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fordfixer
04-02-2010, 12:51 AM
Parker moves on from Steelers
Friday, April 02, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10092/1047371-66.stm

Willie Parker talked to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin this week, and the halfback would not rule out his return to the Steelers.

But that is not what they talked about.

"Nothing dealing with football," Parker said Thursday from his home in North Carolina. "Not really dealing with Pittsburgh or anything like that. I respect him as a coach. One thing they always said, they would play the best guys. I guess I wasn't the best guy."

After a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoting a close associate of Parker's that he was bitter and would prefer to retire than return to the Steelers, Kirby Wilson, who coaches their backs, called Parker. Parker then called Tomlin.

Parker described his feelings as "a little salty," not bitter, and that he definitely is not ready to retire.

"There's a business side; you can't let your pride get in the way," said Parker. "That's a great organization with great people, great character. I can't be too bitter about what happened. I was a little salty, can't say I wasn't. But it's a business and the game I chose to play.

"If they can get rid of LaDainian Tomlinson like that in San Diego, a future Hall of Famer, they'll let anybody go. It's just the business we play in; it's a young man's game."

Parker finds himself unwanted again, or at least it seems that way, just the way it was when he went almost unnoticed at the University of North Carolina and undrafted by the NFL.

Parker is 29 and an unrestricted free agent who has had two visits with other teams, Washington and St. Louis, but no contract. His agent continues to negotiate with others. The Steelers are not one of them.

Parker opened the 2009 season as the Steelers' starting halfback for the fifth consecutive year. Only he took a different stance than he had previously. Instead of putting his hand on the ground and staring ahead, he looked over his shoulder.

There he saw Rashard Mendenhall, the team's first-round draft pick in 2008. Parker ran through and around many walls in his six seasons with the Steelers but he could not ignore the handwriting on this one.

"Think about it: I had a first-rounder behind me," he said. "I knew nothing could happen, I had to play at a high level all the time. I couldn't get hurt."

Parker played with a slightly injured hamstring in the first two games and did not have his normal burst. Then he injured a big toe in the third game and the Willie Parker era gave way to Rashard Mendenhall's.

"When I got hurt, it was like, 'Cool, that's all we needed.'" said Parker "It was an easy decision: Put the first-rounder in, time to start his career."

Parker missed two games, in which Mendenhall ran for 242 yards. Over the next 10 games, Parker carried 34 times. He then carried 12 times in the final game at Miami for 91 yards and thought that might be his ticket to a second chance somewhere.

Nearly a month into free agency, he is nowhere yet and has accepted that no team, at this point, will sign him to be their starter.

"I'm kind of surprised," Parker said. "But people looked over me my entire life. I'll do what I've always done, just go and work hard and the situation will fall in place.

"I've been in worse situations than this. I came in behind a Hall of Fame running back [Jerome Bettis] and Duce [Staley]. I was nobody. If I can go through what I went through at UNC, I can do anything."

Parker understands the whole decision with Mendenhall.

"Rashard's a good running back," said Parker. "I taught him everything I knew, and what the older guys taught me I passed down to him. He's going to do some big things in the NFL, especially this year. I look forward to him having a breakout season."

Parker, in the meantime, hopes to have a break-back-in season. He worked out for two months at five-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson's Performance Center near Dallas and has brought his weight up to 214 pounds -- eight more than last season and back to where he was a few years ago. He thought he would be quicker at 206, but the hits at that weight were more rattling.

"I had to get my body back right," said Parker, who plans to return to Dallas in June. "I think I can still be a great running back, I know that for a fact."

He was that. He topped 1,200 yards rushing three consecutive years, 2005-07, when he averaged 1,337.3 yards. He led the NFL heading into the 15th game of the 2007 season when his leg was broken on his first carry.

Some team will sign him -- and that team ultimately might get a bargain. The Steelers certainly found one with him.
More college visits

The Steelers entertained two more college prospects Thursday, closing out the week after meeting with 13 since Monday. The players visiting with coaches and scouts Thursday were Wake Forest defensive back Brandon Ghee and South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood. The Steelers will resume visits by prospects Tuesday. Each NFL team is permitted to have 30 prospects visit by April 14.

For more on the Steelers, read Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at http://www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10092/10 ... z0juohNuG6 (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10092/1047371-66.stm#ixzz0juohNuG6)

SanAntonioSteelerFan
04-02-2010, 12:57 AM
Where in the article does it say anything that FWP has "moved on"? :wft does that title have to do with that article?

