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fordfixer
01-04-2010, 02:25 AM
Parker's return an intriguing possibility
January 4th, 2010
http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-the- ... ox+Blog%29 (http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-the-press-box/2010/01/04/parkers-return-an-intriguing-possibility/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+triblive%2Fblog%2FViewFromThe PressBox+%28View+from+the+Press+Box+Blog%29)

After looking like the Willie Parker of old instead of an old Willie Parker in the Steelers’ 30-24 win against the Dolphins, the free-agent-to-be running back offered mixed messages when it comes to his future.

“Hopefully I’m here next season because it’s a blessing, me coming here and being part of a great organization,” Parker said.

But the sixth-year veteran also said, “I want to thank the coaches and my teammates for embracing me and blessing me to be part of such a great organization.”

If I had to set odds on Parker donning a Steelers uniform again I’d put them at no better than 50/50 -- and that might be optimistic.

He is clearly eyeing a bigger role than the one he had following Rashard Mendenhall’s emergence, which came after a toe injury sustained by Parker in late September provided an opening for the 2008 first-round draft pick.

But Parker, 29, also has to be realistic. He has six seasons of wear and tear on his 5-10, 209-pound frame. In two of those seasons he averaged 329 carries.

Teams aren’t likely to line up to sign someone who has taken a lot of hits and plays a position that is rarely associated with longevity in the NFL. And where Parker covets a chance to start again -- “If you think about it every running back wants to be the starter,” he said. -- the two-time Pro Bowler may not get the chance to carry a running game as he did in 2006-07.

NFL teams are increasingly relying on more than a back in the running game, and Parker might have to accept being part of a rotation if he signs elsewhere.

In the end, re-signing with the team he has been with for his entire career might make the most sense for Parker and the Steelers.

Parker showed against the Dolphins that he still has the kind of burst that helped him become the Steelers’ third all-time leading rusher. With Mendenhall out because of a leg injury, Parker gained 74 of his 91 rushing yards on the Steelers’ final drive.

He still has value as insurance for Mendenhall and could be a complement to the second-year back if the Steelers ever decide to go that route.

Parker, who made $4 million this season, would have to take a pay cut to return to the Steelers. But the Steelers would also have to give assurances to Parker that he will be more than an afterthought in the offense if they want to re-sign him.

“I’ve wanted to get more than three or four carries a game all season,” Parker said, “and run the ball and just be me and make plays.”

Surely the Steelers can design packages that get Mendenhall and Parker on the field together. And if other teams can make two-back approaches work, why can’t it happen here?

That is the most significant question the Steelers will have to answer to Parker if they truly want him back.

SteelCrazy
01-04-2010, 03:07 AM
I hope to see you back FWP...if not, good luck, you'll be missed.

phillyesq
01-04-2010, 08:05 AM
If he comes back for a reasonable deal, he could be good insurance for Mendy and a nice change of pace, complimentary back. He was the consummate team player after losing his starting role this year, never complaining.

Djfan
01-04-2010, 09:12 AM
I would like to see him back, but understand the business side of it. I bet it happens anyway.

Chadman
01-04-2010, 09:16 AM
And a real nice guy on Facebook too. :D

Would not complain having him back- but it would possibly mean removing Moore & signing a powerback.

Oviedo
01-04-2010, 09:16 AM
If he comes back for a reasonable deal, he could be good insurance for Mendy and a nice change of pace, complimentary back. He was the consummate team player after losing his starting role this year, never complaining.

:Agree He needs to do what Bettis did. Look at derrick Ward last year. There is little to no market for FA RBs particularly over 30. Do the right thing FWP and secure your Steelers legacy.

calmkiller
01-04-2010, 10:07 AM
And a real nice guy on Facebook too. :D

Would not complain having him back- but it would possibly mean removing Moore & signing a powerback.


Frank the Tank!!.....er well....he was more of Frank the Stank....but yea

papillon
01-04-2010, 10:46 AM
And a real nice guy on Facebook too. :D

Would not complain having him back- but it would possibly mean removing Moore & signing a powerback.

Mendenhall has made Moore expendable in my opinion. He's been a clutch player for the Steelers, but Mendenhall is a three down back and there are other positions that the Steelers could shore up with an extra roster spot.

Pappy

Shawn
01-04-2010, 12:10 PM
I would MUCH rather have Moore than the one trick pony Parker. Moore is Mendenhall Jr. He is a winner...a guy with a nose for the marker...a nose for the endzone. He is shifty yet runs with vision and power. Moore has terrific hands. Please let me know what you all see in Parker? The guy used to be fast. He has never had power, hands or vision. If Mendenhall goes down...I would MUCH rather have Moore step in. We wouldn't even have to change the offense...they do the same things.

I understand people like Parker...he's a nice guy and all. But, nice doesn't win games. Give me the winner...and that's Moore.

