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View Full Version : Memories will last if Steelers' Parker doesn't


Galax Steeler
01-26-2010, 05:29 AM
Some of Willie Parker's memories will probably be emblazoned forever in the minds of his teammates and fans.

The first of his 26 career 100-yard rushing performances in the 2004 season finale in Buffalo, the game that convinced Bill Cowher he needed to seriously consider Parker as a starter, not a reserve.

A 75-yard touchdown run on a play called Counter 34 Pike early in the second half of Super Bowl XL in Detroit -- the longest touchdown run in Super Bowl history.

Setting a franchise single-game record that had stood for 36 years when he rushed for 223 yards in a Dec. 12, 2007, game against the Cleveland Browns.

Leading the National Football League in rushing with two games remaining and breaking his leg in Week 15 in a Thursday night game in St. Louis in 2007.

"He won two Super Bowls with us," said wide receiver Hines Ward. "He'll always be a Steeler for life, in my opinion."

Even if he is no longer with the Steelers.

That possibility is creeping closer to reality because Parker, a former two-time Pro Bowl running back, is an unrestricted free agent who sounds as if he has played his last game with the Steelers.

After losing his starting job to Rashard Mendenhall in Week 4, Parker played sparingly the rest of the season, even though he might have gone out in grand style when he rushed for 74 of his 91 yards on the final game-preserving drive in Miami.

At age 29 and with an average of 244 carries in each of his past five seasons, he wants to, and thinks he still can, be a starting running back in the NFL. Even though his 5-foot-10, 209-pound frame has absorbed a lot of blows.

"I'm a starter always looked at myself as starter, that's what I want to be," said Parker, who was an undrafted free agent from North Carolina in 2004. "So, till I hang up pads, that's how I'm going to look at myself. Rashard is a great back and he had a great season and, hopefully, he'll carry it on.

"I had six great years here with the Steelers. We won two Super Bowls. I want to thank the organization and thank everybody. You know how the business goes. I love these guys. I love the organization. I'm a Steeler by heart. We'll see what happens in the future."

The development of Mendenhall, who rushed for 1,108 yards on 242 carries after an injury shortened rookie season, has likely hastened Parker's departure.

It is likely he could return to the team at a value significantly less than the $3.6 million he was paid this season. But it is more likely he can land with another team who is seeking a former two-time Pro Bowl running back with six years experience.

If Parker leaves, the Steelers will have to find a replacement. Their offseason roster includes several candidates, including Isaac Redman, or possibly Justin Vincent, both members of the practice squad.

But they might have to use the middle to late rounds of the April draft to get a backup for Mendenhall.

And that is not a far-fetched possibility.

In the past three years, backs such as Cincinnati's Bernard Scott (sixth round), Indianapolis' Mike Hart (6), Miami's Lex Hilliard (6) and Ahmad Bradshaw of the New York Giants (7) have all been plucked in later rounds.

"It's a business," Ward said. "If Willie's not here, he had a phenomenal career with us. There's still a lot of football left in Willie. Hopefully he'll end up here."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10026/1031041-66.stm

HometownGal
01-26-2010, 07:48 AM
While I would love to see FWP remain with the Steelers and become part of a 1-2 punch in the ground game, I don't think it's going to happen. Willie handled his demotion with the utmost professionalism and class, but I have no doubt he wants the chance at being a starter. As Hines said - he will always be remembered as a Steeler - I wouldn't have it any other way either. :drink:

lamberts-lost-tooth
01-26-2010, 08:04 AM
While I would love to see FWP remain with the Steelers and become part of a 1-2 punch in the ground game, I don't think it's going to happen. Willie handled his demotion with the utmost professionalism and class, but I have no doubt he wants the chance at being a starter. As Hines said - he will always be remembered as a Steeler - I wouldn't have it any other way either. :drink:

Willie's life is an inspirational story. With percerverance and hard work, a player that had been blackballed by his college coach became a record breaking NFL running back.

Willie is the anti-Chris Henry. May Chris rest in peace, but you have to wonder what may have become of him if he had the humbleness and work ethic of FWP.

Anyway...I think Willie will be given the opportunity to fight for a starting position elsewhere. There are several teams that cold use his skillset effectively. He deserves that chance.

BigBen'sSwagger
01-26-2010, 08:27 AM
Remembered also that in the Cleave game he was pulled out before the end of the game or he may have set the rushing record for the league for one game.

Willie was fun to watch I remember seeing him before he became a starter in pre-season games saying he needs to be on the team. Glad he made it and that he did what he did with his oppertunities. Hope he comes back.

SteelMember
01-26-2010, 08:30 AM
I wouldn't be opposed to Willie staying... in a back-up role, but think he'll want to test the market to be "the" guy.

