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mesaSteeler
04-02-2010, 07:00 AM
Parker moves on from Steelers
Friday, April 02, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10092/1047371-66.stm

Running back Willie Parker on not being re-signed by the Steelers: "I can't be too bitter about what happened. I was a little salty, can't say I wasn't. But it's a business and the game I chose to play."

Willie Parker talked to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin this week, and the halfback would not rule out his return to the Steelers.

But that is not what they talked about.

"Nothing dealing with football," Parker said Thursday from his home in North Carolina. "Not really dealing with Pittsburgh or anything like that. I respect him as a coach. One thing they always said, they would play the best guys. I guess I wasn't the best guy."

After a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoting a close associate of Parker's that he was bitter and would prefer to retire than return to the Steelers, Kirby Wilson, who coaches their backs, called Parker. Parker then called Tomlin.

Parker described his feelings as "a little salty," not bitter, and that he definitely is not ready to retire.

"There's a business side; you can't let your pride get in the way," said Parker. "That's a great organization with great people, great character. I can't be too bitter about what happened. I was a little salty, can't say I wasn't. But it's a business and the game I chose to play.

"If they can get rid of LaDainian Tomlinson like that in San Diego, a future Hall of Famer, they'll let anybody go. It's just the business we play in; it's a young man's game."

Parker finds himself unwanted again, or at least it seems that way, just the way it was when he went almost unnoticed at the University of North Carolina and undrafted by the NFL.

Parker is 29 and an unrestricted free agent who has had two visits with other teams, Washington and St. Louis, but no contract. His agent continues to negotiate with others. The Steelers are not one of them.

Parker opened the 2009 season as the Steelers' starting halfback for the fifth consecutive year. Only he took a different stance than he had previously. Instead of putting his hand on the ground and staring ahead, he looked over his shoulder.

There he saw Rashard Mendenhall, the team's first-round draft pick in 2008. Parker ran through and around many walls in his six seasons with the Steelers but he could not ignore the handwriting on this one.

"Think about it: I had a first-rounder behind me," he said. "I knew nothing could happen, I had to play at a high level all the time. I couldn't get hurt."

Parker played with a slightly injured hamstring in the first two games and did not have his normal burst. Then he injured a big toe in the third game and the Willie Parker era gave way to Rashard Mendenhall's.

"When I got hurt, it was like, 'Cool, that's all we needed.'" said Parker "It was an easy decision: Put the first-rounder in, time to start his career."

Parker missed two games, in which Mendenhall ran for 242 yards. Over the next 10 games, Parker carried 34 times. He then carried 12 times in the final game at Miami for 91 yards and thought that might be his ticket to a second chance somewhere.

Nearly a month into free agency, he is nowhere yet and has accepted that no team, at this point, will sign him to be their starter.

"I'm kind of surprised," Parker said. "But people looked over me my entire life. I'll do what I've always done, just go and work hard and the situation will fall in place.

"I've been in worse situations than this. I came in behind a Hall of Fame running back [Jerome Bettis] and Duce [Staley]. I was nobody. If I can go through what I went through at UNC, I can do anything."

Parker understands the whole decision with Mendenhall.

"Rashard's a good running back," said Parker. "I taught him everything I knew, and what the older guys taught me I passed down to him. He's going to do some big things in the NFL, especially this year. I look forward to him having a breakout season."

Parker, in the meantime, hopes to have a break-back-in season. He worked out for two months at five-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson's Performance Center near Dallas and has brought his weight up to 214 pounds -- eight more than last season and back to where he was a few years ago. He thought he would be quicker at 206, but the hits at that weight were more rattling.

"I had to get my body back right," said Parker, who plans to return to Dallas in June. "I think I can still be a great running back, I know that for a fact."

He was that. He topped 1,200 yards rushing three consecutive years, 2005-07, when he averaged 1,337.3 yards. He led the NFL heading into the 15th game of the 2007 season when his leg was broken on his first carry.

