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fordfixer
10-11-2009, 09:45 AM
LVG found this for you 8)
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Rick Weaver: It's time for Steelers, Parker to move on

Published: Sunday, October 11, 2009 2:02 AM EDT

http://online.indianagazette.com/articl ... 025632.txt (http://online.indianagazette.com/articles/2009/10/11/sports/sports_columnists/10025632.txt)


For weeks, the denizens of Steelers Nation wondered aloud whether Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers first-round pick in the 2008 draft, would wind up as another Tim Worley.

I saw Tim Worley, one of the Steelers' two first-round picks in the 1989 draft, in person his entire rookie year. Worley had a world of physical talent but lacked the brains to match.

Conversely, all I have seen of Mendenhall has been on TV.

It has become safe to say I have seen enough of Mendenhall to conclude he is no Tim Worley.


For that reason, the Steelers should save their money and cut the cord with Willie Parker.

Mendenhall's 165-yard effort against the San Diego Chargers last week was not a fluke. It was the product of his raw talent, an improved offensive line and Mendenhall's trust in the previously maligned unit.

Steelers fans caught a glimpse of the Mendenhall that coach Mike Tomlin and director of football operations Kevin Colbert envisioned when they named him their first-round pick. And everyone concerned had to like what they saw.

Here are some other factors to consider:

Parker will turn 29 next month. Mendenhall is 22. Parker would surely want a long-term contract that would likely take him into his early 30s. The Steelers have more than their share of long-term contracts with players who are on the verge of retirement, thank you.

Mendenhall's busted shoulder aside, Parker is showing signs of being injury-prone. He sat out four games in the early going because of a knee injury, plus another because of a shoulder problem. And he might miss today's game against the never-dangerous Detroit Lions. Parker, a sixth-year pro, has started to show the signs of wear and tear that is associated with established veterans.

Then you have the ``x'' factor that is Isaac Redman. On the surface, it appears as though they've been jerking him around. They made him one of their final cuts in September, although he was their most productive rusher during the exhibition season. Then they put Redman on the practice squad, added him to the 53-man roster for the Chargers game, released him again hours later and almost as promptly put him back on the practice squad.

Redman comes as close to an insurance policy at halfback as the Steelers can come by at this point. And if Parker is let go, the Steelers can get plenty of bang for fewer bucks with a halfback tandem of Mendenhall and Redman. Furthermore, versatile Mewelde Moore brings enough skill to lend additional depth.

Mendenhall might have suffered from brain cramp, iron-poor blood or whatever when he was benched for the Cincinnati game because of poor preparation. He learned - albeit the hard way - that a total commitment is the best way to earn NFL paychecks in the long term.

He will not be, as many have feared, the second coming of Tim Worley.

If the Steelers don't have a halfback controversy, they will when the offseason sets in.

They would serve themselves well in the pocketbook as well as the playbook to allow Parker to shop himself around the league for the best deal.

He won't get it from the Steelers.

Flasteel
10-11-2009, 10:05 AM
Indiana Gazette huh? Maybe this guy should stick to writing about the Colts. I'm not going to argue the dollars and cents of the situation because he is probably right about that aspect. However, Parker remains a valuable back and still has that homerun capability if we can get back to putting him more on the edge.

If Willie is willing to give us that hometown discount (which I'm sure that he is), then I say that we at least investigate using him in tandem with Rashard. I'm also not about to rush (no pun intended) to any conclusions about him being injury-prone or Mendenhall being the real deal based on the season to date. I'm especially not ready to annoint an undrafted rookie as the insurance policy we need in order to let go of Parker.

There is no such thing as a runningback controversy and every team needs at least two good backs. Let's see how the rest of 2009 plays out and make these kinds of decisions based on a little larger body of evidence.

Flasteel
10-11-2009, 10:24 AM
I almost forgot about my "Tim Worley" rookie season story. It was December 24th (or maybe Christmas day...I forget) 1989 and my first season home after 4 years in the Army. My mom scored some on-field passes for the pregame against the Bucs at the Old Sombrero, so I made the not so long drive up to Tampa. I was able to hang out on the field during warm-ups was walking around amongst the players and gathered media and I thought to myself that this was pretty cool.

So when it came time for the game to start, I decided that I was going to try and stay on the field as long as I could. I blended in with the media and stayed on the sidelines, moving up and down the field without anyone noticing. I almost was bowled over by Rod Woodson on a punt return (which would have been friggin' awesome), but nobody seemed to notice that I didn't have a camera, notepad, or any other tool which might allow me to pass myself off as a media guy.

Then I got a little too bold.

Right after Worley scored a TD (at least I think he's the one that scored), I decided to go over to the Steelers bench area and there was this huddle with Worley, Merril Hoge, and Bubby...all celebrating the score and yucking it up. I kind of moved right into their little huddle and started...well, celebrating with them. They all looked at me like "who in the hell is this guy?" So I took my cue and started cruising along the bench area just soaking it in, when all of the sudden this giant redneck-lookin' dude asked me where my pass was. I had thrown it away because it was for pregame only (wrong color) and ripped off a button on my coat, so I could say my button must have fallen off along with the pass (yes, very stupid idea).

Well, needless to say, it didn't work and I was promptly escorted from the field and tossed into the stands (figuratively). It none-the-less provided me with my first really cool Steeler story.

