View Full Version : Parker staying positive

11-14-2009, 02:01 PM
Parker staying positive
November 14th, 2009

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The guy who has averaged 101.5 rushing yards against the Bengals in eight games dating back to 2005 may be the least of Cincinnati’s worries Sunday at Heinz Field.

That is because Willie Parker has become at best a role player and at worst an afterthought in the Steelers’ offense.

The good news for the Steelers is that Parker has taken, at least for now, his reduced role in stride. And that is something that can’t be easy for the two-time Pro Bowler given how competitive he is.

“Things are cool, man,” Parker said. “You’re up, you’re down, but I’m good. I’m getting everything straight. I’m looking forward to getting in the game and showing everybody what I can do.”

He didn’t get a chance to show anything last Monday in Denver.

Parker didn’t have a carry in the Steelers’ 28-10 win over the Broncos, and the third all-time leading rusher in franchise history was only on the field for one play.

Circumstances in the Denver game had something to do with that.

Parker got skipped in the rotation in the first half because starter Rashard Mendenhall only got six carries since the Broncos dominated time of possession. Parker had playing time taken away from him in the second half when the Steelers went with Mewelde Moore in their no-huddle offense.

Parker is expected to spell Mendenhall every third series against the Bengals but it’s hard not to wonder just where he fits into the Steelers’ offense.

Moore is ideal as a third-down back and as the back in the no-huddle offense. The Steelers, meanwhile, need to get Mendenhall as many touches as possible given the way he has burst onto the scene.

Since Parker’s turf toe injury provided an opening for Mendenhall, the 2008 first-round pick has rushed for 528 yards and four touchdowns in five games

“Man, he’s running at a high level,” Parker said. “Anybody can see that.”

What isn’t so clear is what Mendenhall’s emergence means for Parker.

Parker’s injured toe has improved significantly but he won’t be 100 percent for the rest of the season. And unless an injury sidelines Mendenhall or fumbling problems crop up again for the second-year man, Parker will mostly have to watch and wait.

“I still think there’s a time where it’s going to fall into his lap,” Arians said of Parker, “and he’ll be great.”

11-15-2009, 12:22 AM
I know it's out with the old and in with the new but, you have to admit, Parker handles this with class. You know how many other guys would be pitching a fit if this had happen to them ? And especially a runningback or receiver.

Mendenhall is the hot hand now and the Steelers should be playing him. Willie is a nice insurance package for the time and I'm with most of you, I'm sure this is Willies last Steeler season.