Thanks for posting, FF!

rpmpit
04-02-2010, 10:32 AM
Did anyone else notice that FWP went from one of the best in the league to extremely average when Kreider was let go? Give him a decent fullback and he could be FWP again.

flippy
04-02-2010, 10:44 AM
Did anyone else notice that FWP went from one of the best in the league to extremely average when Kreider was let go? Give him a decent fullback and he could be FWP again.

I agree and think he could lead the league in rushing in the right system. He doesn't really fit with our offense so much. But another team could really use him.

Someone's gonna get a heck of a bargain. FWP has relatively low mileage at 29.

ikestops85
04-02-2010, 10:48 AM
Did anyone else notice that FWP went from one of the best in the league to extremely average when Kreider was let go? Give him a decent fullback and he could be FWP again.

I think it was a combination the missing fullback and a below average offensive line. FWP was never fully accepted by the steeler faithful because he wasn't the "fall forward" type of running back that we were used to.

Willie can still be a productive running back in this league. I just don't think it will be for the Steelers and as big a Parker fan as I am I don't want it to be. In my opinion we have signed too many of the vets which ultimately makes us an older team and means in a few years we will need to dump a lot of players at one time instead of sprinkling in a few new players with the old every year.

rpmpit
04-02-2010, 10:55 AM
Did anyone else notice that FWP went from one of the best in the league to extremely average when Kreider was let go? Give him a decent fullback and he could be FWP again.

I agree and think he could lead the league in rushing in the right system. He doesn't really fit with our offense so much. But another team could really use him.

Someone's gonna get a heck of a bargain. FWP has relatively low mileage at 29.

Why can't we get a decent fullback and keep him home? If a fb can help him get beyond the los, thats where he does his most damage. But yeah, I definitely don't want to see the guy running into the line and falling down anymore. Help him out or get rid of him.

fezziwig
04-02-2010, 11:08 AM
Did anyone else notice that FWP went from one of the best in the league to extremely average when Kreider was let go? Give him a decent fullback and he could be FWP again.


:Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap

fezziwig
04-02-2010, 11:08 AM
Did anyone else notice that FWP went from one of the best in the league to extremely average when Kreider was let go? Give him a decent fullback and he could be FWP again.

I agree and think he could lead the league in rushing in the right system. He doesn't really fit with our offense so much. But another team could really use him.

Someone's gonna get a heck of a bargain. FWP has relatively low mileage at 29.
\



x2

Northern_Blitz
04-02-2010, 11:20 AM
Did anyone else notice that FWP went from one of the best in the league to extremely average when Kreider was let go? Give him a decent fullback and he could be FWP again.

I think that the loss of Faneca and especially Hartings hurt our running game more than losing Kreider. FWP started his decline when we would consistantly give up a yard or 2 in the centre of the line at the snap of the ball.

Shoe
04-03-2010, 03:14 PM
Did anyone else notice that FWP went from one of the best in the league to extremely average when Kreider was let go?

OMG :HeadBanger --ENOUGH with the Dan Kreider is God III sentiment please? He was a nice little role player... that's it. He wasn't Bruce Matthews playing FB, or even the best FB we've had in the past 20 years.

rpmpit
04-03-2010, 03:22 PM
Did anyone else notice that FWP went from one of the best in the league to extremely average when Kreider was let go?

OMG :HeadBanger --ENOUGH with the Dan Kreider is God III sentiment please? He was a nice little role player... that's it. He wasn't Bruce Matthews playing FB, or even the best FB we've had in the past 20 years.

I guess you didn't notice :lol: :lol:

rpmpit
04-03-2010, 03:27 PM
Did anyone else notice that FWP went from one of the best in the league to extremely average when Kreider was let go? Give him a decent fullback and he could be FWP again.

I think that the loss of Faneca and especially Hartings hurt our running game more than losing Kreider. FWP started his decline when we would consistantly give up a yard or 2 in the centre of the line at the snap of the ball.[/quote

What I think is overhyped is how great our o-line used to be. We had Bettis, one of the greatest all time power backs. JB didn't need huge holes. So was our o-line that great or did Bettis just make holes where he wanted?

But no question that Faneca and Hartings were better at their prime than what we have now.

frankthetank1
04-03-2010, 06:48 PM
Did anyone else notice that FWP went from one of the best in the league to extremely average when Kreider was let go?

OMG :HeadBanger --ENOUGH with the Dan Kreider is God III sentiment please? He was a nice little role player... that's it. He wasn't Bruce Matthews playing FB, or even the best FB we've had in the past 20 years.

i would say he was the best blocking fb the steelers have had in the last 20 years. john l williams was probably the best all around fb. lester was a great blocker too, but that is what is missing in the run game. the o-line isnt great with run blocking which makes a big difference but having a good fb is a big part of the equation. and dan kreider is god :lol: