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lamberts-lost-tooth
11-18-2007, 04:33 AM
Steelers' Parker excited about playing on artificial turf
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, November 18, 2007


Given that the field is only slightly more forgiving than concrete, the Meadowlands has never ranked high among the NFL rank-and-file when the topic is favorite stadiums.
But the thought of playing on artificial turf after slipping and sliding the last two weeks at Heinz Field brought a smile to Willie Parker's face.

"You can just run and run for days and just make that cut," Parker said last week.

Getting Parker running and running should be one of the Steelers' main objectives today when they visit the New York Jets for a 4:05 p.m. game.

Parker may be the second-leading rusher in the NFL (873 yards), but he is in a little bit of a rut.
After managing just 42 yards on 23 carries on Nov. 5 against the Ravens, Parker exceeded the 100-yard mark last Sunday.

The Pro Bowler, however, gave himself anything but high marks for his performance in the Steelers' 31-28 win over Cleveland.

In fact, the 105 yards Parker gained on 25 carries might be more of an indictment of the Browns' run defense than even their NFL rank (29) in that category given his review of his play.

"I did a lot of bad things," Parker said. "I think I got too caught up in the rivalry of the game, the emotion of the game, and I just made a lot of stupid decisions."

Parker was diplomatic for the most part when talking about the weathered playing surface at Heinz Field.

He attributed the footing problems he had against the Browns to his own impatience and said he has to make the necessary adjustments to run on a field that isn't going to get any better this season.

But when pressed about the slippery playing surface at Heinz and how it limits what a running back can do, Parker said to a couple of reporters "Y'all get on that soil and run on it and do some cuts, and let me ask y'all that question. Y'all see how it is when we're running out there."

Running on the artificial turf at the Meadowlands isn't the only thing that figures to make Parker look faster today.

The Jets have the worst run defense in the NFL, and are giving up a little more than 152 rushing yards per game.

Of course, the Steelers played against the worst run defense in the NFL in an Oct. 21 game against the Broncos in Denver, and they came out throwing the ball.

And, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger pointed out last week, they lost the game.

Thus, just as Jimmy Hoffa's rumored burial in the Meadowlands, nothing is for certain when it comes to the Steelers' running game.

"People play us harder than normal," right guard Kendall Simmons said on why he thinks running the ball will be anything but easy against a Jets team that is coming off a bye. "They're going to give us their best shot."

And Parker, whose longest run this season is only 32 yards, could well deliver his.

"Willie's going to have a 200-yard game pretty soon," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "We're still off edge a little bit. It's just a matter of us keep working at it and not get frustrated and steer off course."

Galax Steeler
11-18-2007, 06:28 AM
I would like to see parker start his 200 yard game today then have one against the patriots.

GeneralRobinson
11-18-2007, 09:56 AM
He attributed the footing problems he had against the Browns to his own impatience and said he has to make the necessary adjustments to run on a field that isn't going to get any better this season.

But when pressed about the slippery playing surface at Heinz and how it limits what a running back can do, Parker said to a couple of reporters "Y'all get on that soil and run on it and do some cuts, and let me ask y'all that question. Y'all see how it is when we're running out there."

Here is my point. I'm not into hidden agendas, but why does it seem that Pittsburgh football reports are always harping on the field? They clearly wanted Wille to bad mouth the field. Othwise, they woudn't have pressed him on it. It was a wet day. Of course it's going to be slippery. Why don't they ask Ben how the wet field affected his running and passing? I guess quarterbacks not slipping on Heinz Field's grass don't count. Why don't they ask Josh Cribbs how he wasn't able to cut? Oh, that's right, because he averaged one million yards per return! It's a grass field. Get over it.. Sometimes I feel like the reporters are on Field Turf's payroll! Enough!

Jeremy
11-18-2007, 10:15 AM
Here is my point. I'm not into hidden agendas, but why does it seem that Pittsburgh football reports are always harping on the field? They clearly wanted Wille to bad mouth the field. Othwise, they woudn't have pressed him on it. It was a wet day. Of course it's going to be slippery. Why don't they ask Ben how the wet field affected his running and passing? I guess quarterbacks not slipping on Heinz Field's grass don't count. Why don't they ask Josh Cribbs how he wasn't able to cut? Oh, that's right, because he averaged one million yards per return! It's a grass field. Get over it.. Sometimes I feel like the reporters are on Field Turf's payroll! Enough!

The surface at Heinz Field is well known as being the worst surface in the NFL. I know a lot of people want to keep the surface grass, but that would require a lot more upkeep than the Steelers are currently doing.

I'm kind of on the fence about the fake grass. I've been on the surface before and I have to admit that it's pretty nice. Plus the cost of install and upkeep is pretty much equal to the cost of new grass and the upkeep of that every season. If you're going to play a lot of games on a surface in a cold weather city, it makes sense to at least look at fake grass.

GeneralRobinson
11-18-2007, 10:38 AM
I understand that Field Turf is a vast improvement over AstroTurf and similar surfaces. I cannot believe that it has as much give as a natural surface, which would take a toll on a player's body. Say a RB plants his foot on a grass field and gets swarmed by defenders. The force of the tackle will put pressure on the joints, particularly knees and ankles. On grass, the turf will give way in the form of a divot which will release the RB's plant foot and take the pressure off his joints. On Field Turf, there is no divot, therefore no give, therefore more chance of a strain, tear or break.

As far as taking a look at other surfaces, the club did this after the 2002 season and decided that DD Grassmaster was the best option.

As far as upkeep, and I'm not having a go at you Jeremy, how do we know that Steelers are not doing all they can to maintain the field, and if not, what additional measures can they take?

Jeremy
11-18-2007, 10:55 AM
I understand that Field Turf is a vast improvement over AstroTurf and similar surfaces. I cannot believe that it has as much give as a natural surface, which would take a toll on a player's body. Say a RB plants his foot on a grass field and gets swarmed by defenders. The force of the tackle will put pressure on the joints, particularly knees and ankles. On grass, the turf will give way in the form of a divot which will release the RB's plant foot and take the pressure off his joints. On Field Turf, there is no divot, therefore no give, therefore more chance of a strain, tear or break.

As far as taking a look at other surfaces, the club did this after the 2002 season and decided that DD Grassmaster was the best option.

As far as upkeep, and I'm not having a go at you Jeremy, how do we know that Steelers are not doing all they can to maintain the field, and if not, what additional measures can they take?

I can only go with what I've been told and what I've been told is that the Steelers have been doing the maintenance on the cheap since the stadium opened.