Some team will sign him -- and that team ultimately might get a bargain. The Steelers certainly found one with him.
More college visits

The Steelers entertained two more college prospects Thursday, closing out the week after meeting with 13 since Monday. The players visiting with coaches and scouts Thursday were Wake Forest defensive back Brandon Ghee and South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood. The Steelers will resume visits by prospects Tuesday. Each NFL team is permitted to have 30 prospects visit by April 14.

For more on the Steelers, read Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com.

SteelersMongol
04-02-2010, 07:59 AM
I feel bad. I wish Willie the best of luck.

HometownGal
04-02-2010, 08:03 AM
I wish you the best of luck, FWP. :drink: Thank you for all of your contributions to the B & G and for providing us Steelers fans with such excitement during your time here. :hatsoff:

mulldog24
04-02-2010, 08:27 AM
Best of luck FWP!! I'm still holding out hope that you come back to the Steelers.

Hotrodder07
04-02-2010, 08:47 AM
Best of luck FWP!! I'm still holding out hope that you come back to the Steelers.

Same here. I love his attitude and work ethic. He understands that it was just business that he lost his job, and he only had good things to say about the Steelers organization. If he doesn't get a contract soon, possibly he'll consider coming back here with a smaller contract and a smaller role.

Dino 6 Rings
04-02-2010, 08:55 AM
Hang tight Parker, I never expected to see El and Foote again, so who knows...maybe mid season...with an injury or two...or next off season...just hang in there man...thanks again for the Record Setting TD Run in the Super Bowl.

stillers4me
04-02-2010, 08:59 AM
Willie is one of the good guys. I hope someway, he cam finish his football life as a Steeler.

Steeldude
04-02-2010, 09:25 AM
has any other team even shown the slightest interest in parker? i hope he signs on with either the ravens, browns or bengals.

Psyychoward86
04-02-2010, 09:40 AM
I'm ok with him coming back, but id rather draft a new body in the middle rounds.

RoethlisBURGHer
04-02-2010, 10:09 AM
The best of luck to you Willie Parker, unless you're playing the Steelers....then I hope you rush for about -500 yards and cough up the football a ton.

Bng_Hevn
04-02-2010, 10:45 AM
He not only played in the NFL for 5 seasons, he played for the Steelers and has two rings to remember them by. Unless he pulls a Mike Tyson, he should be financially set. He has nothing to lament about.

He is in a pretty good position because he can bide his time and continue to workout. He'll get a shot if he keeps at it. Maybe not as a starter right off, but if he lands on a roster and still has the skill, he'll get his chance.

truesteelerfan
04-02-2010, 10:49 AM
Since no other team will let you be a starter Willie, just come back to us! You know the playbook, and we need depth at RB, sounds like a perfect fit!

Godfather
04-02-2010, 10:52 AM
Willie was a great Steeler. It's a shame he broke his leg in 2007...he was never the same after that.

GutterflowerSteel
04-02-2010, 11:19 AM
Willie has class - I wish he could somehow come back to the Steelers, albeit in a lesser role. Regardless, he's got two rings with the B&G, and accomplished a lot more than was expected. I wish him all the best - I'll never forget that amazing Super Bowl run :tt02: I screamed myself hoarse lol

Chidi29
04-02-2010, 11:30 AM
To me, it's rare to see a guy who is unhappy about his role yet keep in behidn closed doors and not wind up mouthing off to the media about it. Very classy and I wish you the best of luck FWP.

Chidi29
04-02-2010, 11:31 AM
has any other team even shown the slightest interest in parker? i hope he signs on with either the ravens, browns or bengals.

There were some rumors about Washington and Tampa Bay early in the offseason but obviously, nothing came from that.

MACH1
04-02-2010, 11:38 AM
I appreciate what you've done wille, good luck in the future!

One thing they always said, they would play the best guys. I guess I wasn't the best guy."

