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mesaSteeler
10-13-2009, 12:05 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_647708.html#

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Steelers RB Parker anxious to play again

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Steelers may be moving closer to the dilemma that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said he would welcome: finding enough carries to keep running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Willie Parker happy and effective.

Mendenhall continued to state his case that he deserves a prominent role in the offense even after Parker returns from the turf toe that has sidelined him for the last two games.

Mendenhall, who rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers' 28-20 win over the Detroit Lions, is averaging a robust 5.6 yards per carry.

Parker, meanwhile, is averaging 3.6 yards a carry since returning from the broken leg he sustained in the penultimate game of the 2007 season. He is trying to battle through an injury that can be a lingering one, and Parker said he does not know when he will be ready to play.

"I want to get out there so bad," said Parker, a two-time Pro Bowler.

What role Parker does serve when he is cleared to return remains to be seen.

Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley ended his sack drought in Detroit. But he shrugged off the significance of the 1.5 sacks he recorded against the Lions even though they were his first quarterback takedowns since the Super Bowl last February.

"If I wasn't getting any sacks and we won the game, I'd still be happy," Woodley said. "I lost contain a few times and allowed the quarterback to scramble out, so I'm a little disappointed, but I was able to help the team out."

Willie Colon didn't see the Steelers' final touchdown against the Lions and not because the right tackle was in a tangled mess of bodies when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Mike Wallace hooked up on a 47-yard scoring strike.

"I just closed my eyes," Colon said. "I didn't want to see."

That is understandable since Wallace had dropped a long pass earlier. And how did Colon find out Wallace redeemed himself?

"When I heard the roar," he said. "I was like 'Thank you.' "

One of the most impressive plays running back Mendenhall made against the Lions didn't net any yards. Yet, if Mendenhall hadn't recovered a fumble following a botched exchange between him and Roethlisberger near midfield in the second quarter, the Steelers would not have scored a touchdown eight plays later. What added to the degree of difficulty of the play: after Mendenhall alertly pounced on the loose ball, he had to keep the defensive players on top of him from trying to rip it out of his grasp.

"They were scratching and clawing at it and grabbing the facemask," Mendenhall said of being at the bottom of the pile.

QUOTABLE

"The thing that is exciting right now is that Ben is using all of his eligible (receivers). He's dumping the ball to Rashard (Mendenhall), he's dumping the ball to Mewelde Moore. Of course, Heath (Miller) is a constant, he's finding his third wideout in Mike Wallace. I think as long as we use all the eligibles and get the ball to the open man we're going to be a tougher unit to stop." Coach Mike Tomlin, on QB Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers' passing game.

DIGITS

29 Catches Heath Miller has through five games

48 Miller's career-high for catches in a season, set in 2008.

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

Preacher
10-13-2009, 12:10 AM
29 Catches Heath Miller has through five games

48 Miller's career-high for catches in a season, set in 2008.




WOW

Galax Steeler
10-13-2009, 04:41 AM
WOW

Yea Miller has turned into a great weapon for Big Ben this year. I hope he continues it all season.

SteelMember
10-13-2009, 08:19 AM
Anxious...maybe because he's getting nervous...about his job.

solardave
10-13-2009, 09:56 AM
Anxious...maybe because he's getting nervous...about his job.

I've been saying since Miller's rookie year that he was special and we needed to get him more involved. With Rashard playing this well Willie may need to face the fact that he's no longer the starter. It's still to early to crown the starting back IMHO.

Fire Haley
10-13-2009, 11:09 AM
Mendy hits the hole and keeps on going downhill, can catch the ball out of the backfield - and the O-line seems to like blocking for him.

don't change a good thing

stlrtruck
10-13-2009, 12:12 PM
I say run the wishbone and let the opposing defensive unit decide which RB is getting the ball. Then when they fail on predicting the short pass to HEAAATTHHH we'll just fly through the air until they decide to try and protect against the pass we'll let Parker and Mendenhall run over them again.

AllD
10-13-2009, 01:47 PM
Steelcat with Moore taking the snap.

sharkweek
10-13-2009, 09:25 PM
WOW

he's getting so many more opportunities because the coverage is so concerned with our WRs that they're just letting Miller free underneath, and this is mostly just because of Ward and Holmes...with Wallace quickly establishing his own threat, if only Sweed could just catch a break we would have a pretty unstoppable offense

MillerMania83
10-13-2009, 09:36 PM
'FAST' Willie sees his job slippin' away, and rightfully so....Miller IS A BEAST, NO DOUBT one of the top 3 TE's in the game, IF NOT THE BEST, PERIOD!!!!

stlrtruck
10-14-2009, 09:17 AM
at least someone's anxious, im not

I just hope Tomlin has enough wisdom and discernment to pull FWP if he doesn't show progression to being himself. We can't wait for Willie to gain his confidence back if we want to be playing in January/February.

I appreciate what Willie has done for our running game over the past few years, but it's not hard to see that he's timid, if anything, when hitting the hole. Almost as if his knee is still bothering him or he's scared he might hurt it (or the other one). If this is the case, he needs to either get over it (quickly) or step aside and be a situational back (but that's not exactly a good position considering Moore's status for that now).

Is Mendenhall the answer? Don't know yet. Would like to find out, but I don't think Willie needs to be shoved out to pasture based on a few games by Mendenhall. At the same time, Parker needs to prove he's #1 RB material (again). If the last two games of watching Mendenhall doesn't light a fire under his arse, then nothing will and it won't be too long before he's the #2 RB. I wonder how anxious he'll be for that?

steeltank
10-14-2009, 07:34 PM
I really thought Miller was walking this past year, one of the best keepers we have had/will have in ahwile.

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-14-2009, 07:40 PM
I just hope Tomlin has enough wisdom and discernment to pull FWP if he doesn't show progression to being himself. We can't wait for Willie to gain his confidence back if we want to be playing in January/February.

I appreciate what Willie has done for our running game over the past few years, but it's not hard to see that he's timid, if anything, when hitting the hole. Almost as if his knee is still bothering him or he's scared he might hurt it (or the other one). If this is the case, he needs to either get over it (quickly) or step aside and be a situational back (but that's not exactly a good position considering Moore's status for that now).

Is Mendenhall the answer? Don't know yet. Would like to find out, but I don't think Willie needs to be shoved out to pasture based on a few games by Mendenhall. At the same time, Parker needs to prove he's #1 RB material (again). If the last two games of watching Mendenhall doesn't light a fire under his arse, then nothing will and it won't be too long before he's the #2 RB. I wonder how anxious he'll be for that?

I just think Parker likes a lead blocker and looks timid from a single back set. He needs to find David Johnson's or Kemo's ass and run behind it, but if they dont use a FB and dont pull a guard, he doesnt pick a hole well.