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fordfixer
05-02-2009, 10:34 PM
Steelers RB Parker Looking Again to Rebound Off a Tough Season

Posted by Matt Loede under Pittsburgh Steelers

http://www.nflgridirongab.com/2009/05/0 ... gh-season/ (http://www.nflgridirongab.com/2009/05/02/steelers-rb-parker-looking-again-to-rebound-off-a-tough-season/)

One piece of news from the Steelers first day of mini-camp was running back Willie Paker, who showed up and was in good spirits despite entering the final year of his deal. The Steelers have last seasons first round pick Rashard Mendenhall waiting in the wings, but are still counting on “Fast” Willie to come around and be the back that he was two years ago when he was leading the league in rushing before he suffered a broken leg in week 16 vs the Rams.

Parker told the assembled media on Friday that something like a holdout or a new deal has yet to cross his mind. “I am coming off a bad season, but it was a great season for the team. I just have to come out and get ready to play. It’s not about holding out,” he said. “I have to make the best decision, and the best decision is to be around the team and help out the best way possible.”

He’s set to make $3,350,000 in 2009, and said that unlike unhappy LB Larry Foote, who will be let go to move elsewhere, he has no intentions of wanting to play elsewhere. “The Steelers gave me a chance and I am proud and happy to be a Steeler. That’s all I can say about that,” Parker said. “Whatever happens, happens. As of right now, I am just getting ready for this season and have to make the best of it.”

Parker struggled during parts of last seasons Super Bowl year, and had to push his way past some injuries that set him back at points in the season when the team had to turn to Mewelde Moore, who did a great job stepping in when needed.

Overall, Parker missed 5 and a half games, and even when he was in there, at points he did not seem like the same back that the team had come to know the three seasons previous to that. In 11 regular season games in 2008, Parker ran for 71.9 yards per game, going for 791 yards with five touchdowns.

The run game is a signature of the club, and Parker will be a focus of that unit once again looking to get back to form for the 2009 season.

NorthCoast
05-03-2009, 08:40 AM
FWP definitely slid a bit last year and if he is not careful, he may not retire a Steeler with Mendenhall nipping at his heels. These days, we will need them all to make it through a season. It seems RBs are getting nicked up more often than they used to and I still believe it's because of teams moving away from a blocking FB.

Mister Pittsburgh
05-03-2009, 12:21 PM
Why would 'Injured Willie Parker' even breathe the words 'hold out'? Seems totally ridiculous he would even speak those words. He was worthless last season. Probably more of a hindrance to the run game running around on gimpy legs than a help.

Where is the article where Heath Miller talks about how he isn't going to hold out? Total BS.

AngryAsian
05-03-2009, 05:11 PM
Why would 'Injured Willie Parker' even breathe the words 'hold out'? Seems totally ridiculous he would even speak those words. He was worthless last season. Probably more of a hindrance to the run game running around on gimpy legs than a help.

Where is the article where Heath Miller talks about how he isn't going to hold out? Total BS.


The statement was no doubt taken out of context. FWP needs to play lights out if he wishes to be extended past this season. But he may not command the salary he wanted. Does it really matter, most really great offenses have a backfield by consensus. We should likewise do the same... it will negate wearing down the tread on our one-back system. I like what Mendy and FWP bring... hopefully our new rook can bring more physicality to the plays ran in-between tackles and more importantly on the goal line.

RuthlessBurgher
05-03-2009, 05:24 PM
Why would 'Injured Willie Parker' even breathe the words 'hold out'? Seems totally ridiculous he would even speak those words. He was worthless last season. Probably more of a hindrance to the run game running around on gimpy legs than a help.

Where is the article where Heath Miller talks about how he isn't going to hold out? Total BS.


The statement was no doubt taken out of context. FWP needs to play lights out if he wishes to be extended past this season. But he may not command the salary he wanted. Does it really matter, most really great offenses have a backfield by consensus. We should likewise do the same... it will negate wearing down the tread on our one-back system. I like what Mendy and FWP bring... hopefully our new rook can bring more physicality to the plays ran in-between tackles and more importantly on the goal line.

I agree about the running back by committee these days. Folks that play fantasy football may hate it, but that is reality now. Three years ago, the Colts got rid of their every-down back Edgerrin James and drafted Josepth Addai in the first round. They split time between Addai and Dominic Rhodes and won the Super Bowl. They showed how important they think a two back system is by taking another RB in the first round this year, UConn's Donald Brown, to split carries with Addai.

