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mesaSteeler
01-04-2010, 08:44 PM
http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-the-press-box/2010/01/04/parkers-return-an-intriguing-possibility/
View From The Press Box


Parker's return an intriguing possibility
January 4th, 2010

After looking like the Willie Parker of old instead of an old Willie Parker in the Steelers’ 30-24 win against the Dolphins, the free-agent-to-be running back offered mixed messages when it comes to his future.

“Hopefully I’m here next season because it’s a blessing, me coming here and being part of a great organization,” Parker said.

But the sixth-year veteran also said, “I want to thank the coaches and my teammates for embracing me and blessing me to be part of such a great organization.”

If I had to set odds on Parker donning a Steelers uniform again I’d put them at no better than 50/50 -- and that might be optimistic.

He is clearly eyeing a bigger role than the one he had following Rashard Mendenhall’s emergence, which came after a toe injury sustained by Parker in late September provided an opening for the 2008 first-round draft pick.

But Parker, 29, also has to be realistic. He has six seasons of wear and tear on his 5-10, 209-pound frame. In two of those seasons he averaged 329 carries.

Teams aren’t likely to line up to sign someone who has taken a lot of hits and plays a position that is rarely associated with longevity in the NFL. And where Parker covets a chance to start again -- “If you think about it every running back wants to be the starter,” he said. -- the two-time Pro Bowler may not get the chance to carry a running game as he did in 2006-07.

NFL teams are increasingly relying on more than a back in the running game, and Parker might have to accept being part of a rotation if he signs elsewhere.

In the end, re-signing with the team he has been with for his entire career might make the most sense for Parker and the Steelers.

Parker showed against the Dolphins that he still has the kind of burst that helped him become the Steelers’ third all-time leading rusher. With Mendenhall out because of a leg injury, Parker gained 74 of his 91 rushing yards on the Steelers’ final drive.

He still has value as insurance for Mendenhall and could be a complement to the second-year back if the Steelers ever decide to go that route.

Parker, who made $4 million this season, would have to take a pay cut to return to the Steelers. But the Steelers would also have to give assurances to Parker that he will be more than an afterthought in the offense if they want to re-sign him.

“I’ve wanted to get more than three or four carries a game all season,” Parker said, “and run the ball and just be me and make plays.”

Surely the Steelers can design packages that get Mendenhall and Parker on the field together. And if other teams can make two-back approaches work, why can’t it happen here?

That is the most significant question the Steelers will have to answer to Parker if they truly want him back.
Filed under: Steelers Comments (31)

steeltheone
01-04-2010, 09:40 PM
He will get nowhere near the 4 million a year here. We have other priorities.He will be somewhere else.

pepsyman1
01-04-2010, 09:55 PM
I'd LOVE to see FWP and Mendi in the same backfield. I know they could put some good packages together and truly be a dangerous combo. Who knows? Maybe some middle ground can be found between Willie and the FO.

BlastFurnace
01-04-2010, 09:57 PM
I hope he stays.

Mendenhall is going to need someone to share the load with next year. Willie would be perfect.

lionslicer
01-04-2010, 10:09 PM
Parker seems like someone who would leave for the money, and if another team offered him enough, he'll be gone.

supa_fly_steeler
01-04-2010, 10:16 PM
willie doesn't strike me as someone who wants to be shown the money, he's a quiet guy, if he wants to come back he will accept backup money, what team is gonna sign a 30 year old backup who has averaged less and less every year when there is loads of talented running backs in this years draft.

it's a bargian for him to finish being a steeler, i dont want him to go out with 91 yards... i want him to get that 75 yard touchdown run in a super bowl again.

Fifty8
01-04-2010, 10:49 PM
Too bad he doesn't have bettter hands, he'd be perfect on third down or in west coast with that speed. I'm sure he is going to look for at least a 50/50 split situation and he just won't get that here.

My guess is he ends up in KC, Detroit or Seattle.:wave:

Preacher
01-04-2010, 10:57 PM
I hope he stays.

Mendenhall is going to need someone to share the load with next year. Willie would be perfect.

Exactly.

Preacher
01-04-2010, 10:58 PM
Too bad he doesn't have bettter hands, he'd be perfect on third down or in west coast with that speed. I'm sure he is going to look for at least a 50/50 split situation and he just won't get that here.

My guess is he ends up in KC, Detroit or Seattle.:wave:

Actually, he does have ok hands. Not good, but ok.

Mendy has evolved into a pretty good third down back.

I wouldn't be surprised to see MeMo gone, and Willie come back, to be honest.

lionslicer
01-04-2010, 11:04 PM
Actually, he does have ok hands. Not good, but ok.

Mendy has evolved into a pretty good third down back.

