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11-17-2008, 10:24 AM
Don't rule out 1,000-yard season for Parker
By Mike Bires
Times Sports Staff
Published: Monday, November 17, 2008 12:13 AM EST


PITTSBURGH — Willie Parker has no chance of winning the NFL rushing title, but he still has a shot for his fourth straight 1,000-yard season.

Based on his performance Sunday, the Steelers’ all-star running back seems fully recovered from his injuries.

“Man, I felt good out there,” he said after an

11-10 win over the Chargers. “I’m feeling normal again.”

Parker, a Pro Bowl selection the past two seasons, had already missed five games before Sunday’s game. A sprained knee forced him to miss four games. A shoulder injury kept him out of last week’s disappointing loss to Indianapolis.

But against San Diego, Parker carried 25 times for 115 yards. By rushing for 100 yards or more for the third time this season, he clearly out-played Chargers star running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

“L.T.” was held to just 57 yards on 18 carries.

“I’m a running back, so I love to get the ball, especially in critical situations,” Parker said. “When the pressure is on, I want the ball.”

Parker was disappointed he didn’t get the call on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line in the first quarter. Instead, coach Mike Tomlin sent in Mewelde Moore, who was stopped for a 1-yard loss.

It appeared that Parker scored on a 4-yard run late in the fourth quarter that would have given the Steelers a 15-10 lead. But tight end Sean McHugh was called for holding so the TD was negated.

Still, Jeff Reed came in and kicked a go-ahead 32-yard field goal that made it 11-10.

“Of course I want to score,” Parker said. “But (penalties) are part of the game. I’ll be OK. I’ll get plenty more chances the rest of the year.”

With six games to play, Parker has 448 rushing yards. If he averages 92 a game the rest of the way, he’ll reach 1,000 for the fourth straight year.
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2008/11/17/sports/steelers/doc4920fceef1653120792315.txt