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fordfixer
09-15-2009, 02:33 AM
Parker runs into pointed fingers
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09258/998091-87.stm

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The headline on the Yahoo.com story fairly screamed.

Fast Willie Looks Slow, Out Of Place

The article quoted two anonymous NFL scouts, who singled out Willie Parker -- not the offensive line -- for the Steelers' run-game problems in their victory against the Tennessee Titans last week.

"Pretty obvious. [Parker] dances too much, no burst, doesn't even read the holes very well," one scout said.

"The line isn't good, but it's not that bad, either. I don't know if [Rashard] Mendenhall is any better than Parker, but he can't be much worse," the other said.

Wow.

And they say the media overreacts and is too quick to judge.

That's crazy talk after just one game. It's too soon to bury Parker or, for that matter, the offensive line. At least that's what Parker and I think. That smile he said he had on his face when he reported back to work yesterday at the team's South Side compound? The scouts' assessments knocked it right off.

"I haven't lost nothin'," Parker growled. "I know what I can do."

More than his 13-carry, 19-yard game against the Titans, certainly.

"We kind of stunk it up; I know that," Parker said. "But I know that game will be just a [distant] memory down the road. We're going to be all right."

It wasn't just Parker who took heavy criticism. When your team runs for 36 yards, there's plenty of blame to go around. The offensive linemen came in for their share. "Of course," tackle Max Starks said. "We're used to that."

Parker said he won't allow the linemen to get down on themselves. First thing yesterday, he made sure to get them together and told them they and he won't be defined by the Tennessee game.

"I just wanted to let them know I really care about them and believe in them," Parker said. "We just all have to be accountable to one another. I told them, 'We've got to get this show on the road. We've got to be the talk of the town.'

"We've got to get the running game fixed early and get it right. We've got one of the best quarterbacks in the league. If we get the running game going, that will make him even better."

Later, Parker told the media to do what the two scouts did and pile on him, not his linemen.

"If you want to point fingers at the run game, always start with me, first and foremost. I'm the running back. I have to make things happen back there. There were places to run [against the Titans]. I just wasn't hitting the holes."

Smart man, Parker.

That's Football 101: Be good to the big guys and they'll be good to you.

"It meant a lot," tackle Willie Colon said. "He told us he wasn't as sharp as he could have been the other night. We told him it wasn't just him and it wasn't just us. It was all of us. If we all put our hands in the pile, we'll get the job done right."

I'm more worried about Parker's confidence than his blockers'. I'm more concerned about his mindset than his burst or his ability to still hit the holes. "He's one of those guys who, when his mind is clear, he's at his best," Colon said.

It's hard to say that's the case with Parker now. The Steelers didn't do a contract extension with him this summer and he will be a free agent at the end of the season. Some players use that as motivation to have a big year. Others take it personally, feel unappreciated and lose their swagger. For the team's sake, Parker had better be among that first group. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin knows that. That's why he made it a point before the Tennessee game to say, "Willie Parker's our runner."

For his part, Parker insisted his mind is right.

"All I have to do is play football. Everything else will take care of itself."

There are three reasons to think Parker and the running game will be better against the Chicago Bears Sunday.

One, Parker's playing time against the Titans was his first significant action since last season. He missed three exhibition games this summer and had just four carries in the other. "I can't say I wasn't ready," he said. "I just wasn't used to being hit. I didn't feel as comfortable as I normally do."

Two, the Bears' defense won't be as stout as the Titans', especially without linebackers Brian Urlacher and Pisa Tinoisamoa. Urlacher is out for the season after dislocating his right wrist against the Green Bay Packers Sunday night, and Tinoisamoa won't play because of a right knee sprain.

And three, well, Colon explained it best. "Willie is angry. His urgency is pretty high right now. He sees that people are looking away from him a little [as one of the NFL's top backs]. That really bothers him because he's such a great competitor. He knows he's got to earn that respect again."

Said Parker, simply: "I'm excited about the game this week."

For the chance for the Steelers to go to 2-0.

For the opportunity to take a little heat off his blockers.

And, yes, you bet, for the sheer thrill of shutting up his critics.
Ron Cook can be reached at rcook@post-gazette.com. More articles by this author
First published on September 15, 2009 at 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09258/99 ... z0R9dgLaHz (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09258/998091-87.stm#ixzz0R9dgLaHz)

SanAntonioSteelerFan
09-15-2009, 08:11 AM
^^^

The Bears game should be a pretty good one!

Signed,

SASF
Chairman, Dept. of Stating the Obvious

Starlifter
09-15-2009, 11:41 AM
personally i'm getting tired of the 'blame me - not the O-line' game. Ben does it and now WP does it as well. What's the downside of calling them out and telling them to make a push? are they gonna miss blocks on purpose? are they gonna pout and play worse? why do some feel the need to treat guys who weigh more than 300 pounds so tenderly?......

Shoe
09-15-2009, 11:45 AM
personally i'm getting tired of the 'blame me - not the O-line' game. Ben does it and now WP does it as well. What's the downside of calling them out and telling them to make a push? are they gonna miss blocks on purpose? are they gonna pout and play worse? why do some feel the need to treat guys who weigh more than 300 pounds so tenderly?......