Djfan
10-11-2009, 10:56 AM
Great story Fla. I think I remember it from the trib board.

You are right about Parker still having some miles left on the tires. But, that is why I suggested in the preseason that we shop him for trades. If we wait until the tread is gone he has no value to anyone for trade.

I don't want him to go, and hope he retires a Steelers player, but we all the the end of the tunnel for him. I hope the best for FWP! Yes, I put an F there and I mean it!

Chachi
10-11-2009, 11:50 AM
Willie complained last year about the team getting away from "Steeler Football".

Well, Willie's gonna be a victim of "Steeler Football" in the form of not overpaying for an aged veteran, which, at 29, by running back standards, is aged.

He will be the Larry Foote of the 2010 offseason.

Thanks for the memories Willie. I wish you the best of luck.

Mister Pittsburgh
10-11-2009, 12:03 PM
Indiana Gazette huh? Maybe this guy should stick to writing about the Colts. I'm not going to argue the dollars and cents of the situation because he is probably right about that aspect. However, Parker remains a valuable back and still has that homerun capability if we can get back to putting him more on the edge.

If Willie is willing to give us that hometown discount (which I'm sure that he is), then I say that we at least investigate using him in tandem with Rashard. I'm also not about to rush (no pun intended) to any conclusions about him being injury-prone or Mendenhall being the real deal based on the season to date. I'm especially not ready to annoint an undrafted rookie as the insurance policy we need in order to let go of Parker.

There is no such thing as a runningback controversy and every team needs at least two good backs. Let's see how the rest of 2009 plays out and make these kinds of decisions based on a little larger body of evidence.

Indiana Gazette = Indiana, Pennsylvania

Pretty cool history lesson

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~paicgs/history.shtml

stlrz d
10-11-2009, 12:36 PM
IF he goes for the hometown discount, Parker will be more valuable than what we'd get for him in trade.

DukieBoy
10-11-2009, 05:52 PM
Thanks for the link. Interesting read.



Indiana Gazette huh? Maybe this guy should stick to writing about the Colts. I'm not going to argue the dollars and cents of the situation because he is probably right about that aspect. However, Parker remains a valuable back and still has that homerun capability if we can get back to putting him more on the edge.

If Willie is willing to give us that hometown discount (which I'm sure that he is), then I say that we at least investigate using him in tandem with Rashard. I'm also not about to rush (no pun intended) to any conclusions about him being injury-prone or Mendenhall being the real deal based on the season to date. I'm especially not ready to annoint an undrafted rookie as the insurance policy we need in order to let go of Parker.

There is no such thing as a runningback controversy and every team needs at least two good backs. Let's see how the rest of 2009 plays out and make these kinds of decisions based on a little larger body of evidence.

Indiana Gazette = Indiana, Pennsylvania

Pretty cool history lesson

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~paicgs/history.shtml

Flasteel
10-11-2009, 05:59 PM
Indiana Gazette huh? Maybe this guy should stick to writing about the Colts. I'm not going to argue the dollars and cents of the situation because he is probably right about that aspect. However, Parker remains a valuable back and still has that homerun capability if we can get back to putting him more on the edge.

If Willie is willing to give us that hometown discount (which I'm sure that he is), then I say that we at least investigate using him in tandem with Rashard. I'm also not about to rush (no pun intended) to any conclusions about him being injury-prone or Mendenhall being the real deal based on the season to date. I'm especially not ready to annoint an undrafted rookie as the insurance policy we need in order to let go of Parker.

There is no such thing as a runningback controversy and every team needs at least two good backs. Let's see how the rest of 2009 plays out and make these kinds of decisions based on a little larger body of evidence.

Indiana Gazette = Indiana, Pennsylvania

Pretty cool history lesson

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~paicgs/history.shtml

Doh!!

JTP53609
10-12-2009, 07:44 AM
we can still use him this year, but yea he is gone after the year, no knock on him needed, we just wont pay him what he wants when we have 2 outstanding backs already....he will move on somewhere else and i hope him the best.. look for the brown to pick him up, they like to sign former afc north backs....

Oviedo
10-12-2009, 10:53 AM
IF he goes for the hometown discount, Parker will be more valuable than what we'd get for him in trade.

You need three good NFL caliber RBs to get through a season and a deep plAY OFF RUN. pARKER STILL HAS GOOD VALUE WHEN HEALTHY.

I agree he has to take a discount to stay because he won't demand a big contract as Derrick Ward found out.

Mister Pittsburgh
10-12-2009, 12:22 PM
Parker is a limited RB. His main weapon was speed and sadly that football speed isn't there anymore. He used to be a threat to beat a LB to the corner and turn one upfield where if one guy missed he could take it to the house. I don't think he has that anymore. Shows no power. His hands blow. Parker would be a good back for a team with a top 10 OL where they would give him holes he could easily spot and hit running hard. He can still outrun people once going, it is just his burst isn't there anymore.

flippy
10-12-2009, 02:10 PM
maybe NE can pick him up since you guys don't want him....

proudpittsburgher
10-12-2009, 02:16 PM
maybe NE can pick him up since you guys don't want him....


And they will.

Mister Pittsburgh
10-12-2009, 03:48 PM
maybe NE can pick him up since you guys don't want him....


And they will.

Wouldn't surprise me.