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lamberts-lost-tooth
04-22-2008, 03:26 AM
Parker returns, eyes backup for stability
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Willie Parker leads the running backs through drills yesterday in the Steelers' first spring practice at the team's South Side facilities.On the first offensive huddle of the first practice of the Steelers' new season, No. 39 lined up at tailback behind quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Willie Parker did nothing spectacular yesterday, unless you count the fact he was back on the field, running and cutting with the rest of his teammates.

"Right now I'm a little shaky," Parker said, "but I'm at full speed, cutting and all that stuff. If not 100 percent, I'm real close to it."

Parker led the NFL in rushing last season when, in the second-to-last game in St. Louis, the fibula in his right leg broke. Coach Mike Tomlin said they would run him until the wheels fell off, and one of them did.

The fear, of course, was that the "Fast" in Fast Willie Parker would diminish because of his injury. But a little more than a month ago, Parker ran a 4.4 for his trainers indoors. His coach, while planning to take it easy on Parker this spring, is encouraged with his progress.

"Willie has one speed," Tomlin said after conducting his first official spring workout. "That's what you love about him from a mentality standpoint, but we're not going to win games here April 21, so we're going to do the best we can to take care of him."

Tomlin added that, "I expect him to be 100 percent, no doubt."

Yesterday, Tomlin said his comment about running Parker until the wheels came off was made tongue-in-cheek. Nevertheless, Parker ran 320 times in 14 games plus one more carry in the 15th (for 1,316 yards) when his right foot stuck in the artificial surface in St. Louis ("That turf was not that great," Parker said.)

He carried 658 times the past two Pro Bowl seasons for 2,810 yards. He has topped 1,200 yards in each of his three seasons as a starter, but the Steelers have made it clear they would like to find a banger to ease some of his workload, either through the draft or in the person of someone such as Gary Russell.

"Do we need a stable of backs? Absolutely," Tomlin said. "If you look around this game there are a bunch of those kinds of backfields. We desire to be one of those and we think that we have some guys here right now that are capable of helping him carry the load."

Parker welcomes it as something that might extend his career.

"That's a great thing," Parker said after morning practice. "Last year I touched the ball a lot, a lot. To get somebody to split some things up, I think that would be a great thing. That would be something good for my career."

The draft is good and deep in running backs and the Steelers likely can still get a good one in the third or fourth round.

"Whatever helps this team out, I think that would be the best thing," Parker said, "because last year when I went down, we were short on backs. We need somebody else in here. If they bring somebody else in here, I'm all for it."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08113/875395-66.stm

Galax Steeler
04-22-2008, 03:43 AM
Hopefully we will help willlie out and get him some help in the draft.

Boomerang
04-22-2008, 06:18 AM
Running him till the wheels fall off is not clever and an asset as good as he is, needs a a little protection if he is to give his absolute best.

Elvis
04-22-2008, 06:27 AM
I agree.. the Steelers must find some relief for Parker, but unless Gary Russell or a Mewelde Moore can get the job done then the Steelers will have to draft a good young back come this upcoming weekend.
:coffee:

HometownGal
04-22-2008, 08:06 AM
Running him till the wheels fall off is not clever and an asset as good as he is, needs a a little protection if he is to give his absolute best.

AMEN. :drink:

I'm happy to hear that FWP is progressing nicely thus far and hope to see him back to form this season. :tt02:

Dino 6 Rings
04-22-2008, 08:22 AM
been hearing some very interesting rumors out of St Louis...they may jump at Darren McFadden and take him to "replace" their current running back Steven Jackson. Jackson has one more year left on his contract. With that being said, could we maybe, pull off another Bettis steal/deal and grab a big power back with quick feet for some later round draft picks? My man crush on Jackson not withstanding, that backfield of Parker and Jackson would be unstoppable.

TackleMeBen
04-22-2008, 08:52 AM
been hearing some very interesting rumors out of St Louis...they may jump at Darren McFadden and take him to "replace" their current running back Steven Jackson. Jackson has one more year left on his contract. With that being said, could we maybe, pull off another Bettis steal/deal and grab a big power back with quick feet for some later round draft picks? My man crush on Jackson not withstanding, that backfield of Parker and Jackson would be unstoppable.

that would be very interesting to see. i am glad to see parker is back and recovering well. (still cant believe i pull for him b/c he went to UNC:flap:)

lilyoder6
04-22-2008, 09:36 AM
that would be a very lovable backfield i would love to see.. parker and jackson...

we should play around a lil bit w/ that....

