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lamberts-lost-tooth
12-23-2008, 04:56 AM
Parker's complaints not solving problem
By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Some things are better left unsaid. Willie Parker continues to say them anyway.

Parker can't get going. Therefore, he can't let it go.

The Steelers ground game is stagnant, and Parker is frustrated.

Recently, Parker made a spectacle of himself, only to have coach Mike Tomlin make an example of him in public.

In Sunday's 31-14 loss at Tennessee, Parker was still running in quicksand and running his mouth.

He logged 18 carries for 29 yards against the Titans, after carrying 14 times for 47 yards a week earlier against Baltimore, and after rushing 12 times for 25 yards two weeks earlier against Dallas.

That adds up to 44 carries for 101 yards in Parker's past three games, which doesn't cut it for the feature back on a team that fancies itself a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

Questioned about a pair of sprint-draw plays against Tennessee that netted minus-8 yards, Parker replied, "You do it against a team that blitzes a lot (to) kind of slow them down," he said. "They were in a lot of man every time we did that play. It's not good against man."

Second-guessing offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' philosophy of not using a blocking fullback while favoring two tight-end sets is second nature to Parker.

At 28, Parker is nearing the age when most NFL running backs begin their decline. He's a two-time Pro Bowl running back coming off a broken leg, and he's battled knee and shoulder injuries this season.

"If I'm on the field, I'm healthy. If I'm not on the field, I'm not healthy," said Parker, who has rushed for a team-high 673 yards and scored four touchdowns this season while missing five games with those assorted injuries. "That's the way it's got to be."

In Parker's world, he always gets to run behind a fullback, and a two-tailback system is his worst nightmare.

As for that dreaded two-tailback system, if it worked against New England (when Parker and Mewelde Moore combined for 154 yards on 28 carries), why wouldn't it work again?

"Ever since I've been here, teams have been stacking the box against the run," Parker said. "You've got to run the ball, so you can set up everything else."

Parker's solution?

"I don't know," he said. "I'm not a coach. I just play the game. Coaches coach, we play."

When Parker was playing at a high level, his input was more welcome than it is right now. Until he returns to his old self, he might want to keep that in mind the next time he talks about what's wrong with the Steelers' ground attack.

The answer could be staring him in the mirror.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_604105.html

augustashark
12-23-2008, 04:59 AM
The Oline and Arians are in the mirror? Kinda spooky.

ShutDown24
12-23-2008, 05:24 AM
I like the article headline considering I couldn't find where Parker "complained"...?

stillers4me
12-23-2008, 05:32 AM
So just how is Willie ever supposed to be his "old self" the way things are set up now? I really don't think he minds the two back system. But neither of them are eating up much ground. That's why the ball is in the air so much and that's why it's getting picked off.

stlrtruck
12-23-2008, 08:20 AM
I'm not a coach. I just play the game. Coaches coach, we play."

Then stop bitchin' and play the game!!! Yes, we know the O-line isn't the best but there were a few holes on Sunday that you failed to get through because you were dancing and sometimes just getting hit as you got the ball. But coming out in public isn't how you fix it. Shut your mouth, do your job, and WIN!