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View Full Version : Willie Parker: "We’ve got to get back to Steelers football.”


klick81
11-05-2008, 06:55 PM
According to Steelcityinsider.com, FWIW. I don't know how reliable this source is, but it doesn't sound like Willie's too happy with the play calling:

Grumbling over playcalling heats up


Willie Parker (Al Bello/Getty Images) By Jim Wexell
SteelCityInsider.com
Posted Nov 5, 2008


With fierce defense, battered QB, and young run blockers on the offensive line, Willie Parker wonders why the team's not playing "Steelers football."

A Monday night win at the home of an elite NFC East team has thrust the Steelers back into the limelight.
They’re 6-2 and once again being hailed as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

All’s well, sayeth the national media, who joke that there’s a semblance of a quarterback controversy brewing. After all, backup Byron Leftwich entered the game and got rid of the dang thing. The guy’s decisive and understands how to check down and the Steelers might want to consider making him their quarterback even when the bruised and battered Ben Roethlisberger isn’t so bruised and battered.

Of course, it’s just a minor controversy to pass the time. It’s not a legitimate debate. But this is: the offensive playcalling is putting everything at risk.

“It’s going to change,” growled one assistant defensive coach. “It HAS to change.”

“It drives us crazy on the sideline,” said one defensive player. “Willie gains eight yards on first down and then we start throwing. No one understands it.”

Of course, that’s the defensive perspective. On offense, Hines Ward has always said what’s needed to be said, even in the face of public ridicule. But this rarity of a wide receiver, one who’d rather run first and pass second, would not question the pass-first, run-second philosophy seemingly embraced by offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

“I don’t know. We’re winning and that’s the bottom line,” Ward said early Tuesday morning from the winning locker room at Fedex Field. “We’re just trying to figure out what we can do to move the ball. We’ve gone back and forth, couldn’t get anything going early, but in the second, third quarter we started making plays.

“Can it work? We’re 6-2 right now and that’s the bottom line in this business.”

Of course, Ward said this as ESPN and NFL Network cameras rolled two feet from his face. I countered to Ward that he didn’t sound or look convinced about his answer.

“I don’t know. I’m happy to be 6-2,” he said.

Another key offensive player had no cameras in his face, so perhaps that emboldened Willie Parker to speak openly.

Parker returned from a four-game absence due to a knee sprain and carried 21 times for 70 yards, which isn’t really a light workload for a player who admitted he’s still not 100 percent healthy. But Parker can see that this offense has no intention of returning to the run-first days of Ken Whisenhunt and, really, all but one or two of the coordinators who’d come before him.

“We need to get back to Steelers football,” Parker said far from the celebratory inquisitions of the celebratory national media. “I’m going to have a talk with some people.”

Parker would love to get back to the days of running consistently behind a fullback. He did so four times prior to his goal-line 1-yard touchdown run, and on those four carries he’d compiled 20 yards. Carey Davis, in fact, wiped out strong safety Chris Horton on a Chris Kemoeatu counter power pull right and Parker ripped off a 13-yard run late in the first quarter, his longest of the game. But Davis was yanked and didn’t return to lead block for Parker until the first play of the third quarter, when he stuffed London Fletcher in the hole as Parker scampered for six yards.

Of course, the lead play doesn’t work all of the time. Late in the game, while protecting a 23-6 lead, Davis led Parker on carries of 1, 1, and 0 yards. But that’s to be predicted in such situations, and that’s how Arians will counter this argument, that a fullback leading a succession of Steelers running backs through the hole becomes too predictable.

Yet, the defense will counter that argument with its brutally precise play. It’s the No. 1 defense in the league and should be complemented by an offense that’s not intent on risking the health of its quarterback with one risky playcall after another. It must also be mentioned that a consistent run game would better serve a young group of offensive linemen who are much more comfortable driving men off the line than backing up and hoping not to get beat.

Make no mistake, this 6-2 Super Bowl contending offense is off kilter and the grumbling is becoming louder. At least there’s one player who doesn’t mind stirring the drink, even when the bulk of the populace has turned its lonely eyes to the decisiveness of a backup quarterback.

“I want to sit down with B.A. and Coach Tomlin and talk about this,” Fast Willie Parker said, “because when I’m all the way back, I expect to get the ball. I’m a running back. I want to run the ball. We’ve got to get back to Steelers football.”

HereWeGoSteelers219
11-05-2008, 07:12 PM
I couldn't agree more. The 3rd and 2 passes are not what we're about. We have a team with the 25th ranked run D coming in to our house, and we need to show everyone that we are still a smashmouth football team.

klick81
11-05-2008, 07:19 PM
While I agree that some of Arian's playcalling is suspect, I do remember hearing a lot of whining about "run, run, pass, punt".

Edman
11-05-2008, 07:23 PM
Yeah, but that's no reason to go shotgun on 3rd and 2. This is a run-blocking line that isn't very good in pass pro.

steelpride12
11-05-2008, 07:23 PM
I don't blame Arians, I just feel with Parker out the game plan was a pass first, and i feel once Parker gets to 100% he will get him 25 carries and game and Ben or Lefty will throw back to 25 to 30 passes a game.

