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Old 01-18-2009, 11:26 PM   #1
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Default Parker on Steelers: 'Lucky we've got a defense'

Parker on Steelers: 'Lucky we've got a defense'
By Gary Mihoces, USA TODAY
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers and running back Willie Parker hardly rushed into the Super Bowl.

"We tried to run. We tried to run all night. It just never happened," Parker said after the Steelers beat the Ravens 23-14 Sunday in the AFC title game to advance to the Super Bowl — despite Parker being held to a scant 47 rushing yards on 24 carries.

"Lucky we've got a defense," added Parker, whose long gain was seven yards. "You always rely on defense winning championships, and that's what happened tonight.

In six previous games against the Ravens, Parker had averaged 43.7 yards with a high of 63 yards. He got a little over his average Sunday, but he's still never rushed for a touchdown versus the Ravens.

"They made a point of stopping the run," said Steelers offensive tackle Max Starks.

"They had eight men in the box (bunched near the line of scrimmage) the entire night. …Jim Leonhard (Ravens safety) must have had 40 tackles. He was coming down (to the line) every single play."

Leonhard actually had just three tackles and an assist. But he was playing the run hard all game. Linebacker Ray Lewis and Bart Scott had six solo tackles each, and 345-pound nose tackle Haloti Ngata had five solos.

"That boy (Ngata) is a beast, man, he's a load," said Parker. "I'm glad we don't have to face the Ravens' front every week."

Though Pittsburgh netted just 52 rushing yards as a team, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 255 yards.

"They were going to stop the run at all costs and I guess give Ben a lot more passing yards," said Starks.

In the first nine games of this season, Parker had missed five starts, four with a knee injury and one with a shoulder injury.

However, he had come on strong in Pittsburgh's two previous games, rushing for 116 yards in the Steelers' regular-season finale against the Cleveland Browns and a season-high 146 yards (plus two touchdowns) in Pittsburgh's divisional round playoff victory last weekend against the San Diego Chargers.

After the battle with Baltimore, Parker removed black tape covering two deep scrapes on his upper right arm. That wasn't the result of the Ravens clawing at him. He said he sustained those cuts against San Diego.

But Baltimore knocked him around all game. "We all just couldn't do the things we needed to do to come up with more points," said Parker.

"We just need to do a better job running."



Find this article at:
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/footb...-sidebar_N.htm
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Parker on Steelers: 'Lucky we've got a defense'

Well, to their credit, the Ravens rarely let anyone run on them. Including Parker.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Parker on Steelers: 'Lucky we've got a defense'

the ravens just own parker.. its pretty plain and simple.. we are forced to play them one-dimensional every time.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Parker on Steelers: 'Lucky we've got a defense'

Honestly though, the ravens own our running game period...
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Parker on Steelers: 'Lucky we've got a defense'

Quote:
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Well, to their credit, the Ravens rarely let anyone run on them. Including Parker.

EXACTLY.

This is a game that we LOSE under Cowher because we don't have the ability to go over the top.

When you are in the playoffs, you play teams you can't run against. Now, against the Cards, that is going to probably be a different story.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Parker on Steelers: 'Lucky we've got a defense'

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Originally Posted by jjpro11 View Post
the ravens just own parker.. its pretty plain and simple.. we are forced to play them one-dimensional every time.
And we have beat them now 4 of the last 4 times when the game has counted (the last game last year wasn't important).

So I don't have a problem being one dimensional against the Ratbirds... cause we keep winning against them doing it.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Parker on Steelers: 'Lucky we've got a defense'

The Ravens do own the Steelers Run Game, but who hasn't? And what run game has the Ravens NOT shut down this year? The Giants? They are the number two defense for a reason.

But the Steelers own Joe Flacco.

And Ben owns the Ravens. So we're even.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Parker on Steelers: 'Lucky we've got a defense'

What I don't get is how the Giants ran roughshod over them, and how the Titans were doing the same until Chris Johnson got knocked out last week?
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Parker on Steelers: 'Lucky we've got a defense'

does anyone remember seeing any runs designed to go outside the tackles? i don't recall seeing anything that resembled a sweep..... i know you can't just abandon the running game, but you don't have to keep running the same failing plays over and over.... ..... it was obvious after the first 10 runs between the tackles , that the middle wasn't happening, so why not try some quick pitches outside ???
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Parker on Steelers: 'Lucky we've got a defense'

2 words, Brandon Jacobs. 6'6" 240 lbs, enough said.
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