First clue, nobody's beating down your door to get you singed.

wootawnee
04-02-2010, 01:21 PM
If Bungles or Browns will pick him up.......How will you feel about him then............You guys will hate him..........

Psyychoward86
04-02-2010, 01:28 PM
If Bungles or Browns will pick him up.......How will you feel about him then............You guys will hate him..........

Most of us still love Joey?

steelerdude15
04-02-2010, 01:34 PM
Well Willie... where ever you go I wish you the best of luck! It's been great with you here and you've been a key part of our offense. I hope you get to sign with a team soon.

Florida_Steelers_Fan
04-02-2010, 01:52 PM
Free Agency is a gamble...looks like FWP gambled and lost. I still believe the Steelers will eventually bring him back...

steelerdave1969
04-02-2010, 02:01 PM
I wish you the best of luck, FWP. :drink: Thank you for all of your contributions to the B & G and for providing us Steelers fans with such excitement during your time here. :hatsoff:

As I was really hoping that Willie would return this article pretty much sums things up with him in my opinion. Nice words HometownGal... couldnt have said it any better.

polamalubeast
04-02-2010, 02:04 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGsGQjIpoW0&feature=related

Fire Haley
04-02-2010, 02:22 PM
Ths skins


Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Redskins reached an agreement with free agent running back Willie Parker. According to Schefter, it's a one-year contract with a maximum value of $3.1 million.

SteelGhost
04-02-2010, 04:09 PM
Disney Channel 2 link :

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5050721

Steelreserve MUST be the happiest member of this board :chuckle:

pepsyman1
04-02-2010, 04:24 PM
Best of luck to Fast Willie. I think in the right situation he will still be able to put up some strong numbers if used properly. I think he gave the Steelers everything he had, even when his style didn't match our offense too well and the team did very little to maximize the talent he had. He was a class act all last year after Mendi took over, I hope he does well in Washington.

AndyWitmyer
04-02-2010, 07:57 PM
Very sad to see - but not at all surprising. I agree with stillers4me - Willie was definitely one of the good guys. Maybe he can come back in his twilight year to retire as a Steeler and, like Charlie Batch, a mentor to the younger backs. He'll always be a Steeler at heart.

steve314
04-02-2010, 08:28 PM
There were some rumors about Washington and Tampa Bay early in the offseason but obviously, nothing came from that.

Obviously!

Psyychoward86
04-02-2010, 08:29 PM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d8174cedf&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true


he's a redskin now for those living under rocks

Steel Fan
04-02-2010, 11:05 PM
Good luck FWP.
Business might be busines, but his record breaking run in the SB will not be forgotten.

casteeler
04-02-2010, 11:07 PM
Hate to see this, mendy will have to shoulder the load.... hope he has learned to bounce it outside kinda tired of watching him run into the backs of the O.L!

Galax Steeler
04-03-2010, 04:06 AM
I still think he will not get the carries he wants in Washington. They still have Portis and Larry Johnson so I don't believe that he is no better off there.

SteelerFanInStl
04-03-2010, 10:16 AM
I still think he will not get the carries he wants in Washington. They still have Portis and Larry Johnson so I don't believe that he is no better off there.

:iagree: I really don't understand why he'd sign with Washington if he wants lots of carries. He's not gonna get it there.

Steeldude
04-04-2010, 08:17 AM
If Bungles or Browns will pick him up.......How will you feel about him then............You guys will hate him..........

hate? i would love if he went to a divisional rival.

PalmerSteel
04-05-2010, 09:01 AM
:iagree: I really don't understand why he'd sign with Washington if he wants lots of carries. He's not gonna get it there.

when your a professional athlete, i am sure they all have the same mindset: i am better then the rest. thats what he is thinking. he is out to earn his carries over those other guys. 9 times out of 10, the player doesnt realize he is washed up until its too late. that killer instinct is what makes them professionals in the first place though.