I know we have a growing bullpen of back-ups at RB, but a free agent I would be interested in is Jerious Norwood. When healthy, this guy always impressed with the Falcons. He could be a change of pace, or the 3rd down back. Speed, with good hands. :noidea:

scsteeler
01-26-2010, 09:28 AM
I hope Parker can remain a Steeler but if not he will always be Forever one to me.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-26-2010, 09:34 AM
I know that somewhere......Steelreserve is secretly hoping that Parker can remain a Steeler too. :chuckle:

SteelMember
01-26-2010, 09:46 AM
I know that somewhere......Steelreserve is secretly hoping that Parker can remain a Steeler too. :chuckle:

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showpost.php?p=763290&postcount=5

He is consistent in that reguard. :chuckle:

steelerdave1969
01-26-2010, 10:49 AM
I would love to see Willie stay in Pittsburgh as well, but the way Willie sounds there is Not much chance of it happening. I love ya Willie and I wish you well no matter where u go unless its Baltimore or Cleveland or Cincinnati... :chuckle:

vasteeler
01-26-2010, 10:53 AM
I would love to see Willie stay in Pittsburgh as well, but the way Willie sounds there is Not much chance of it happening. I love ya Willie and I wish you well no matter where u go unless its Baltimore or Cleveland or Cincinnati... :chuckle:

come on Dave please go with a larger font my eyes are not what they used to be

steelreserve
01-26-2010, 11:21 AM
My memories of Parker will be one good run in the Super Bowl, a couple good games against shitty teams, and about 400 runs up the middle for no gain.


I know that somewhere......Steelreserve is secretly hoping that Parker can remain a Steeler too. :chuckle:

On the bright side, it WOULD let me keep using this:

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f370/capt_taco/parker-sucks-sign-1.jpg

See? I'm a glass-is-half-full kind of guy when it comes to him.

SteelGhost
01-26-2010, 11:54 AM
I like Willie and thank him for the good plays, but having Rushard M. as starter has numbered his days in B & G, good luck wherever you go Willie :hatsoff:

Who do you guys think will be our 2nd. RB ?

Which teams can hire ex-FWP as starter RB ? That's very intriguing :tap:

memphissteelergirl
01-26-2010, 12:36 PM
Like HTG said, he handled losing his starting job with a great deal of professionalism. He will always have my respect for that.

Whatever happens, #39 will always have a special place in my heart. And I wish him nothing but the best. :tt02:

steelreserve
01-26-2010, 01:23 PM
Which teams can hire ex-FWP as starter RB ? That's very intriguing :tap:

Bucs, Seahawks, Browns, Lions ... they all seem to have a general malaise about their running game and no definite path to fix it.

Could also see him going to a team like the Falcons, where splitting duties with a big burly guy like Michael Turner could actually help them both. And of course, the Cardinals love geriatric running backs and they love ex-Steelers, so...

Personally, I hope he goes to the Patriots so we have no problem shutting down their running game.

SteelGhost
01-26-2010, 03:26 PM
Bucs, Seahawks, Browns, Lions ... they all seem to have a general malaise about their running game and no definite path to fix it.

Could also see him going to a team like the Falcons, where splitting duties with a big burly guy like Michael Turner could actually help them both. And of course, the Cardinals love geriatric running backs and they love ex-Steelers, so...

Personally, I hope he goes to the Patriots so we have no problem shutting down their running game.

But Willie wants a starter job, sharing the running load is something he can do staying in Black & Gold anyway :noidea:

:rofl: at the Cards and Pats* comments :toofunny:

steelreserve
01-26-2010, 03:49 PM
But Willie wants a starter job, sharing the running load is something he can do staying in Black & Gold anyway :noidea:

I dunno. Something tells me he'd get more playing time in a situation like that -- where he actually has different strengths and weaknesses than the other back. As opposed to with the Steelers, where he's basically the same type of back as the starter, only worse at everything.

SteelGhost
01-26-2010, 03:56 PM
If he stays away from the AFCN teams, that's ok :chuckle:

casteeler
01-26-2010, 04:56 PM
the argument could be made that the steelers release great talent too early(fanaca,randel el, porter,krieder, mcfadden) the list goes on and on.FWP should be pursuaded to stay and accept a bigger role with the team.Please stay FWP!

Kanata-Steeler
01-26-2010, 05:33 PM
[QUOTE=Galax Steeler;763632]Some of Willie Parker's memories will probably be emblazoned forever in the minds of his teammates and fans.

A 75-yard touchdown run on a play called Counter 34 Pike early in the second half of Super Bowl XL in Detroit -- the longest touchdown run in Super Bowl history.

Thats the one I remeber in a Vancouver bar full of Seattle fans. oh ya. :)
:tt:

SteelGhost
01-26-2010, 05:56 PM
the argument could be made that the steelers release great talent too early(fanaca,randel el, porter,krieder, mcfadden) the list goes on and on.FWP should be pursuaded to stay and accept a bigger role with the team.Please stay FWP!

At this point I only miss Faneca and Krieder :thumbsup:

Galax Steeler
01-27-2010, 05:03 AM
At this point I only miss Faneca and Krieder :thumbsup:

From what I read Faneca may be on the market this year he has a big bonus and I don't know if the Jets will pay it but he won't be back here.