Glace
04-22-2008, 09:38 AM
been hearing some very interesting rumors out of St Louis...they may jump at Darren McFadden and take him to "replace" their current running back Steven Jackson. Jackson has one more year left on his contract. With that being said, could we maybe, pull off another Bettis steal/deal and grab a big power back with quick feet for some later round draft picks? My man crush on Jackson not withstanding, that backfield of Parker and Jackson would be unstoppable.

Never see Jackson in Pittsburgh.

1. Jackson would want to be the #1 guy wherever he went. Obviously Parker wouldn't want to be a "spell back" or a 3rd down guy. Honestly if we did bring him in, I think he would beat Parker out in training camp anyways. His style would fit us a lot better.

2. Jackson is going to want, and probably get a nice chunk of change. We can't afford him.

BettisFan
04-22-2008, 09:42 AM
Stewart!!

Dino 6 Rings
04-22-2008, 10:09 AM
Never see Jackson in Pittsburgh.

1. Jackson would want to be the #1 guy wherever he went. Obviously Parker wouldn't want to be a "spell back" or a 3rd down guy. Honestly if we did bring him in, I think he would beat Parker out in training camp anyways. His style would fit us a lot better.

2. Jackson is going to want, and probably get a nice chunk of change. We can't afford him.

Never say Never. On the Steelers, he'd at least play in the playoffs, and have a shot at a Ring, in St Louis, he's bound for a mediocre carreer. In today's NFL being the #1 guy isn't the way of a winning team. Plus, he'd get at least 20 carries a game in the second half of our games when we already had the lead. He'd be our clock killing, pound the ball, punch you in the face and you'll take it, back.

memphissteelergirl
04-22-2008, 10:30 AM
A Parker/Jackson backfield tandem? Great idea, but I don't see SJ wanting a co-star gig...he'd want top billing, IMO.

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-22-2008, 11:15 AM
Lots of guys around in round 4 and later to be the #2 or #3 back. Matt Forte, Mike Hart, Jerome Felton, etc.

rdsovchen
04-22-2008, 11:18 AM
Stewart!!

I agree!!:thumbsup:

Glace
04-22-2008, 11:54 AM
Lots of guys around in round 4 and later to be the #2 or #3 back. Matt Forte, Mike Hart, Jerome Felton, etc.

I PRAY you're joking about the possibility of looking at Mike Hart....

revefsreleets
04-22-2008, 01:19 PM
Yeah, I don't get where this whole possible backfield of "lightning/lightning" is coming from. We don't need a Felix Jones type, and we certainly don't need a smallish slowish Mike Hart.

19ward86
04-22-2008, 01:53 PM
4.4 isnt that great for him, i have heard that he ran a sub 4.2 when at North Carolina.

The Duke
04-22-2008, 02:57 PM
4.4 isnt that great for him, i have heard that he ran a sub 4.2 when at North Carolina.

well, he said himself he isn't 100 % yet. and I doubt he was making a big effort while hes still recovering. a 4.4 is great right now :thumbsup: don't worry about it

willie will get back rolling in 08, fibula injuries are not that bad and can actually make your leg stronger after recovery

willie parker, 2008 nfl leading rusher!! I guarantee it ala anthony smith, lol:flap:

stlrtruck
04-22-2008, 03:26 PM
Let's remember there is a difference between 4.4 at practice and football speed. He can the 4.4's all he wants during spring conditioning....what I want is football speed come August!!!

The Duke
04-22-2008, 03:40 PM
Let's remember there is a difference between 4.4 at practice and football speed. He can the 4.4's all he wants during spring conditioning....what I want is football speed come August!!!

that too

he better run a 4.0 or below or he'll be back to same old sucky willie. oh, and is he gaining any weight? if not he better, we need a big guy :flap:

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-22-2008, 04:10 PM
I PRAY you're joking about the possibility of looking at Mike Hart....

I love all you draft guru's and football genius types!!!

Hart is one of only 4 players to rush for more than 5000 yards in the BIG TEN. He is the same size as Maurice Jones-Drew, but lacks the speed of MJD, but has better vision and patience in setting up his blocks. Since highschool Hart has been frowned upon because he lacks ideal size, but for the past 8 years he has been producing as a running back.