Good point Starlifter. I too tire of this statement. Ben always tries to deflect O-line criticism with this tactic. According to Ben (& now FWP), the o-line is pretty flawless.

The sad thing is that I feel like the O-line takes this shield (of blamelessness) and runs with it. I look at Colon; I look at Starks; Kemo... and where is the accountability? (Especially Colon, who I've grown to dislike.)

Mister Pittsburgh
09-15-2009, 12:33 PM
Great.....Willie will put up decent numbers against the depleted Bears front 7 and then will run all over Cincy like normal and everything will be declared as back to normal. :roll:

Slapstick
09-15-2009, 12:45 PM
personally i'm getting tired of the 'blame me - not the O-line' game. Ben does it and now WP does it as well. What's the downside of calling them out and telling them to make a push? are they gonna miss blocks on purpose? are they gonna pout and play worse? why do some feel the need to treat guys who weigh more than 300 pounds so tenderly?......

It's called "leadership". You don't call your teammates out in the media...it isn't even a great idea to call them out in private if you want them to play well on your behalf...

You just allow the coaches to do their job...

NorthCoast
09-15-2009, 12:59 PM
"Action speaks louder than words."

Parker needs to show he still has it. We need to give him that opportunity. Problem is I don't think we can expect perfect execution on every play with this OL. That puts it on Parker to MAKE some plays.

NWNewell
09-15-2009, 01:14 PM
personally i'm getting tired of the 'blame me - not the O-line' game. Ben does it and now WP does it as well. What's the downside of calling them out and telling them to make a push? are they gonna miss blocks on purpose? are they gonna pout and play worse? why do some feel the need to treat guys who weigh more than 300 pounds so tenderly?......

Down side? Comrodery, personal accountability, leadership. Or would you rather they be like T.O. and proclaim how great they are and their failures are always everyone elses fault.

That's why the Steelers are the Steelers. Other teams could learn a thing or two from Ben and Parker. And perhaps, I suspect, so could you.

Heck, every other perso on this board is calling for Parker's head on a platter saying he's finished and he was awful. Now, when he says, "Yes, I sucked and I let my teammates down.", everyone complaining. Come on, this is probably the most pathetic response I've ever seen.

RuthlessBurgher
09-15-2009, 01:58 PM
personally i'm getting tired of the 'blame me - not the O-line' game. Ben does it and now WP does it as well. What's the downside of calling them out and telling them to make a push? are they gonna miss blocks on purpose? are they gonna pout and play worse? why do some feel the need to treat guys who weigh more than 300 pounds so tenderly?......

It's called "leadership". You don't call your teammates out in the media...it isn't even a great idea to call them out in private if you want them to play well on your behalf...

You just allow the coaches to do their job...

:Agree

The alternative is the whine/bitch/moan/complain/blame fest that Peyton Manning laid upon the feet of his o-line when we eliminated the Colts in '05.

Steeler Shades
09-15-2009, 01:59 PM
.. You don't call your teammates out in the media...it isn't even a great idea to call them out in private if you want them to play well on your behalf.....
Just to make sure I understand your point: If you call out your multi-millionaire professional teammates (privately), they might pout and choose to do their jobs even worse than they are currently?
8)

skyhawk
09-15-2009, 02:07 PM
Point fingers where they need to be pointed!!

I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I read a quote and see Willie Colon's name.

I also get a funny feeling in my stomach when I see his name on TV. Hmm, maybe it's my colon getting jealous of something else stinking it up more!! :lol:

proudpittsburgher
09-15-2009, 07:55 PM
Point fingers where they need to be pointed!!

I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I read a quote and see Willie Colon's name.

I also get a funny feeling in my stomach when I see his name on TV. Hmm, maybe it's my colon getting jealous of something else stinking it up more!! :lol:

People act as if Ben says something, the coaching staff is going to forget everything they know about evaluating talent. Doesn't matter what Ben says, or Willie says, the coaching staff knows what the problem is and will fix it (hopefully). I echo all the statements about being a good teammate and team leader.

Mister Pittsburgh
09-15-2009, 08:11 PM
Point fingers where they need to be pointed!!

I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I read a quote and see Willie Colon's name.

I also get a funny feeling in my stomach when I see his name on TV. Hmm, maybe it's my colon getting jealous of something else stinking it up more!! :lol:

People act as if Ben says something, the coaching staff is going to forget everything they know about evaluating talent. Doesn't matter what Ben says, or Willie says, the coaching staff knows what the problem is and will fix it (hopefully). I echo all the statements about being a good teammate and team leader.

It isn't just the coaching staff making player evaluations. We all heard the rumors the past offseasons where the coaching staff wasn't very high on Max Starks yet Colbert was. Look who is starting at LT.

NorthCoast
09-15-2009, 08:25 PM
Point fingers where they need to be pointed!!

I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I read a quote and see Willie Colon's name.

