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Old 08-13-2007, 12:02 AM   #1
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Default Parker: Willing and Able to get back into action

Parker says he's willing and able to get back into action
Monday, August 13, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Willie Parker itches to return to the flow of the Steelers' offense and it could happen this week. Or not.

Parker resumed practice Thursday when thunderstorms forced the Steelers indoors on the South Side. He says he's ready to take his position at halfback Saturday in Washington against the Redskins in the team's third preseason game. He's just not sure if the coaches are ready to put him in.

"I'm going to give it a little more [today]," Parker said. "I'm all right now."

Parker was held out for two weeks of practices at Saint Vincent College after coach Mike Tomlin said he had slight swelling and pain in his left knee.

Parker said the swelling isn't the issue as much as something else. He was vague on what that might be.

"That wasn't really the main thing. It was something else. That wasn't the main thing, inflammation. I was just hurting a little bit. I needed some rest, basically."

Parker said he does not think he'll need to have surgery on his knee after the season.

Parker rushed for 1,494 yards last season, third most in franchise history. His 337 carries were fourth most by a Steelers back. He and the coaches talked about using him even more this season, particularly on third downs. Parker said he not only wanted to be like LaDainian Tomlinson, the league MVP last season, but even better.

Then came the injury and everything has been on hold.

On one hand, Parker said the way he feels now "there's a good chance I'll play" against the Redskins. However, he believes the coaches might hold him back another game, with two left in the preseason after Saturday.

"I don't think they'll play me next week, in my opinion from talking to them and stuff," Parker said.

Sitting out the preseason did not hurt Tomlinson last year. He did not play in an exhibition game after a slight neck injury in early August. He then carried 31 times in the regular-season opener for 131 yards on his way to 1,815 yards rushing last season.

Parker said he does not feel a real need to play in the preseason, but that it's frustrating to watch teammates play while he's dressed in street clothes on the sideline.

"The only reason why I need to is because my teammates are out there, they're busting their [behinds], they're out there playing. That's why I need to be out there playing.

"I know that I'm no one-man army. I'm a team player and I know that's my goal. If they're playing, I'm playing."

In his absence, Parker talked highly of undrafted rookie tailback Gary Russell and fullback-tailback Carey Davis, who is trying to make it with his fifth NFL team.

"Y'all seen them, the boys are out there playing hard," Parker said. "Especially Russell -- Carey too."

Russell and Davis have said Parker is an inspiration to them. Parker said he hasn't forgotten what it was like to try to make the team's roster after he was an undrafted rookie in 2004.

"I'm competing too; I'm always going to have that mind-set," Parker said. "When I stop that, that's when I'm going to be gone. I know how it is and I have to keep that same mentality."

NOTES -- C Chukky Okobi appeared to be OK as he walked the sideline during the game Saturday night. Okobi's lower back was injured in practice Wednesday. ... The Steelers' afternoon practice, from 3-5 p.m., is open to the public.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07225/809090-66.stm
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Parker: Willing and Able to get back into action

Parker said the swelling isn't the issue as much as something else. He was vague on what that might be.

"That wasn't really the main thing. It was something else. That wasn't the main thing, inflammation. I was just hurting a little bit. I needed some rest, basically."

Parker said he does not think he'll need to have surgery on his knee after the season.


Not exactly what you want to read. References to "something else" being the problem are bound to lead to speculation; Wilie should come clean on what else ails him or not comment at all rather than throw out those sorts of comments.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:53 AM   #3
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Default Should Willie Parker sit out all of the preseason

I think he should. I just cant help but to look at the Washington Redskins Clinton Portis injury last year and see parrallels with FWP. Portis was recovering from a leg injury and then made the statement that veterans should not play in preseason games. He took some heat from the national and local media. The following preseaon game he goes all out after an interception and dislocates his shoulder. The Redskins backup RB did a good job but he was no Clinton Portis. We have good backup RB's but none have shown me they can bring to the table what FWP can(A serious threat to opposing defenses).
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Parker: Willing and Able to get back into action

I really hope that he or the coaches don't rush him back to action. Let him get 100% before throwing him in there. I would rather have him sit out the preseason (and if need be a couple regular season games) than lose him for the whole season. Hopefully he heals up fast enough for the opener.

ADan, that comment scares me also!
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Parker: Willing and Able to get back into action

STAY OUT!!!
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Old 08-13-2007, 03:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Parker: Willing and Able to get back into action

Let him play in the last preseason game. That'll be enough for him
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Parker: Willing and Able to get back into action

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Let him play in the last preseason game. That'll be enough for him

I disagree... he needs to see a couple of games. However, I want to see him for a quarter in the fourth game, then a couple or three series in the last game.
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Old 08-13-2007, 09:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Parker: Willing and Able to get back into action

The last preseason game would probably be enough for him. And then if hes still got some rust just knock it off next week in the easy route over the browns... =)
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Parker: Willing and Able to get back into action

yeah, one preseason game i think is enough for a running back. w/ the offensive changes he might want more, but i don't think it's like a wide receiver that needs a lot of practice in game situations. a fresh running back is almost as important as anything.

if you want my real opinion, we've got a scrimmage in week one anyway against cleveland !!! :)
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Parker: Willing and Able to get back into action

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yeah, one preseason game i think is enough for a running back. w/ the offensive changes he might want more, but i don't think it's like a wide receiver that needs a lot of practice in game situations. a fresh running back is almost as important as anything.

if you want my real opinion, we've got a scrimmage in week one anyway against cleveland !!! :)
I have to agree with you we know what we have in parker save them legs for regular season.
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