You all start drooling over a guy like Chris Johnson because of his 40 time and forget that you never heard of him or can even name the conferece that East Carolina plays in without looking it up.

Mike Hart will be anywhere from a 5th round pick to a UFA and will be a productive #2 RB that can handle 15 rushes a game to spell a feature back. Thats all we really need and can get it without spending a high pick.

Preacher
04-22-2008, 04:36 PM
4.4 isnt that great for him, i have heard that he ran a sub 4.2 when at North Carolina.

As Duke said... that is great for now.

He is coming off a broken ankle that happened in December. That means

1. Muscle atrophy.
2. Probably a little bit of fat.
3. Decreased conditioning.

If he is coming in and running a 4.4 dealing with those three conditions... He will be absolutely fine come game time.

paw-n-maul-u
04-22-2008, 04:40 PM
shaun alexander anyone? goal line back? just gotta run forward?

jk

The Duke
04-22-2008, 04:50 PM
shaun alexander anyone? goal line back? just gotta run forward?

jk

lol, davenport looked better than him last year

dookie got stopped on short yardage, alexander took the handoff and fell almost immediately :sofunny:

stillers4me
04-22-2008, 04:56 PM
Welcome back, Willie!

Is it September yet????????

Mistah_Q
04-22-2008, 05:27 PM
(listed by role, not by "who's better")

1) Parker, the starter,

2) Russell, the short yardage, pound-the-ball, plow his way to first down/touchdown

3) Mewelde Moore, very capable third down back, security for Willie, not as fast but similar play style, when WIllie needs a breather or if he gets hurt, we don't have to change our offense. . hands out of the backfield, can return a kick or two. .

4) Davenport , jack-of-all backup, and certain situational. .

I think we're pretty well set. . . unless Stewart falls to us (and Chris Williams is not there), no reason to draft a RB at all. . .

Fullback is another story, but we're not talking about fullbacks

msafford
04-22-2008, 07:35 PM
Parker returns, eyes backup for stability


The fear, of course, was that the "Fast" in Fast Willie Parker would diminish because of his injury. But a little more than a month ago, Parker ran a 4.4 for his trainers indoors. His coach, while planning to take it easy on Parker this spring, is encouraged with his progress.



http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08113/875395-66.stm

only a 4.4? geez....I can do that! :flap:

Me thinks he'll be ok. and doing that over a month ago as well. damn

as far as back-ups....Duce Staley anyone?


Just kidding.

Atlanta Dan
04-22-2008, 07:42 PM
As Duke said... that is great for now.

He is coming off a broken ankle that happened in December. That means

1. Muscle atrophy.
2. Probably a little bit of fat.
3. Decreased conditioning.

If he is coming in and running a 4.4 dealing with those three conditions... He will be absolutely fine come game time.

Preach - football is not track - running in a straight line and being able to cut with a burst after that type of injury are two entirely different matters

faneca05
04-22-2008, 08:58 PM
That 4.4 was also a month ago which means it would probably be a little quicker by now since he has had more time to get in better condition.

millwalldavey
04-22-2008, 09:27 PM
With the 7th round pick...

JAVORSKI FREAKING LANE!!!!!!!!!

BettisFan
04-22-2008, 11:10 PM
alexander anyone?

Steelervinny
04-23-2008, 03:17 AM
Alexander, just like S. Jackson would be looking for a #1 spot... Which we could not give him, considering we already have the best back in the NFL. I think we need to see how moore pans out on the field. He seems like he would be able to fit our scheme. We drastically need our first picks on linemen, especially to replace faneca. I could even see us taking a high pick on a guard/center, which we've needed since hartings left. I would even like to see a wide out before a rb. LImas sweed or manningham are players that I like. There plenty to pick from, and we have always done pretty well in our drafting. Subtracting last season

Galax Steeler
04-23-2008, 03:35 AM
alexander anyone?

Thanks but no thanks I would rather have Jackson,or Stewart.

revefsreleets
04-23-2008, 08:38 AM
Actually, Alexander would be ideal if you think about it. He's got too much mileage to be an every down back, but he's still talented. He is a complete back, and can still run for power and speed, he can block, he can catch, and he would be a great 1-2 punch with Parker.

