View Full Version : Parker would like rerun of 'Super' play

10-06-2007, 12:50 AM
Steelers, Parker would like rerun of 'Super' play
Saturday, October 06, 2007
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It ranks among the greatest plays in the team's proud pantheon of Super Bowl victories, right up there with 60 Prevent Slot Hook and Go.

Not only did it tie a team record for the longest touchdown in Super Bowl history; it is the longest run from scrimmage in the 41-year history of the Super Bowl.

It is called Counter 34 Pike, a play that remains in the Steelers playbook, if not in the consciousness of the Steelers Nation.

"We caught 'em with their pants down," said running back Willie Parker, the man who scored on the play that changed the landscape of Super Bowl XL in Detroit.

Parker's 75-yard touchdown run on the second play of the second half deflated the Seattle Seahawks, giving the Steelers a 14-3 lead en route to a 21-10 victory in Ford Field Feb. 5, 2006.

And it happened, Parker said, because the Steelers caught the Seahawks in the right defense -- using a fifth defensive back in a nickel package to protect against the Steelers passing game. Indeed, the Seahawks switched to that defense after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw an incomplete pass to Hines Ward on the first play of the third quarter, expecting them to throw again.

Instead, Parker got key blocks from right tackle Max Starks and guard Kendall Simmons and sprinted down the right sideline, ceremoniously diving into the end zone to complete the longest run in Super Bowl history.

The play tied the team record for longest touchdown -- a 75-yard pass from Terry Bradshaw to John Stallworth in Super Bowl XIII against the Dallas Cowboys. Stallworth also scored on a 73-yard touchdown pass from Bradshaw in Super Bowl XIV against the Los Angeles Rams, a play known as 60 Prevent Slot Hook and Go.

"Max blocked Tatupu and I just sprung out in the open," Parker said, referring to Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu. "We caught them in a nickel defense and they didn't expect us to run. They game-planned right because we never run out of that formation. They thought we would pass."

The Steelers didn't, and a fifth Super Bowl trophy was the result.

Since that game, Parker hasn't stopped running, putting up a second 1,000-yard season in 2006 and earning his first Pro Bowl appearance. What's more, when the Seahawks (3-1) face Parker and the Steelers (3-1) tomorrow for the first time since Super Bowl XL, they will see a running back averaging 115 yards in his past five games against teams from the National Football Conference.

Of course, that includes last Sunday's dismal performance in Arizona, when Parker rushed for only 37 yards on 19 carries and the Steelers' offensive line looked little like the unit that helped produce 595 rushing yards the first three games.

Maybe the Steelers need to pull out Counter 34 Pike, just for old-time sake, against the Seahawks.

Parker, though, said that's not even the most memorable play of his four-year career.

"It's the most respected play, but it's not the most memorable," Parker said. "The most memorable was the one against Cleveland. That was my longest run."

The reference was to an 80-yard touchdown burst earlier that season in Cleveland, when the Steelers beat the Browns, 41-0, during their eight-game run to the Super Bowl.

That's just one of 25 runs of 20 yards or more Parker has managed since 2005, third-most in the NFL in that time. Only retired Tiki Barber (27) and Kansas City's Larry Johnson (26) have more, according to Stats LLC.

But, there was none of that against the Cardinals, though Parker did have a 20-yard run in the third quarter. Arizona used eight and nine players at the line of scrimmage, including safety Adrian Wilson, to stop the run. And it didn't help that Ward, the Steelers best blocking receiver, didn't play because of a sprained knee, an injury that will force him to miss the Seahawks game, as well.

"We didn't block efficiently, we didn't run efficiently, we didn't do anything efficiently enough to be able to run the ball," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "We kept putting ourselves in long yardage because of mental errors. And some runs we should have blocked better.

"We had a tough time getting to [Wilson] and getting blocks from the wide receiver."

"We definitely were hurting ourselves in situations where we all weren't playing up to par, all 11 guys, at times," said guard Alan Faneca. "We missed on some deep balls and, all of sudden, it's second-and-10. It's tough to get back to third-and-short when it's second-and-10."


That was the down and distance when Parker hit the 75-yard touchdown run against the Seahawks.

"Coach always says, we got the goods," said tackle Willie Colon.

"We got guys who can flat-out play. It's basically, come and get it if you want some."


Galax Steeler
10-06-2007, 03:54 AM
I would say the sehawks will definatley keep an eye on parker to try and not let that happen again.

10-06-2007, 05:44 AM
Our O-line must make holes for him to run through. Willie did not have a good super bowl game except for that one good run. Our line didnt block that well last week either
so, they must get things going again if the Steelers
are gonna run the ball with any success and if
they are gonna protect Ben and give him
time to make some plays.

10-06-2007, 05:24 PM
i love willie. every time he gets the ball im just so anxious to see him break off a long one.