I wouldn't be surprised to see MeMo gone, and Willie come back, to be honest.

Parker has ok hands, as in he catches 1 out of every 10 passes thrown to him out of the backfield. If he is thrown a short pass when he's still behind the LOS he can catch it and make some moves. But he's terrible when he has to run a route and make a play on the ball. He drops more balls when he is wide open than Sweed.

Hayeksheroes
01-04-2010, 11:21 PM
Willie will go to the Cards if he does not stay with the Steelers. The Steelers would be smart to resign him.

KeiselPower99
01-04-2010, 11:27 PM
I wouldnt mind seeing Willie return next year. He had a nice game yesterday and having that Spindenhall was getting bottled up Willie ran it hard and straight ahead.

Preacher
01-04-2010, 11:32 PM
Parker has ok hands, as in he catches 1 out of every 10 passes thrown to him out of the backfield. If he is thrown a short pass when he's still behind the LOS he can catch it and make some moves. But he's terrible when he has to run a route and make a play on the ball. He drops more balls when he is wide open than Sweed.

Hmm... 78 receptions for 633 yards.

Seems to me, that his hands are ok.

devilsdancefloor
01-04-2010, 11:36 PM
ive been waiting patiently to see the pony backfield we did it once and memo got a first down. As for FWP i would like him to stay a steeler.id make his contract incentive laden if you are not injury x amount of games you get x amount extra. i hope he stays! :tt04::tt04::tt04:

lionslicer
01-04-2010, 11:51 PM
Hmm... 78 receptions for 633 yards.

Seems to me, that his hands are ok.

Thats his career... he averages less than 20 catches a season. And drops a lot more passes than anyone else. He has around 12 drops a season. not counting his rookie season and this past season... atleast thats what I read, maybe that was one season... I know it was parker but I can't figure out if it was average 12 or just 12 in a season... still 12 is a high number, usually the most balls dropped by a player is 16 in a year.

BehindSteelCurtain
01-05-2010, 01:14 AM
Wouldn't mind having him back. Love to see a 50/50 split in PIT.

Galax Steeler
01-05-2010, 03:32 AM
I just don't see him coming back he even said he wanted to start somwhere and that is not going to be in Pittsburgh. He has shown he can run the ball but his injuries are starting to add up if he was to stay how much would he be on the pine.

Preacher
01-05-2010, 04:07 AM
Thats his career... he averages less than 20 catches a season. And drops a lot more passes than anyone else. He has around 12 drops a season. not counting his rookie season and this past season... atleast thats what I read, maybe that was one season... I know it was parker but I can't figure out if it was average 12 or just 12 in a season... still 12 is a high number, usually the most balls dropped by a player is 16 in a year.

Actually, he has a 70 percent completion percentage, based on targeted to caught balls.

You also have to keep in mind that targeted doesn't always mean catchable.

That means that per year on average, 6.1 balls thrown to him were not caught. Or, 3 out of every 10 thrown to him. Again, this is "targeted", not "catchable" Busted screen plays where Ben throws the ball and it gets knocked down, throwaways in Parker's area, passes defended, etc. are all counted as targeted.


And all of that goes to my original post, that Willie has OK hands.

(stats taken from this (http://fftoday.com/stats/playerprofile.php?PlayerID=2434) data.)

steeltheone
01-05-2010, 04:49 AM
[QUOTE=lionslicer;750281]Parker has ok hands, as in he catches 1 out of every 10 passes thrown to him out of the backfield. If he is thrown a short pass when he's still behind the LOS he can catch it and make some moves. But he's terrible when he has to run a route and make a play on the ball. He drops more balls when he is wide open than Swe

His hands are his downfall. Anybody who has watched this team knows that. I can't believe people would argue this point. Two years ago people wanted MeMo as a starter because he was much better all around back.

Vincent
01-05-2010, 05:31 AM
I know they could put some good packages together and truly be a dangerous combo. Who knows?

You mean our OC? Running plays?

The talent on this team is unbelievable. The squandering of that talent is more so.

Rick5895
01-05-2010, 05:49 AM
I would expect the F.O will offer Willie back up money, similiar to Bettis. Unless he gets an overwhelming amount to go elsewhere, he will be here. IMO

steelers7807
01-05-2010, 06:02 AM
His prefered running style has always been to go around the ends and not up the middle. Most of the time he doesn't trust that a hole will appear and will change the play to run toward the ends. He is getting slower and the defences are getting to him faster. The only reason he looked good in Miami was that the defense was out there for so long (we ran up 67 plays on them) and throwing him out proved to be a changeup to the speed of the game at that time. Will that always happen? No. But in his defense, it does seem that the offensive line is geared more toward pass blocking than run blocking.