But, you guys are right, there's no way he's going to accept either the role or the salary of a shared backfield. It will hurt him in the end, because he's much more likely to end up like Franco Harris in his Seahawks days then Bettis winning a SB in his twilight.

lamberts-lost-tooth
04-23-2008, 08:58 AM
I'm staying with my man Jerome Felton....but as a darkhorse...how about Matt Forte in the 2nd round?

lilyoder6
04-23-2008, 08:58 AM
i don;t think no team is going to give alexander the staring role unless they are that desperate... but he won't be signed until the draft is over... so he should realize he isn't what he used to be and accept that he'll be a number 2 back

TackleMeBen
04-23-2008, 09:05 AM
i don;t think no team is going to give alexander the staring role unless they are that desperate... but he won't be signed until the draft is over... so he should realize he isn't what he used to be and accept that he'll be a number 2 back

can you say detroit????? they are idiots up here

paw-n-maul-u
04-23-2008, 09:35 AM
Actually, Alexander would be ideal if you think about it. He's got too much mileage to be an every down back, but he's still talented. He is a complete back, and can still run for power and speed, he can block, he can catch, and he would be a great 1-2 punch with Parker.

But, you guys are right, there's no way he's going to accept either the role or the salary of a shared backfield. It will hurt him in the end, because he's much more likely to end up like Franco Harris in his Seahawks days then Bettis winning a SB in his twilight.

what!? ... Alexander is notorious for not being able to catch out of the backfield, not WANTING to catch out of the backfield, as well as being notorious for not blocking at all.

He ran like such a little girl this year, no way I want him. He just got replaced by J. Jones, who ALSO ran like a little girl last year. And TJ duckett, who ALWAYS runs like a little girl.

Alexander and S. Jackson ... SHEESH ... ridiculous.

Let's pick up Rudi Johnson too once he gets cut.

Real scenario: Matt forte in the third or ray rice in the second or third.

i wish we had some extra picks in the 2nd 3rd and 4th

revefsreleets
04-23-2008, 10:16 AM
Nonsense. Alexander had 59 receptions in 2002. He CAN catch the ball out of the backfield. Plus, he always plays with a FB, so he's not asked to block. He can, and did, at Alabama.

(From SI in 2000)A durable productive back with good size. Technically sound. Keeps his shoulders squared properly and has the ability to change lanes with a quick lateral cut. Doesn't waste steps dancing. Agile in traffic. Runs with good lean. Lowers his pads and has the power to break tackles. Not a blazer, but changes speeds well and has a deceptive burst around the corner. Capable blocker who gives an effort in pass protection. Solid receiver. Runs sharp routes and catches smoothly. More steady than flashy, but is a very good talent.

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-23-2008, 10:59 AM
I'm staying with my man Jerome Felton....but as a darkhorse...how about Matt Forte in the 2nd round?

I like the idea of Felton, really dont like the idea of spending a 2nd round pick for a backup RB. If Forte ends up in the 3rd or 4th he might be worth considering, but again, I think we need O-line, D-line, CB first.

Dino 6 Rings
04-23-2008, 11:20 AM
My dream is still Steven Jackson from the Rams.

Preacher
04-23-2008, 11:46 AM
Preach - football is not track - running in a straight line and being able to cut with a burst after that type of injury are two entirely different matters

4.4 isnt that great for him, i have heard that he ran a sub 4.2 when at North Carolina.


AD...

I was actually responding to the above post. I know this isn't track, but 19ward was making a comment STRICTLY about speed. So I was just answering as to why his speed probably is a bit down at this point.

However, all those reasons I listed also work for Willie not cutting or exploding out of a cut etc. etc. as well. I say just give him some time to work everything out.

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-23-2008, 01:10 PM
My dream is still Steven Jackson from the Rams.

My Dream is Marissa Miller will leave her husband for me........neither is gonna happen.

Rhee Rhee
04-23-2008, 03:06 PM
been hearing some very interesting rumors out of St Louis...they may jump at Darren McFadden and take him to "replace" their current running back Steven Jackson. Jackson has one more year left on his contract. With that being said, could we maybe, pull off another Bettis steal/deal and grab a big power back with quick feet for some later round draft picks? My man crush on Jackson not withstanding, that backfield of Parker and Jackson would be unstoppable.

well that seems like a very interesting preposition... and if our name comes up in that discussion i'd be extremely intrigued...

if he does become a steeler who's gonna wear 39? im pretty sure they both have 39 jerseys.... just imagine if we could have two 39's running full speed at you... defensive nightmare...