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Old 06-10-2007, 11:04 PM   #1
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Default Steelers' Parker's work doesn't end with practices

Notebook: Steelers' Parker's work doesn't end with practices

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Willie Parker heads to Florida after Steelers' OTA practices conclude this week. But the Pro Bowl running back won't spend much time vacationing in the five weeks he'll have before the start of training camp.

Far from it. Parker will use the time to work with two different trainers and get his body ready for the pounding it will absorb over the course of the regular season.

"It's about work when you leave here," said Parker, who rushed for 1,494 yards last season and scored 16 touchdowns.

There appears to be a fine line between work and what Parker puts himself through when he trains in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale.

He said he works out twice a day three days a week with personal trainers, doing "stuff that makes you throw up."

"I know one day I felt like I was," Parker said of the grueling workouts, "but I never threw up in a workout and I knock on wood."

Last season validated the value of those workouts.

Parker carried the ball 337 times and avoided injury, even though the 5-foot-10, 209-pounder is not the biggest of running backs.

The Steelers are likely to lighten Parker's load this season, but they have still have high expectations for him.

In fact, running backs coach Kirby Wilson has challenged Parker to "get a little better" in all aspects of his game -- from reading blocks and route running to picking up blitzes -- at every practice.

"If he keeps that attitude, then I think the sky is the limit," Wilson said. "There's a lot that goes into being a great football player, and he's just scratched the surface because he's going to get better in each one of those areas as he progresses."

Time is now

The Dolphins' trade for quarterback Trent Green, who turns 37 next month, reveals two things: Their belief that they have to win now because their defense, while still stout, is getting older; and how far Daunte Culpepper has fallen.

The acquisition of Green coupled with the offseason signing of outside linebacker Joey Porter upgrades the Dolphins, but there is one problem: They play in the same division as the Patriots, who almost made the Super Bowl last season, added the marquee free agent this year (linebacker Adalius Thomas) and overhauled a no-name receiving corps.

The Dolphins' only hope -- and this may be true for all AFC teams -- is that Randy Moss causes problems in New England and derails the Patriots' season.

Culpepper, meanwhile, won't even get a chance to compete with Green for the starting job, a sign that the Dolphins are convinced he'll never be close to the player he was before seriously injuring his knee two seasons ago.

And to think that when Miami was shopping for a quarterback last offseason, it deemed Culpepper's knee less of a risk than Drew Brees' shoulder.

Oops.

Titan of TV

Saying the NFL enjoys immense popularity is like saying the Nutting family is just a little unpopular with Pirates fans these days.

But some recently released TV viewing numbers by ESPN and Nielsen Media Research shows just how big the NFL has become.

According to ESPN and Nielsen, six NFL games -- topped by the Super Bowl -- attracted more viewers than the May 23 episode of "American Idol," which got 30.7 million for its last show and had the highest rating of primetime season finales this year.

Here's something even more eye-popping: A regular-season game between two teams that don't have even a hint of a rivalry, two teams that were supposed to be good last season but hardly great, got more viewers than the season finale of one of the most popular prime-time dramas.

Yes, the Jaguars-Cowboys game last September had 22.7 million viewers, according to ESPN and Nielsen, while "Grey's Anatomy" got 22.6 for its May 22 show.

As for the Steelers, two of their nationally televised games (against the Saints and the Broncos) drew more viewers than the season finale of "CSI," which had 20.45 million viewers.

Extra points

It would be hard to find a better guy in the Steelers' locker room, or any locker room, than Charlie Batch. The backup quarterback and Pittsburgh native proved that again when he helped foot the bill so players on Schenley High School's boys basketball team could get rings for winning a state title. ... You know the season is right around the corner -- more like three months away -- when preview magazines start hitting the newsstands. One of them, Lindy's, ranks the early part of the Steelers' schedule as the most favorable in the NFL.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_511943.html
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Parker's work doesn't end with practices

I like what I see in parker he has the attitude that it takes to make it to the top in the nfl.
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Parker's work doesn't end with practices

I can't wait to see him run. It sounds like the coaching staff is going to try and find ways to open the field for him some more. If that is true, and they are ALSO teaching him to read blocks better...

Dang.
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Parker's work doesn't end with practices

I love reading about how focused our guys are this year. I think last season bonked them all on top of the heads with a huge reality check. (Willie had a great season but that doesn't seem to have registered with him......he certainly seems to be striving for even better. I like it!)

As for Charlie Batch....... And he didn't even have to make a spectacle out of him self racing a horse or a geyhound or anything. Nice job, Charlie. You are special.
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' Parker's work doesn't end with practices

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Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43 View Post
Parker will use the time to work with two different trainers and get his body ready for the pounding it will absorb over the course of the regular season.
Fantastic! This is absolutely crucial. Its great that we've taken steps to add some depth to the backfield, but bottom line is that our running attack will be swamped without him. Willie and Ben being healthy this year is absolutely essential and I'm glad to see Willie is going the extra mile to ensure his longevity.
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' Parker's work doesn't end with practices

I think the NFL should step in to limit Willie's 'upside' - it goes against the parity rule to have a guy this talented with such a good attitude....for so few salary dollars!

I think Pittsburgh has a done a great job unearthing this guy and getting him signed up to a 4 year contract (with 3 years to run) at a reasonable price.

The next contract will be a large one if he carries on at this rate.
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The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' Parker's work doesn't end with practices

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The next contract will be a large one if he carries on at this rate.


Uh oh... Only three more years with Willie 'til the Rooneys turn him away!!

I can see them holding onto him even with a big salary boost. Who knows. He may take the discount, as well.

But that is a long way from here... I'm sure he'll want to stay on for that run at a 9th Championship
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' Parker's work doesn't end with practices

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Originally Posted by Crushzilla View Post


Uh oh... Only three more years with Willie 'til the Rooneys turn him away!!

I can see them holding onto him even with a big salary boost. Who knows. He may take the discount, as well.

But that is a long way from here... I'm sure he'll want to stay on for that run at a 9th Championship
He does sound like a real humble guy - of course another couple of 1500 yard seasons could change that (Deion Branch was a genuinely humble guy who didn't put up huge numbers but still 'turned' when it come to contract time).

The thing is to enjoy what you have, while you have it - there alot of good times ahead for fans of Willie Parker.
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The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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Old 06-11-2007, 10:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' Parker's work doesn't end with practices

I wish I could find out where he was training in Tampa. I could get lost on my way home from work or take my daughter over there to see him.

That would be cool a picture of FWP and ST2!!!
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' Parker's work doesn't end with practices

I love Willie's work ethic. I'm sure it will all pay off for him this season. Way to fast Willie.
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