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Old 12-01-2008, 05:21 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' two-back attack pays off

Steelers' two-back attack pays off
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, December 1, 2008

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. Wonders never cease. The Steelers played their top two running backs for the majority of Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. A real, live two-back attack for the tradition-bound one-back Steelers. Imagine that.

Not because Willie Parker was injured during the contest - he wasn't. And not because Mewelde Moore is a superior pass receiver- which he is.

Just because.

I think it is a good thing,'' center Justin Hartwig said. "We have two guys that have been getting it done for us all year.''

Guess what? The Steelers' two-back attack worked to perfection during a satisfying 33-10 win at Gillette Stadium. Why it took so long to embrace playing two healthy running backs during the course of a 60-minute game is a question for another day for coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

The two-back attack worked yesterday because the Steelers believed it would work.

"That was the plan," Tomlin said. "We were going to use both guys.''

Alternating Parker and Moore in the backfield against New England made sense because the old way - run Willie until his wheels fall off; Tomlin's words, not mine - just wasn't working.

To be blunt, Parker hasn't been the same player since breaking his leg toward the end of last season and then suffering knee and shoulder injuries this season. He hasn't run with the same burst or explosiveness. That's understandable, considering the severity of his injury.

In fact, it was surprising to see Parker make such a fast recovery from the broken leg. It was even more surprising when Parker carried the ball 25 times for 138 yards and three touchdowns against Houston in the opener. The following week against Cleveland, Parker had 28 carries for 105 yards.

The following week against Philadelphia? Don't ask.

OK, Parker was held to 20 yards on 13 carries before leaving the game against the Eagles with a knee injury. He's been in and out of the lineup with injuries ever since.

Yesterday, Parker carried the ball 16 times for 87 yards, including 71 yards on 11 carries in the second half. More important, he appeared to run stronger and faster in the fourth quarter than he did in the first quarter. Parker's 31-yard bolt in the fourth quarter setting up a Jeff Reed field goal was his longest run since a 32-yarder in the opener.

"I never thought I'd be happy with something like that,'' Parker said of the two-back approach. "But that's the perfect thing for me right now and the perfect thing for the team.

"It really worked - I feel good,'' Parker said. "I'm not where I need to be, but I feel a lot better.''

Parker's body didn't absorb the same amount of punishment he would have received if he had carried the ball 28 times - the combined number of carries Parker and Moore shared against the Patriots. Moore rushed 12 times for 67 yards.

"It looked real good, didn't it?'' Moore said. "Given the opportunity, we made plays. We were real consistent, real patient, and we came through.''

Some people in the press box were under the mistaken impression that Parker, who wore a parka on the sideline when he wasn't in the game, was injured, so accustomed is everyone to seeing No. 39 in the lineup. Parker was simply attempting to stay dry and semi-warm in the wind, rain and cold weather.

It worked once. Let's hope this isn't the last we see of the Steelers' two-back attack.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_600866.html
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' two-back attack pays off

I've been preaching this for quite some time. This was a great team win. There were great rotations all over on offense and defense. Great play by both RBs.

Did anyone notice Timmons and Foote on the field at the same time? They played well together, and looked quick to the ball.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' two-back attack pays off

That is a tradition that Cowher started his first year running Foster 390 times to Hoge's 41 times. Before that we were more balanced. Sure there was always Franco getting more carries than Rocky, but it was not so lopsided. Heck even Jackson, Pollard, and Abercrombie split carries pretty evenly.
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How has a dink and dunk offense helped our QB I ask?
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' two-back attack pays off

This should make steelreserve happy...
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' two-back attack pays off

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This should make steelreserve happy...
Yeah. But it should make us all happy

The running game certainly works better using 2 backs. Moore helps willie, Willie helps Moore

I like it
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' two-back attack pays off

I agree but the ONE thing I hate about the two back system in the NFL now is that it ruins Fantasy Football!
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' two-back attack pays off

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I agree but the ONE thing I hate about the two back system in the NFL now is that it ruins Fantasy Football!
Lol. Especially when they give gary russell the touchdown

I'm happy for russell, but having willie in FF is not easy

Anyway.....I think the two back system may help pick up this 20th something ranked running game just in time for the playoffs
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' two-back attack pays off

We have 3 good backs and all 3 need to touch the ball. Nw f we would bring Krieder back to black we can regain that nasty running attack.
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' two-back attack pays off

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We have 3 good backs and all 3 need to touch the ball. Nw f we would bring Krieder back to black we can regain that nasty running attack.
Kreider was cut by the Rams last week after being directly responsible for getting Marc Bulger killed on 2 different occasions. He ain't coming back.
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' two-back attack pays off

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Kreider was cut by the Rams last week after being directly responsible for getting Marc Bulger killed on 2 different occasions. He ain't coming back.
We need to get Kuhn back!
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