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Old 12-10-2008, 04:08 PM   #1
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Default Parker laments passing of 'Steelers football'

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/08345/934197-100.stm

Parker laments passing of 'Steelers football'
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Willie Parker pines for the old days, when he would line up behind the fullback in the I-formation and blast through the line, daring a defense to stop the run.

He called it "Steelers football" but said it's disappeared over the past two seasons in favor of more passes and less conviction to use the ground game.

"I just don't think we should give up that quick," Parker said after practice today. "We're the Pittsburgh Steelers, everyone knows wer're going to run the ball -- or they used to think we'd run the ball.

"We pass the ball a lot now. We got away from Steelers football, Steelers mentality."

The Steelers have run 373 times for 1,350 yards, a total that ranks 23rd in the NFL. If they remain there, it would be their second lowest ranking since the team joined the AFC as part of the 1970 NFL merger.

They're not doing much better passing it either because the rank just 20th there, and 26th overall as an offense. The Steelers have thrown 400 passes and their quarterbacks have been sacked another 41 times trying to pass.

Parker, who has missed five games because of two separate injuries, leads the team with 597 yards rushing. He topped 1,200 yards in each of the previous three seasons and was leading the NFL in rushing last season when his leg was broken in the 15th game.

He said the philosophy has changed around the running game, that they don't believe in a lead blocker such as the fullback any more and their two tight end offense has not produced on the ground.

"Yeah, it's definitely a concern," Parker said. "I definitely think about it all the time -- why can't we run the ball? What's the difference between now and two years ago? So it's definitely being a concern, me being a running back."

The Steelers, under new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians in 2007 de-emphasized the fullback, then let their longtime starter Dan Kreider go in free agency. They've tried it with two hybrid players -- Carey Davis, a halfback/fullback, and Sean McHugh, a tight end/fullback.

"We get into two tights now," Parker said. "It's like without a fullback, [defenses] definitely know what's coming and they know where it's going. I don't know what it is but it's not being effective."
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Parker laments passing of 'Steelers football'

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I don't know what it is but it's not being effective."
Thank you, Willie.

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Old 12-10-2008, 04:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Parker laments passing of 'Steelers football'

This could get interesting. I do miss our I-formations and think a full-back would definitely help our running game. The only thing is, we don't have a full-back anymore.
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Parker laments passing of 'Steelers football'

I see it like this.

The reason you can't convert a 4th and 1 late in a game, is because you didn't spend the entire game pounding the defense into submission. Your O-line has zero confidence in running the ball because you haven't established a straight ahead rushing attack.

If you are lining up with a single back formation and throwing 70% of the time, the o-line isn't getting into its run blocking mentality where they spend an entire game just beating on the same guy play after play after play while running the ball.

Just as the QB needs to get into a rhythm, so does the O-line and the Running Game.

I don't believe it has anything to do with the talent, I believe its about the play call selection in specific down and distance moments.
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Parker laments passing of 'Steelers football'

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Originally Posted by 43Hitman View Post
This could get interesting. I do miss our I-formations and think a full-back would definitely help our running game. The only thing is, we don't have a full-back anymore.

I say put "fatboy" Casey back there and let him knock some raven teeth out!
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Parker laments passing of 'Steelers football'

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Originally Posted by BlastFurnace View Post
"So it's definitely being a concern, me being a running back."
I know you didn't mean it that way, Willie, but you inadvertently hit the nail right on the head.
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Parker laments passing of 'Steelers football'

We need to Run the ball more, I don't care who's carrying it. Just run more please.
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Parker laments passing of 'Steelers football'

we need to stop missing blocks on 4th and 1.. almost every time we are stopped short, it is because of at least one defender got a free shot at the rb.. even the bus would have big time troubles converting those. gary russell was hit high and low by two defenders in the backfield on the play vs dallas and had zero chance of converting that.
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Parker laments passing of 'Steelers football'

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Originally Posted by BlastFurnace View Post
"We get into two tights now," Parker said. "It's like without a fullback, [defenses] definitely know what's coming and they know where it's going. I don't know what it is but it's not being effective."
He said what??

Oh, no ....you di'int!!
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Old 12-10-2008, 05:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Parker laments passing of 'Steelers football'

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, not sure what to make of this

But Steeler football is about strong running game and strong D

since the running game has had problems converting 3 or 4th and less than a yard...........

I would say maybe passing more is a better option

In either case isn't it aboout winning.........

OOPS THAT SEEMS TO HAVE passed by in this thread
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