Steeldude
01-05-2010, 07:42 AM
I hope he stays.

Mendenhall is going to need someone to share the load with next year. Willie would be perfect.

i would rather use moore.

steelballs
01-05-2010, 08:04 AM
Actually, he does have ok hands. Not good, but ok.

Mendy has evolved into a pretty good third down back.

I wouldn't be surprised to see MeMo gone, and Willie come back, to be honest.

That would surprise me. MeMo is/was Tomlin's "guy" brought in from the Vikings and at a much cheaper price. I like Willie and always will, but his fragility as of late concerns me.
I think his best bet is to swallow his pride a little and stay where he is. If Willie stayed and remained healthy, that would be a hell of a tandem to deal with.

Texasteel
01-05-2010, 08:16 AM
I had a feeling about half way through the season that Parker might want to come back. I think he still has gas in the tank, if we can keep from over using him, and with Mendy the featured back that should be no problem.

HometownGal
01-05-2010, 08:18 AM
I'd love to see FWP back in 2010 - he and Mendy could be quite a dynamic duo. However, I agree with the consensus here that he would need to take a pay cut and if he truly wants to remain a Steeler, he'll agree to do so.

jjpro11
01-05-2010, 10:26 AM
he definitely looked healthier and much faster towards the end of the season. he was clearly playing hurt during the first half of the season.

i can't blame him if he leaves for the money. he has won 2 Super Bowls. holds a Super Bowl record.. is going to be a backup if he returns.. and all this after going undrafted.

littlemac
01-05-2010, 11:31 AM
parker will be a backup where ever he goes Willy has to decide if he wants to be a STEELER or not ??

Glace
01-05-2010, 11:35 AM
Putting my Steelers fan bias aside....and speaking completely as just a fan of the game.....

Somebody needs to tell Andy Reid to get Parker to come to Philly and split carries with Westbrook, who is on the decline due to numerous concussions, etc.

You would see Parker as a whole new kind of monster in that offense.

Curtain_of_Steel
01-05-2010, 02:32 PM
Parker only looked good in the last game because he was well rested. He could fall into that end of the game back with us as well, due to my next comment. Of course to be able to run the ball late in the game, would mean we arent doing a 99 yard drive with a last second game winning pass.

Also he was only in there because Mendy has had the fumblitis at times and Tomlin was not going to let him have a chance to drop the ball again and cost us the game.

I wouldn't mind him being a back up as he would be more than servicable. but your talking about 1 to 1.5mill tops. Probably the latter. Hate to see him go, but he has been a class act and took it well.

JEFF4i
01-06-2010, 12:07 PM
Sure, Willie wants to be a starter, but he never said he expected to be one. He's still very fast, and if BA saw that running the ball can win games too against the Dolphins, then some split-backs could be deadly.

What about a fleaflicker with the option for a sideways to Willie? You've already got the defense committed to the center, and everyone knows Rashard likes the gut.

Rek
01-06-2010, 12:37 PM
The organization owes FWP. He has been a class act about the whole Mendenhall thing. I say keep him.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-06-2010, 12:50 PM
Parker will take his 2 super bowl rings and go look for a paycheck elsewhere before retirement. Best wishes, but he pretty much got the Duce Staley sweatpants award the last 10 games of the season.

plenewken
01-06-2010, 01:03 PM
The organization owes FWP. He has been a class act about the whole Mendenhall thing. I say keep him.

The organization owes nobody nothing. FWP got paid $3,350,000 this year and counts $4,500,000 against the cap. That's pretty good for an injury prone non-starter, don't you think?

plenewken
01-06-2010, 01:07 PM
..........................

steelreserve
01-06-2010, 04:12 PM
Hmm... 78 receptions for 633 yards.

Seems to me, that his hands are ok.

Yeah? A good running back will get those numbers in a season, not a career.

Maybe his hands are OK, but he sucks at getting open. Also blocking. And running. Yeah, we need that guy around. Especially if he's injured half the time.

Psyychoward86
01-06-2010, 04:56 PM
As admirable as Willie looked, being a one man army on that last scoring drive against the Dolphins, keeping him just doesnt make sense. He's ridiculously injury prone (literally missed about half the season in '09, almost half the season in '08, missed the playoffs in '07), offers little to no versatility (questionable at blocking, unreliable receiver out of the backfield), and goes $4.5million against the cap. Not to mention his style of running isnt drive sustaining at all.

SteelerFanInCA
01-06-2010, 04:58 PM
If we can get him cheap he might be worth signing. Also depends on what type of role WP is looking for.

casteeler
01-06-2010, 11:36 PM
i hope for our sake he stays i was getting tired of watching mendy run into the backs of his off linemen and only gain 1 or 2 yards.