Eddie Spaghetti
05-03-2009, 05:54 PM
3.3 is pretty damn good.

should be FWP's last year in pittsburgh.

Mister Pittsburgh
05-03-2009, 07:07 PM
Personally, I think for fantasy football they should make it where you draft a TEAMS running game and get rid of selecting one back. With the amount of injuries that occur and the RB by committe that is more prevelant now....it only makes sense.

stlrz d
05-03-2009, 09:28 PM
Why would 'Injured Willie Parker' even breathe the words 'hold out'? Seems totally ridiculous he would even speak those words. He was worthless last season. Probably more of a hindrance to the run game running around on gimpy legs than a help.

Where is the article where Heath Miller talks about how he isn't going to hold out? Total BS.

Easy fella...looks like someone asked him if he has considered holding out to get a new deal.

Jooser
05-03-2009, 10:03 PM
If FWP lags this season, I really liked what MM brought to the table last season. Face it, without him, we may have missed the playoffs altogether. I think that Mendy and MM would make a tough combo....

Mister Pittsburgh
05-04-2009, 12:24 AM
[quote="Mister Pittsburgh":2lsef7zu]Why would 'Injured Willie Parker' even breathe the words 'hold out'? Seems totally ridiculous he would even speak those words. He was worthless last season. Probably more of a hindrance to the run game running around on gimpy legs than a help.

Where is the article where Heath Miller talks about how he isn't going to hold out? Total BS.

Easy fella...looks like someone asked him if he has considered holding out to get a new deal.[/quote:2lsef7zu]

You can assume he was asked and then he 'told' the media he hadn't though of holding out.......but that isn't what the article says.......nothing I said is a lie.......fella........ :stirpot

stlrz d
05-04-2009, 10:29 AM
[quote="stlrz d":2dkcs2iu][quote="Mister Pittsburgh":2dkcs2iu]Why would 'Injured Willie Parker' even breathe the words 'hold out'? Seems totally ridiculous he would even speak those words. He was worthless last season. Probably more of a hindrance to the run game running around on gimpy legs than a help.

Where is the article where Heath Miller talks about how he isn't going to hold out? Total BS.

Easy fella...looks like someone asked him if he has considered holding out to get a new deal.[/quote:2dkcs2iu]

You can assume he was asked and then he 'told' the media he hadn't though of holding out.......but that isn't what the article says.......nothing I said is a lie.......fella........ :stirpot[/quote:2dkcs2iu]

I didn't say you were lying. Just that the way it is written it sure looks like someone asked him if he has considered holding out. I underlined the part that really makes it appear that way.

Parker told the assembled media on Friday that something like a holdout or a new deal has yet to cross his mind. “I am coming off a bad season, but it was a great season for the team. I just have to come out and get ready to play. It’s not about holding out,” he said. “I have to make the best decision, and the best decision is to be around the team and help out the best way possible.”

Oviedo
05-04-2009, 10:58 AM
RBs in the NFL have become the quivalent of a commodity item because of multiple back backfirelds and one back sets. Essentially it has become a two down position with a specialist coming in on third down. Regardless of the type of season Parker has he won't be in line for a big contract. Even if he played lights out you have to figure his touches are going to be limited by Mendenhall and Moore.

Dewrrick Ward also thought he was going to break the bank and he sat unsigned for quite awhile in free agency before signing for 4 years/$16M. He also averged 5.6 yards per carry last year which is something FWP won't. FWP is pretty much topped out in annual salary with what he should expect. The Steelers already took care of him. I don't see him getting more on the open market.

flippy
05-04-2009, 11:42 AM
FWP might be our good luck charm in the playoffs.

We won 2 SuperBowls with him.

The year he broke his leg, we were 1 and done.

Mendy hasn't done anything and we're all ready to replace Parker. It's kinda crazy. Although I do get RBs are a bit of a commodity.

Oviedo
05-04-2009, 12:09 PM
FWP might be our good luck charm in the playoffs.

We won 2 SuperBowls with him.

The year he broke his leg, we were 1 and done.

Mendy hasn't done anything and we're all ready to replace Parker. It's kinda crazy. Although I do get RBs are a bit of a commodity.

Aaron Smith is the good luck charm not FWP. Smith is hurt and we are one and done in play offs.

