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Old 01-08-2009, 02:06 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Parker, running game healthier?

Parker, running game healthier?
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s_606141.html#
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, January 8, 2009

Willie Parker said opposing teams don't fear the Steelers' running game the way they did in past years.

And the two-time Pro Bowl running back understands why.

"If I was on the defensive side of the ball, I wouldn't respect the running game," Parker said Wednesday, "because we haven't been that successful this year, so we've just got to take our respect."

Parker and the Steelers will try to do that Sunday when they host the San Diego Chargers in an AFC divisional playoff game. They may be in a favorable position to change the direction if not the perception of a ground game that finished 23rd in the NFL this season in rushing (105.6 yards per game) and 29th in yards per carry (3.7).

Parker, who missed five games during the regular season with knee and shoulder problems, is as healthy as he has been since early September. And when the Steelers beat the Chargers, 11-10, in November at Heinz Field, Parker rushed for 115 yards on 25 carries despite playing with a bad shoulder.

"I feel way better than I did last time I played them," Parker said of the Chargers. "Last time I was iffy. I definitely feel great."

Chargers coach Norv Turner said the Steelers' struggles on the ground mirror what San Diego has endured. LaDainian Tomlinson has been hobbled by injuries all season -- the five-time Pro Bowler is doubtful for Sunday's 4:45 p.m. game because of a torn tendon in his groin -- and Turner said that has affected the Chargers' continuity in the running game.

San Diego finished 20th in the NFL during the regular season in rushing with 107.9 yards per game.

"Earlier in the year we had uncertainty at running back. L.T. was obviously banged up, and we were in a variety of different games," Turner said. "We're a good running team that's struggled in the run sometimes and I think Pittsburgh's an outstanding run offense and they've had some things change on them. We're preparing for them to certainly come out and run the ball."

The Steelers ran the ball well in their regular-season finale -- Parker rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown against the Browns -- and they are hoping to carry over that success to the playoffs.

There is often a correlation between a robust ground game and postseason success, and Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said, "you definitely have to run the ball to be considered a physical ball club."

Parker said he thinks the offense, and the running game in particular, is up to the challenge of setting that kind of tone.

"We've got confidence in ourselves," Parker said, "so we've just got to go out there and take everybody's respect."

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Parker, running game healthier?

willie is def close to HEALTHY. which is very good for our offense.
He will show it too!!!

HERE WE GO!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Parker, running game healthier?

I think Willie is healthier, but the overall run game is smarter. When I say smarter, I'm referring to last week when we ACTUALLY BLOCKED WITH A FB
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Parker, running game healthier?

FWP is our key to winning this game IMO. we need to establish a good running game early, in order to open up the passing game.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Parker, running game healthier?

Healthy Willie doesn't mean anything w/out a good Oline. And their Oline is horrible.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Parker, running game healthier?

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Healthy Willie doesn't mean anything w/out a good Oline. And their Oline is horrible.
We get your point, our o-line is bad. Your last 12-15 posts all stated how horrible they are pretty comical reading actually. You need to get past that until next year.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Parker, running game healthier?

I'll get past it when people realize our team can't run the ball and won't run the ball in the playoffs.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Parker, running game healthier?

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I'll get past it when people realize our team can't run the ball and won't run the ball in the playoffs.
I think most fans realize that, but hope we can run. I personally think we can run on the bolts but no one else. I just meant get past it until next year when we will hopefully do something about it, no sense dwelling on something that will not be changed for rest of year. Hopefully we are wrong and FWP runs for 200, OK 150 I would take.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Parker, running game healthier?

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Originally Posted by GridironWarrior View Post
I'll get past it when people realize our team can't run the ball and won't run the ball in the playoffs.
I don't know, we have been able to run it a few times this year.

Though in the playoffs, teams usually shut down the run. That is why being to pass is so important.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Parker, running game healthier?

I think Parker is going to have 120 yards and 2 TDs
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