NC Steeler Fan
01-04-2010, 01:41 PM
I like Willie too, but I agree...I like Moore better. I seem to recall that he
moves the chains consistently...well, at least when we freakin' use him...

Shoe
01-04-2010, 03:57 PM
I would MUCH rather have Moore than the one trick pony Parker. Moore is Mendenhall Jr. He is a winner...a guy with a nose for the marker...a nose for the endzone. He is shifty yet runs with vision and power. Moore has terrific hands. Please let me know what you all see in Parker? The guy used to be fast. He has never had power, hands or vision. If Mendenhall goes down...I would MUCH rather have Moore step in. We wouldn't even have to change the offense...they do the same things.

I understand people like Parker...he's a nice guy and all. But, nice doesn't win games. Give me the winner...and that's Moore.

People see Parker's burst (you could see he had more of it being well-rested), and the fact that he is a team-player. I do agree that Mewelde brings more things to the table, but if you were somehow able to equate their values, I don't think Mewelde vs. FWP is that big a difference either way... you'd just have to adapt to either, if/when you play them.

I do agree that Mendenhall's emergence has made Mewelde somewhat less useful, in that Mendenhall can be used in the passing game.

feltdizz
01-05-2010, 10:19 AM
Mendenhall has replaced Moore in most packages and took over 3rd down duties.. Moore looks to be the odd man out.

papillon
01-05-2010, 10:26 AM
Moore underperformed this year. I'm not sure what anyone saw in Moore this year that indicates he's worth having around. Not that Parker is great either, but if I had my choice of backs to spell Mendenhall for a series or two, I'd take Parker and use Mendenhall as the 3rd down back in the Parker package.

When Moore comes on the field, the defense knows there's a very good chance that the Steelers are going to try and get him the ball.

If Mendenhall came in on 3rd down, he could potentially be a blitz pickup back, Moore isn't that.

Pappy

feltdizz
01-05-2010, 11:05 AM
Moore underperformed this year. I'm not sure what anyone saw in Moore this year that indicates he's worth having around. Not that Parker is great either, but if I had my choice of backs to spell Mendenhall for a series or two, I'd take Parker and use Mendenhall as the 3rd down back in the Parker package.

When Moore comes on the field, the defense knows there's a very good chance that the Steelers are going to try and get him the ball.

If Mendenhall came in on 3rd down, he could potentially be a blitz pickup back, Moore isn't that.

Pappy

I think people still see Moore's highlights from 2 years ago... Mend crushed the Moore hype. He is no longer needed. IMO course

Oviedo
01-05-2010, 11:18 AM
Moore underperformed this year. I'm not sure what anyone saw in Moore this year that indicates he's worth having around. Not that Parker is great either, but if I had my choice of backs to spell Mendenhall for a series or two, I'd take Parker and use Mendenhall as the 3rd down back in the Parker package.

When Moore comes on the field, the defense knows there's a very good chance that the Steelers are going to try and get him the ball.

If Mendenhall came in on 3rd down, he could potentially be a blitz pickup back, Moore isn't that.

Pappy

I think people still see Moore's highlights from 2 years ago... Mend crushed the Moore hype. He is no longer needed. IMO course

I agree that Mendy has replaced Moore as the primary back on 3rd down, howver RB is a high injury rate position and you need good back ups. Moore is a good back up who can do several thing for you on offensive and special teams.

flippy
01-05-2010, 12:32 PM
FWP will want more money than Moore. So Moore will stay and Willie will likely be gone.

Steeler Mafia
01-05-2010, 12:41 PM
I would like to see FWP back. If anything, just to see LVG throw a fit on these boards. :lol: :lol:

feltdizz
01-05-2010, 12:59 PM
FWP will want more money than Moore. So Moore will stay and Willie will likely be gone.

The market sets the price... I don't think Willie or his agent are greedy. He was happy with a below average payday for his work a few years ago...

ikestops85
01-05-2010, 02:29 PM
FWP will want more money than Moore. So Moore will stay and Willie will likely be gone.

Do you think LVG noticed how much better Parker did against the Ravens than Mendy did? Wasn't that the biggest knock against Parker -- that he couldn't run against the Ravens? :stirpot

skyhawk
01-05-2010, 08:46 PM
This OL usually cannot open holes for FWP.

Fix that and you have a potent run game with FWP. Even more with Mendy.

I think the Miami game could be a hint of things to come. Both rushed for almost 100 yards each. Give the OL some credit for improving.

I think it's still hard to evaluate a back (esp a Willie Parker) in this offense with the poorest OL the past 3 years I have seen in 20+ years. Mendy is the #1 back now. Parker can be (or a solid #2) if we can return to 2005 form (OL wise).