HereWeGoSteelers219
11-05-2008, 07:26 PM
It's also important to note that the offensive line has been very upset with not running the ball as much earlier in the season, specificaly after the Philly game.

PalmerSteel
11-05-2008, 07:30 PM
i cant recall ever being so frustrated or mad in my life BEFORE a play is snapped is when i see us in shotgun with 2nd, 3rd, 4th and short. if i never see the steelers run one of those plays again i would be happy. we cant delay run with that effectively so why do it and show you are passing no matter what? i cant stand it :banging:

PalmerSteel
11-05-2008, 07:32 PM
It's also important to note that the offensive line has been very upset with not running the ball as much earlier in the season, specificaly after the Philly game.

there is other things they should be more upset about, like better blocking, especially stunt pickups.

slippy
11-05-2008, 07:58 PM
statistically, the steelers are the worst team in the league at converting on third and one.

jjpro11
11-05-2008, 09:51 PM
our run blocking has been very good lately.. if parker is healthy, there should be no reason why we dont run more than ever.

stillers4me
11-05-2008, 09:54 PM
Right on, Willie! :tt03:

thebus36idf
11-05-2008, 10:35 PM
Milwelde moore was pretty affective as well. I thought the running game was productive during the jacksonville game. and others in which they at least gave the running game a chance.

tony hipchest
11-05-2008, 11:16 PM
According to Steelcityinsider.com, FWIW. I don't know how reliable this source is, but it doesn't sound like Willie's too happy with the play calling:
jim wexell insider articles are some of the best (and most reliable) out there.

and kudos to the meek willie speaking out once again. he is not the leader of this team or even this offense but he sure as hell aint afraid to stand up and act like one.

hes sat on the sidelines idle for the past 4-5 weeks watching teams like giants and tennessee dominate the league using the steelers formula that he won a ring with.

i can hear what he is saying. of course him and mendenhall being on the shelf didnt exactly help our brand of playing ball, but with a healthy moore and him we have a top 1-2 punch in the league.

ricksteelers55
11-05-2008, 11:16 PM
How come on 2nd and 1 or 3rd and 1 or 3rd and inches we dont use Dookie ?

He's been used twice on 3rd and 1 and has converted them both.

why bringing him in if it's not to play him on short yardage.He was the best of the league last year on 3rd and 1 (8 for 9)

The Duke
11-05-2008, 11:24 PM
How come on 2nd and 1 or 3rd and 1 or 3rd and inches we dont use Dookie ?

He's been used twice on 3rd and 1 and has converted them both.

why bringing him in if it's not to play him on short yardage.He was the best of the league last year on 3rd and 1 (8 for 9)

Yep, dookie seemed to convert what he got

I was surprised, I remember him failing a lot of those in the past

Kuhn could fix all these short yardage issues....

klick81
11-05-2008, 11:47 PM
jim wexell insider articles are some of the best (and most reliable) out there.


I didn't know that, and I should point out that I obtained this article from another website and thought i'd post it up here.

Anyway, I wonder how Tomlin & Co. will react to Willie putting this out there in front of everyone.

jjpro11
11-06-2008, 12:12 AM
Yep, dookie seemed to convert what he got

I was surprised, I remember him failing a lot of those in the past

Kuhn could fix all these short yardage issues....

he's playing for his job every week.. maybe some added incentive there? i say give him a chance, he's been running hard in his limited chances. overall, our short yardage running seems better than last year.. moore, parker and davenport have all been pretty effective and they are breaking tackles while doing so.

Blitzburgh_Fever
11-06-2008, 12:59 AM
he's playing for his job every week.. maybe some added incentive there? i say give him a chance, he's been running hard in his limited chances. overall, our short yardage running seems better than last year.. moore, parker and davenport have all been pretty effective and they are breaking tackles while doing so.

I'd dare argue Willie was/is just as good at 3rd and 1s. Maybe to spell him, but I dunno I kinda like MeMo (props to HTG) in that situation as well. If the line blocks well, Dookie can pick up 3 or so yards. When the line is bad Davenport doesn't move the pile or overrun a DE/LB like a true powerback. I guess I just don't see the point in switching to Davenport when he, so far, hasn't given us something different in short yardage.

Galax Steeler
11-06-2008, 04:40 AM
I would love to see our run game get back to where it used to be that is what beat the colts in that playoff game back in 05 they thought we were going to come in and try to run the ball but we came out trowing and beat them that was a team that was worried about us running the ball but now everyone knows we try to throw the ball more and not run as much.

The_WARDen
11-06-2008, 12:24 PM
It's funny to read all this because I remember alot of griping during the Kordell era about the 3 yds and a cloud of dust offense and how boring it was to run, run, pass, punt.

:noidea:

atlsteelers
11-06-2008, 12:31 PM
this is what happens when you take lineman that were drafted to be run blocking maulers and try to turn them into finence pass blocking lineman. i would love to see a recommittent to the run. but when they kept davis instead of a true run blocking fullback we should have all seen this coming

Dino 6 Rings
11-06-2008, 01:04 PM
Lets see how it breaks down:

1st down. Run. 1 yard
2nd down pass incomplete
3rd down shotgun pass INT

1st down Run 8 yards
2nd down Pass 9 yards
1st down run 4 yards
2nd down pass incomplete
3rd and 6 Shotgun pass SACK
4th down Punt.

1st down pass incomplete
2nd down run for no gain
3rd down Shotgun Pass incomplete
4th down Punt.

1st down run for 13 yards
1st down run for 3 yards
2nd down pass incomplete
3rd down Shotgun pass incomplete
4th down Punt.

1st down run 2 yards
2nd down run 6 yards
3rd n 2, shotgun pass incomplete
4th down Punt.

1st down pass incomplete
2nd down pass incomplete
3rd down 10 shotgun pass 12 yards.
1st down run 2 yards
2nd down pass 6 yards
3rd and 2, pass formation SACK.
4th down FG

1st down pass incomplete
2nd down run 6 yards
3rd down 4, pass incomplete
4th down punt.

1st down pass, SACK
2nd down run 5 yards HOLDING
2nd n 21, Shotgun pass 9 yards
3rd n 12, pass 14 yards
1st down at the 1 yard line QB Sneak.

Dino 6 Rings
11-06-2008, 01:11 PM
2nd half

1st down Run 6 yards
2nd down run 3 yards
3rd n 1, Davenport run 2 yards
1st down pass 50 yards.
1st down run 3 yards
2nd down pass incomplete
3rd n 7 pass to Moore 7 yards
1st down run TD

1st down run -1 yard
2nd down reverse run - 6 yards
3rd n 17, run -4 yards
4th down punt.

1st down pass SACK
2nd down run 3 yards
3rd n 15 pass Holmes 16 yards
1st down run 8 yards
2nd down run - 2 yards
3rd n 4 Shotgun pass 13 yards.
1st down pass 25 yards
1st down run 2 yards
2nd down pass incomplete
3rd n 8 shotgun pass 13 yards
1st down run 2 yards
2nd down pass TD.

1st down run 0 yards
2nd down run 1 yard
3rd down pass, incomlete (ball at Pitt 2)
4th down punt

1st down run 1 yard
2nd down run 0 yards
3rd down pass incomplete, offsides defense
3rd n 4 shotgun pass SACK
4th down Punt

1st down Knee down

DACEB
11-06-2008, 01:32 PM
Once again, when something needs to be said, here's FWP calling out something wrong with the team.

Well said Willie, let them know what's up!
Silverback and Willie sure seem like the real leaders of this team. Funny how it's two guys that the cards were stacked against ever making it in this league.

DACEB
11-06-2008, 01:35 PM
On a side note, was anyone else as surprised as I was to see FWP carry so much of the load the other night. I realize MeMo was on kickoff returns but com'on. The staff needs to start working on a rotation for these guys.

CanadianSteel
11-06-2008, 05:40 PM
I actually agree with what Parker is saying here but we WILL need to pass in the plaoffs to be successful as well.

Part of playing Steelers football is playing through pain..... and hoping Willie can play this week

lilyoder6
11-06-2008, 05:58 PM
willie had a nice 21 carries..... i mean u also didn't want to push willie that much 4 his 1st game back...

The_WARDen
11-07-2008, 10:53 AM
Maybe...just maybe part of the reason they've moved away from "Steeler football" is that their backs (includes you Wille) can't stay on the field. If you have no backs, you can't pound the rock.
:noidea:

CanadianSteel
11-07-2008, 12:06 PM
Maybe...just maybe part of the reason they've moved away from "Steeler football" is that their backs (includes you Wille) can't stay on the field. If you have no backs, you can't pound the rock.
:noidea:

Exactly... call out the offensive playcalling .... then few days later you got a shoulder injury and are out ? What the hell...

MaidenIndiana
11-07-2008, 12:23 PM
everybody knows that the colts run defense sucks. they got bob sanders back, then lost marlon jackson. if the steelers play calling sunday isn't at least 2 to 1 in favor of the run, then something is really, really wrong.:doh:

steelreserve
11-07-2008, 12:36 PM
“It drives us crazy on the sideline,” said one defensive player. “Willie gains eight yards on first down and then we start throwing. No one understands it.”

Willie gains eight yards on first down? What game are they watching?

No, seriously, Willie, here's an idea to jump-start the offense: YOU start gaining more than 3 yards per carry against any decent team, and also learn how to run a route.

DACEB
11-07-2008, 01:16 PM
everybody knows that the colts run defense sucks. they got bob sanders back, then lost marlon jackson. if the steelers play calling sunday isn't at least 2 to 1 in favor of the run, then something is really, really wrong.:doh:

Did you know? We've called 50 more pass plays than run plays in the first half of games so far this season.

First half play-calls: 11 runs, 20 passes (season: 92 to 142)
http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/deljzc/