I also get a funny feeling in my stomach when I see his name on TV. Hmm, maybe it's my colon getting jealous of something else stinking it up more!! :lol:

People act as if Ben says something, the coaching staff is going to forget everything they know about evaluating talent. Doesn't matter what Ben says, or Willie says, the coaching staff knows what the problem is and will fix it (hopefully). I echo all the statements about being a good teammate and team leader.

It isn't just the coaching staff making player evaluations. We all heard the rumors the past offseasons where the coaching staff wasn't very high on Max Starks yet Colbert was. Look who is starting at LT.

While Tomlin and Colbert share the ultimate goal of wins and a Superbowl title, Colbert has the additional responsibility (not held by Tomlin & staff) of meeting the salary cap while keeping the team 'competitive'. That is why in my mind a HC/GM title never really works well in the long run. There were no viable left tackles when we drafted and Colbert was not about to break the bank on a FA left tackle.

Mister Pittsburgh
09-15-2009, 08:40 PM
Point fingers where they need to be pointed!!

I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I read a quote and see Willie Colon's name.

I also get a funny feeling in my stomach when I see his name on TV. Hmm, maybe it's my colon getting jealous of something else stinking it up more!! :lol:

People act as if Ben says something, the coaching staff is going to forget everything they know about evaluating talent. Doesn't matter what Ben says, or Willie says, the coaching staff knows what the problem is and will fix it (hopefully). I echo all the statements about being a good teammate and team leader.

It isn't just the coaching staff making player evaluations. We all heard the rumors the past offseasons where the coaching staff wasn't very high on Max Starks yet Colbert was. Look who is starting at LT.

While Tomlin and Colbert share the ultimate goal of wins and a Superbowl title, Colbert has the additional responsibility (not held by Tomlin & staff) of meeting the salary cap while keeping the team 'competitive'. That is why in my mind a HC/GM title never really works well in the long run. There were no viable left tackles when we drafted and Colbert was not about to break the bank on a FA left tackle.

Sure......doesn't mean he is good.....or the coaching staff think he is good.

papillon
09-15-2009, 09:35 PM
personally i'm getting tired of the 'blame me - not the O-line' game. Ben does it and now WP does it as well. What's the downside of calling them out and telling them to make a push? are they gonna miss blocks on purpose? are they gonna pout and play worse? why do some feel the need to treat guys who weigh more than 300 pounds so tenderly?......

I think Willie realized that he was bad and missed holes and just wanted to let the linemen know that they did their job good enough for the team to have done better in the running game. It's those kinds of statements that keep a team from dividing itself.

Pappy

proudpittsburgher
09-16-2009, 06:56 AM
[quote=skyhawk]Point fingers where they need to be pointed!!

I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I read a quote and see Willie Colon's name.

I also get a funny feeling in my stomach when I see his name on TV. Hmm, maybe it's my colon getting jealous of something else stinking it up more!! :lol:

People act as if Ben says something, the coaching staff is going to forget everything they know about evaluating talent. Doesn't matter what Ben says, or Willie says, the coaching staff knows what the problem is and will fix it (hopefully). I echo all the statements about being a good teammate and team leader.

It isn't just the coaching staff making player evaluations. We all heard the rumors the past offseasons where the coaching staff wasn't very high on Max Starks yet Colbert was. Look who is starting at LT.

While Tomlin and Colbert share the ultimate goal of wins and a Superbowl title, Colbert has the additional responsibility (not held by Tomlin & staff) of meeting the salary cap while keeping the team 'competitive'. That is why in my mind a HC/GM title never really works well in the long run. There were no viable left tackles when we drafted and Colbert was not about to break the bank on a FA left tackle.

Sure......doesn't mean he is good.....or the coaching staff think he is good.[/quote:3pbpmf70]

But it also doesn't mean Ben and Willie being good teammates by not throwing them under the bus has any implications either. They should be saying that on camera.

frankthetank1
09-16-2009, 07:45 AM
personally i'm getting tired of the 'blame me - not the O-line' game. Ben does it and now WP does it as well. What's the downside of calling them out and telling them to make a push? are they gonna miss blocks on purpose? are they gonna pout and play worse? why do some feel the need to treat guys who weigh more than 300 pounds so tenderly?......

I think Willie realized that he was bad and missed holes and just wanted to let the linemen know that they did their job good enough for the team to have done better in the running game. It's those kinds of statements that keep a team from dividing itself.

Pappy

i agree. willie at least takes the blame which he should do. its not all the olines fault. just like giving up sacks. sure there are times when ben has no time at all to get rid of the ball but there are plenty of times when ben takes a sack after holding the ball for 5+ seconds which is not the o-lines fault. the o-line did suck with run blocking against a very good defense but willie sucked too

stlrz d
09-16-2009, 10:09 AM
I'm in agreement with James Walker on this one.


* Pittsburgh Steelers starting tailback Willie Parker says blame him for their poor rushing output in Week 1.

Morning take: Itís noble of Parker to shoulder the burden, but the Steelers averaged 1.6 yards per rush as a team. There is more going on here than just one player.

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_ ... ders-blame (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/3100/morning-take-parker-shoulders-blame)