, Franco was every bit as good as Walter Payton and Jim Brown. I'm not a fan of ranking these types of guys, because the times they played and the teams they played for are so different. But anyone who would say that Franco was made great by playing for the Steelers (as I've sometimes read) is dead wrong. It's the other way around. The Steelers were made great by having Franco play for them. He is and always will be one of the greatest backs to have ever played the game, and he deserves to be mentioned in the same pantheon as Brown, Payton, Sayers, Smith, Sanders, and the rest. Actually, looking at the top 15 all time, there are only two guys that I'd consider his equal; Payton and Brown. The rest of them, you can have them. I'll take Franco.

How's THAT for hyperbole?

Tom

tony hipchest
09-30-2007, 01:08 PM
I didn't mean among Steelers fans, i meant among those who "know". I constantly see all the praise getting piled on the glory backs like Dorsett, Smith, and now LT and Alexander; even Tiki Barber.

But in my eyes, Franco was every bit as good as Walter Payton and Jim Brown. I'm not a fan of ranking these types of guys, because the times they played and the teams they played for are so different. But anyone who would say that Franco was made great by playing for the Steelers (as I've sometimes read) is dead wrong. It's the other way around. The Steelers were made great by having Franco play for them. He is and always will be one of the greatest backs to have ever played the game, and he deserves to be mentioned in the same pantheon as Brown, Payton, Sayers, Smith, Sanders, and the rest. Actually, looking at the top 15 all time, there are only two guys that I'd consider his equal; Payton and Brown. The rest of them, you can have them. I'll take Franco.

How's THAT for hyperbole?

Tomi hear you. the defensive lanscape evolved all across the nfl to help contain guys like franco, oj, and earl campbell. all of them (along with brown and payton) would be just as good in todays game as they were then, regardless of their teams.