RuthlessBurgher
05-04-2009, 12:17 PM
I thought Penn State players were the good luck charm? There has been at least one Penn State player on every Super Bowl champion team. Isn't that the main reason why we drafted short-arm Shipley? :stirpot :lol:

papillon
05-04-2009, 12:45 PM
Willie Parker hasn't asked for a new contract nor has he hinted at holding our for a new contract. As a matter of fact he's stated that what he needs to do is be at the OTAs and be ready to go for camp. I hope he makes the Steelers' front office job very difficult by having a tremendous season and then letting the chips fall.

I'm not sure why all the hate on Willie Parker, save for his one comment about wanting the ball more in the running game (Doesn't every back worth his salt want to carry the ball?) he's never even remotely complained about anything. I hope he has a great year and the Steelers can manage to find a way to keep him on the roster. I think he embodies what it means to be a Steeler.

Pappy

SteelCzar76
05-04-2009, 01:02 PM
I've always maintained (and still do) that Willie is one of the best backs in the game when healthy. But i think that what will finish him here via injury or falsely perceived poor performance therefore allowing Tomlin to advocate releasing him in favor of "his guy" Mindy,...will be the coaching staff's insistence upon running from single back sets.

In order for Willie to be maximize his ability to "change games", he needs to be given the opportunity to get to the second level.

RuthlessBurgher
05-04-2009, 01:25 PM
I've always maintained (and still do) that Willie is one of the best backs in the game when healthy. But i think that what will finish him here via injury or falsely perceived poor performance therefore allowing Tomlin to advocate releasing him in favor of "his guy" Mindy,...will be the coaching staff's insistence upon running from single back sets.

In order for Willie to be maximize his ability to "change games", he needs to be given the opportunity to get to the second level.

What is your infatuation with putting down Tomlin's "guys"???

Now it sounds like you are suggesting that Tomlin is sabotaging Parker by using single back sets in order to release him after a falsely perceived poor performance. Could it be that they drafted his "guy" Mendenhall (that is his name...I don't comprehend using "put-down" nicknames for players on my own favorite team) because he is a more well-rounded back who can run inside, run outside, cut back, catch passes out of the backfield, block, etc. to complement their speed back in Parker, who would be more effective if he shared carries with another capable back instead of running him until his wheels fell off? Welcome to the era of the running-back-by-committee.

Foote was a solid contributor for us for years, but Tomlin's "guy" Timmons offers much than what Foote can offer. While Timmons can gain experience and become a solid run-stuffing defender, Foote was never going to develop Timmons' coverage and pass rush abilities. Did you want to continue starting Noll's "guy" the solid Jerry Olsavsky at ILB instead of Cowher's "guy" Chad Brown, who offered much more athleticism in terms of rushing the passer and being able to cover downfield?

SteelCzar76
05-04-2009, 02:46 PM
I've always maintained (and still do) that Willie is one of the best backs in the game when healthy. But i think that what will finish him here via injury or falsely perceived poor performance therefore allowing Tomlin to advocate releasing him in favor of "his guy" Mindy,...will be the coaching staff's insistence upon running from single back sets.

In order for Willie to be maximize his ability to "change games", he needs to be given the opportunity to get to the second level.

What is your infatuation with putting down Tomlin's "guys"???

Now it sounds like you are suggesting that Tomlin is sabotaging Parker by using single back sets in order to release him after a falsely perceived poor performance. Could it be that they drafted his "guy" Mendenhall (that is his name...I don't comprehend using "put-down" nicknames for players on my own favorite team) because he is a more well-rounded back who can run inside, run outside, cut back, catch passes out of the backfield, block, etc. to complement their speed back in Parker, who would be more effective if he shared carries with another capable back instead of running him until his wheels fell off? Welcome to the era of the running-back-by-committee.

Foote was a solid contributor for us for years, but Tomlin's "guy" Timmons offers much than what Foote can offer. While Timmons can gain experience and become a solid run-stuffing defender, Foote was never going to develop Timmons' coverage and pass rush abilities. Did you want to continue starting Noll's "guy" the solid Jerry Olsavsky at ILB instead of Cowher's "guy" Chad Brown, who offered much more athleticism in terms of rushing the passer and being able to cover downfield?


Welcome to the running-back by commitee era ? We've been a proponent of the two back system for some time now, ie:Foster/Hodgie, Pegram/Bam, Bussey/Amos, Bussy/Willie. And i've always praised the effectiveness of such a philosophy.

What i am questioning is just whether or not your boy Rashard (Mindy) is actually a "between the tackles" power compliment to Parker's speed and big play ability ? Or just another of Tomlin's "Gosh he reminds me of me in my youth. I've got to draft him !" man crushes.