NorthCoast
01-05-2010, 10:56 PM
I ripped this from postgameheroes.. I think the points brought up have obvious holes but it may make you reconsider whether you want Parker back:

Willie Parker, running back, Steelers

“Fast” Willie Parker broke off a long touchdown run in the 2005 Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks and parlayed that into millions of dollars and a long-term contract with the Steelers. Parker fooled everyone including fans, coaches, media, and even Steelers management by having them believe that his straight line speed somehow made him a great running back. It took about four years for many to figure out that Parker’s play was nothing more than a fluke. Throughout his time with the Steelers, Parker routinely was near the top of the league in stuffs per carry. He would also routinely collapse against the better run defenses in the league.

Consider the following data that lists all of Parker’s opponents since 2005 that were ranked in the top one-third of the league in defensive yards per rush allowed. Listed to the right are two numbers. The first is each opponent’s season average in defensive yards per rush allowed. The second number is the average yards per carry gained by Parker per contest.

Parker 2008

Philadelphia Eagles – 3.6 > 1.5 (Below)

Washington Redskins – 3.8 > 3.3 (Below)

Baltimore Ravens – 3.4 > 3.4 (Even)

Tennessee Titans – 3.6 > 1.6 (Below)

Ravens 3.4 – > 2.0 (Below)

Arizona Cardinals – 3.9 > 2.8 (Below)

Parker 2007

San Francisco 49ers – 3.8 > 5.3 (Above)

Cardinals – 3.9 > 1.8 (Below)

Ravens – 2.9 > 1.8 (Below)

Parker 2006

Miami Dolphins – 3.5 > 4.0 (Above)

Jacksonville Jaguars – 3.5 > 1.8 (Below)

Atlanta Falcons – 3.8 > 2.4 (Below)

Oakland Raiders – 4.0 > 3.8 (Below)

Ravens – 3.3 > 2.2 (Below)

Tampa Bay Buccaneeers – 3.9 > 2.9 (Below)

Carolina Panthers – 3.9 > 5.7 (Above)

Ravens – 3.3 > 2.2 (Below)

Parker 2005

New England Patriots – 3.6 > 3.2 (Below)

San Diego Chargers – 3.2 > 2.6 (Below)

Ravens – 3.7 > 4.5 (Above)

Ravens – 3.7 > 3.3 (Below)

Packers – 4.0 > 2.6 (Below)

Bears – 3.7 > 3.2 (Below)

From 2005 to 2008, Parker played 25 games against run defenses that were ranked in the top third of the league using the yards per rush allowed statistic. Parker failed to at least equal their average yards per rush allowed, a whopping 72% of the time! In fact, he didn’t just fail to reach average, he often collapsed.

For example, in 2008, the Eagles defense allowed 3.6 yards per rush on the season, but against Willie Parker in week three, they stuffed him for 1.6 yards per rush. That type of collapse hurt the Steelers offense a great deal as they constantly found themselves in 3rd down and long throughout the Parker era. Roethlisberger helped mask this issue as he has often ranked near the top in first downs per pass attempt throughout his career.

Parker is a great sprinter but not a great running back. He doesn’t have the vision that true great backs have. He doesn’t often break tackles and make something out of nothing. He routinely dances in the backfield and produces negative gains instead of just taking what he can get to help keep the offense out of third and long situations.

Parker’s overall rushing yards total is simply a byproduct of his relatively high amount of carries he receives per game, not his efficiency per carry.

Case in point, in 2007 when Parker had 1300 yards rushing before his season ended in a broken leg, Adrian Peterson had about the same overall yardage, but accomplished that number with nearly 100 fewer carries. That is what I call efficiency.

The other issue with Parker is that he is not a pass receiving threat out of the backfield. In 2007, Mewelde Moore had 17 first downs in pass receiving. Parker didn’t have any.

Unfortunately, Parker never lived up to the hype as his averages have fallen every year since 2005. Parker’s yards per rush average by year.

2005 – 4.7

2006 – 4.4

2007 – 4.1

2008 – 3.8

2009 – 3.5

It is amazing how much time one long run in a Super Bowl can buy a player.

http://www.postgameheroes.com/?p=8507

I think a team needs at least two and preferably 3 good backs to make it through a season. If Willie is willing to take a team discount, sign him...and what is wrong with the idea of having them both on the field at the same time? That should slow a defense down...

Shawn
01-06-2010, 02:08 AM
Moore underperformed this year. I'm not sure what anyone saw in Moore this year that indicates he's worth having around. Not that Parker is great either, but if I had my choice of backs to spell Mendenhall for a series or two, I'd take Parker and use Mendenhall as the 3rd down back in the Parker package.

When Moore comes on the field, the defense knows there's a very good chance that the Steelers are going to try and get him the ball.

If Mendenhall came in on 3rd down, he could potentially be a blitz pickup back, Moore isn't that.

Pappy

I think people still see Moore's highlights from 2 years ago... Mend crushed the Moore hype. He is no longer needed. IMO course

I agree that Mendy has replaced Moore as the primary back on 3rd down, howver RB is a high injury rate position and you need good back ups. Moore is a good back up who can do several thing for you on offensive and special teams.

This is $$$