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BlitzburghRockCity 08-27-2005 01:05 AM

Fast Willie returning kicks..

Running back Willie Parker got a chance to return kickoffs Friday night at FedEx Field against the Redskins and made the most of it, taking the opening kickoff back 43 yards to the Steelers' 41-yard line. Parker fielded a subsequent kickoff on one bounce and was held to a 17-yard return. Parker also replaced Verron Haynes , at least temporarily, as the third-down back, entering the game on offense on the Steelers' first third down of the evening.

Parker's number was called again when Jerome Bettis exited with a right-calf injury. Bettis limped off at the conclusion of the Steelers' second series and was replaced at running back by Parker at the outset of the Steelers' third possession. Parker exploded for 51 yards on his only carry of the first half.

Cornerback Ike Taylor was the first extra defensive back summoned into action by the Steelers. Taylor came on in a five-defensive backs set on Washington's first third down of the night.
Taylor saw some time with the first-team defense at right cornerback in place of Deshea Townsend on the redskins' second possession. Taylor and Ricardo Colclough alternated with starters Townsend and Willie Williams throughout the rest of the second half. Taylor was also used in the "quarter" package, along with safety Russell Stuvaints, with linebacker Larry Foote and nose tackle Casey Hampton coming out of the game in such situations.

Coach Bill Cowher said coming in he wanted to get wide receiver Antwaan Randle El at least one punt return, but Randle El wound up taking a fair catch on his only attempt.

The Steelers went with two tight ends, a fullback, a running back and a wide receiver on third-and-1 from the Redskins' 6 early in the second quarter. The receiver was Randle El, not Hines Ward .

The Steelers weren't penalized in the first half. The Redskins were flagged five times for 35 yards.

Strong safety Troy Polamalu's 34-yard interception return for a touchdown marked the third touchdown by the Steelers' defense in as many games. Williams went 10 yards with an interception return for a score against Philadelphia, and linebacker James Harrison returned a fumble 69 yards for a score against Miami.

No. 1 pick Heath Miller recorded his second reception of the preseason, gaining 4 yards after coming out of the backfield to accept a pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger . Miller was often employed in third down/passing situations along with a running back and three wide receivers.

Lee Mays was the second wide receiver off the bench, following Cedrick Wilson into action behind starters Ward and Randle El.

ironcitychef 08-27-2005 08:04 AM

Re: Fast Willie returning kicks..
I was happy to see him return kicks, but now he wont since he will be in the backfield more. Cowher never likes main guys to do double duty like that.

BlitzburghRockCity 08-27-2005 10:48 AM

Re: Fast Willie returning kicks..
Yeah its a catch22..the guy can change the course of a game in the backfield as well in the deep field... but we have enough return guys that we cant risk him being back there at this point..

Da Boot 08-27-2005 10:51 AM

Re: Fast Willie returning kicks..
I've been waiting for that since towards the end of last season. In my opinion they were planning to have him be back there on kick returns for the season and they were just trying to hide it. Obviously that changes now with the injury to the Bus.

Bamataco1 08-27-2005 09:35 PM

Re: Fast Willie returning kicks..
To my way of thinking this shows just how stupid Cowher can be. Haynes gets hrt every other game, Ducw Staley is out for a while still and you never know if he will be ready when he's suppose to be and bettis is just to old and to slow tu be a feature back. So Cowher has our best, fastest and only health back that knows the system returning kick offs.

BlitzburghRockCity 08-27-2005 10:03 PM

Re: Fast Willie returning kicks..
Dont expect him in there this coming weekend though..hell Im not even sure I'd dress the guy if Im cowher.

clevestinks 08-28-2005 05:57 AM

Re: Fast Willie returning kicks..
With El, Taylor , Coc. and probably McFadden. We really don`t need Parker back there. Parker just needs to stay healthy.

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