And c'mon Ruthless,.don't you think it's a bit of a reach to compare Timmons to Chad Brown ? :lol: They are absolutely nothing alike. Chad was an absolute MLB,....more athletic than Foote with excellent technique,...but far stronger and more physically suited for the position than Timmons.

As far as the nicknames go,...if the shoe fits,..you know the rest. I rep the Steelers as an Organization,..not particular players, or any other individuals.And as such i will always call a spade a spade,...even if they currently wear the uniform on walk the sidelines in Black and Gold.

RuthlessBurgher
05-04-2009, 03:38 PM
I've always maintained (and still do) that Willie is one of the best backs in the game when healthy. But i think that what will finish him here via injury or falsely perceived poor performance therefore allowing Tomlin to advocate releasing him in favor of "his guy" Mindy,...will be the coaching staff's insistence upon running from single back sets.

In order for Willie to be maximize his ability to "change games", he needs to be given the opportunity to get to the second level.

What is your infatuation with putting down Tomlin's "guys"???

Now it sounds like you are suggesting that Tomlin is sabotaging Parker by using single back sets in order to release him after a falsely perceived poor performance. Could it be that they drafted his "guy" Mendenhall (that is his name...I don't comprehend using "put-down" nicknames for players on my own favorite team) because he is a more well-rounded back who can run inside, run outside, cut back, catch passes out of the backfield, block, etc. to complement their speed back in Parker, who would be more effective if he shared carries with another capable back instead of running him until his wheels fell off? Welcome to the era of the running-back-by-committee.

Foote was a solid contributor for us for years, but Tomlin's "guy" Timmons offers much than what Foote can offer. While Timmons can gain experience and become a solid run-stuffing defender, Foote was never going to develop Timmons' coverage and pass rush abilities. Did you want to continue starting Noll's "guy" the solid Jerry Olsavsky at ILB instead of Cowher's "guy" Chad Brown, who offered much more athleticism in terms of rushing the passer and being able to cover downfield?


Welcome to the running-back by commitee era ? We've been a proponent of the two back system for some time now, ie:Foster/Hodgie, Pegram/Bam, Bussey/Amos, Bussy/Willie. And i've always praised the effectiveness of such a philosophy.

What i am questioning is just whether or not your boy Rashard (Mindy) is actually a "between the tackles" power compliment to Parker's speed and big play ability ? Or just another of Tomlin's "Gosh he reminds me of me in my youth. I've got to draft him !" man crushes.

And c'mon Ruthless,.don't you think it's a bit of a reach to compare Timmons to Chad Brown ? :lol: They are absolutely nothing alike. Chad was an absolute MLB,....more athletic than Foote with excellent technique,...but far stronger and suited for the position than Timmons.

As far as the nicknames go,...if the shoe fits,..you know the rest. I rep the Steelers as an Organization,..not particular players, or any other individuals.And as such i will always call a spade a spade,...even if they currently wear the uniform on walk the sidelines in Black and Gold.

People are used to the Big Bam, Small Pegram or Big Bus, Small Amos or Big Bus, Small Willie. They assumed that since we needed a new complement to Small Willie after Big Bus retired, that they would look for another Big guy. Well, I'm sorry to say that Mendenhall is not that guy. He is more of an all-around back than a pure power back. I think the people that are anti-Mendenhall are upset that he is not the "between the tackles" power compliment, as you stated. At 5-10 225, he is not a big ol' pounder like Michael Turner (5-10 244) or Brandon Jacobs (6-4 264). His stature more closely resembles LaDainian Tomlinson (5-10 221) or Clinton Portis (5-11 221). I don't think that is a bad thing, just different than what most Steeler fans are used to. Parker and Mendenhall will split the vast majority of the carries, with Moore coming in on 3rd and long and Summers coming in on 3rd and short.

Both Brown and Timmons have the versatility and the athleticism to play both inside and outside. They both ended up playing inside because the Steelers had dominant OLB's (Lloyd/Greene then and Harrison/Woodley now). I'm not claiming that Timmons is the second coming of Chad Brown at this point, because Chad was an All Pro on the field and Timmons is certainly not up to that level yet. But Timmons shares many of the same qualities...you can't keep him on the bench in favor of a solid but unspectacular ILB like Foote any more than you could have kept Brown on the bench in favor of a solid but unspectacular ILB like Olsavsky.

Jigawatts
05-04-2009, 03:55 PM
If FWP would just get rid of those slick elbow pads he'd be alright.