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Thread: Lets play Coach

  1. #11

    Re: Lets play Coach

    I think saying parker is the best back on the team is being a bit closed-minded. Parker is a really good back, and a really, really great value considering how much production we've gotten from him for the payout.

    but lets not overlook the fact that parker has not, nor will he ever be what we call a "complete back". meaning he's got superior speed and work ethic, and a constantly improving ability to cut and break tackles. BUT, he's not got the ability to run between the tackles consistently and force defenses to overload the middle to stop him.

    both russell and especially mendenhall have that ability, along with good to great speed to break it long.

    some here are really high on russell, but I'm not holding my breath. he needs to get on the field and produce before I annoint him heir to the black and gold rushing attack. Mendy on the other hand is going to be something special. he has the rare blend of size, speed, power, and vision to supplant parker as the starter from day one. I don't see that happening for a littney of reasons, but it's possible.

    as coach, I'd really work russell out during the preseason, make him carry the load for two of the games and give him 20+ reps each... see if he's got it. I'd sprinkle in mendy in those games and give him a half or two in the other games just to get some time in before he rips up the AFC north.

  2. #12

    Re: Lets play Coach

    If I am the coach, here are some things that would happen:

    1) Smith, Hartwig, Starks are my starters at center and both tackles. Figure out who my two guards are as early as possible and get them working together from at least the start of camp.

    2) Cut Dookie and Carter - Davenport only gets in the way of deciding the roles of my other 4 RBs, and Carter brings very little to the table that isn't already there. Boom, I just freed up around $1.7M, plus it gives me the final two of the six cuts that I called for after the end of last season.

    3) Pray daily for the return to form of Ryan Clark. Nobody secures this position the way a healthy Clark does. After him there is only chaos.

    4) After careful deliberation, I would name Ben my starting QB.

    5) My final tie breaker when deciding between which player should be cut is hunger. The hungrier player will perform for me on ST. IMO ST is more about attitude than scheme. I say throw a steak into a pit and see which animal comes away with it. Then name him the ST captain.

  3. #13
    Hall of Famer Iron Shiek's Avatar
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    Re: Lets play Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by steelcityrules!!
    I think saying parker is the best back on the team is being a bit closed-minded. Parker is a really good back, and a really, really great value considering how much production we've gotten from him for the payout.

    but lets not overlook the fact that parker has not, nor will he ever be what we call a "complete back". meaning he's got superior speed and work ethic, and a constantly improving ability to cut and break tackles. BUT, he's not got the ability to run between the tackles consistently and force defenses to overload the middle to stop him.

    both russell and especially mendenhall have that ability, along with good to great speed to break it long.

    some here are really high on russell, but I'm not holding my breath. he needs to get on the field and produce before I annoint him heir to the black and gold rushing attack. Mendy on the other hand is going to be something special. he has the rare blend of size, speed, power, and vision to supplant parker as the starter from day one. I don't see that happening for a littney of reasons, but it's possible.

    as coach, I'd really work russell out during the preseason, make him carry the load for two of the games and give him 20+ reps each... see if he's got it. I'd sprinkle in mendy in those games and give him a half or two in the other games just to get some time in before he rips up the AFC north.

    See that's the good thing about this message board. You can say things like "Willie isn't a complete back" and not get a bunch of expletives hurled at you. I'd like to see if anyone disagrees, as I'm sure they do based on that rather large thread on the Trib board. That discussion was my last hurrah there I think, and I agreed with your assessment. Willie is good, but I don't see him being the "man" going forward, but makes for an excellent compliment (as he did for Bettis). Sure he carried the load the last couple years, but there were definitely deficiencies in his game that got exposed.
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  4. #14
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    Re: Lets play Coach

    IF and i mean IF russell or Mendenhall work out i would love to see them split carries with parker. that's the way the league is today though. you have to have TWO guys that can carry a team not just one.
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  5. #15
    Hall of Famer Iron Shiek's Avatar
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    Re: Lets play Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by birtikidis
    IF and i mean IF russell or Mendenhall work out i would love to see them split carries with parker. that's the way the league is today though. you have to have TWO guys that can carry a team not just one.

    Unless you are LT and the Chargers....oh wait.

    I agree and think it can never hurt to have multiple viable options in the backfield. It is a model that has proven fairly successful the last few years, plus you get more out of your investment in those players by potentially getting a couple more years out of them (if they chose to stay with the team their entire career, which isn't always likely).
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  6. #16

    Re: Lets play Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by birtikidis
    IF and i mean IF russell or Mendenhall work out i would love to see them split carries with parker. that's the way the league is today though. you have to have TWO guys that can carry a team not just one.
    My hope is Russell and Mendy perform so well the Steelers decide to trade Parker. If either Russell of Mendy end up not being good enough then yea I would agree.

  7. #17
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    Re: Lets play Coach

    shawn, that is best case scenario.
    i'll be happy if one of those two can be a #1 back.
    but two would be great!
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  8. #18
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    Re: Lets play Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    If you were the coach of the Steelers...how would you shape this team with our current talent?

    1) I would really keep an open mind about the running back situation with an eye towards the future. I believe Russell and Mendenhall are very similar backs. I would certain gear the preseason around seeing if Mendenhall/Russell could be the 1a and 1b starting backs. They both run hard...can catch...and have terrific vision. I think you could beat on teams with these guys and let Parker do his thing late when the D is tired. Can you imagine chasing a fresh Parker in the late 3rd quarter?

    I think that part of having an open mind is not having any pre-conceived notions. I know you love Russell and while reports out of OTAs are backing that up, he has done nothing in this league and Willie has one of the most impressive career starts of any back in league history. I don't know enough about Russell to make comparisons with Mendenhall, but if you see them as close in skill set then I'll take your word for it and remind you that it would mean those two would be the ones competing for playing time. As long as Parker can fill the niche outside, he will be getting his touches.

    2) I would like to see 3 WR/2 RB sets out of shotgun. Could you imagine Ward in the slot, Sweed and Holmes on the outside with Russell and Mendy coming out of the backfield?

    I have a feeling we're going to see a lot of this, but again you better be counting on the backs being named Parker and Mendenhall . You've got to remember that it means no Heath Miller on the field, so you're only going to be deploying this against defenses that present a match-up advantage.

    3) My Oline would look like this:
    Smith...Colon...Hartwig...Simmons...Starks

    Agree completely. Granted, as coach I'm going to let these guys compete but I would make sure that I gave Colon a legitimate chance against Kemo and Mahan for the starting LG spot. I would argue with anyone who thinks that Colon is a better tackle than Starks and it's going to be very tough for him to compete at both the guard and tackle spot. You have to make a decision which allows him to maximize his opportunity and I say that it's at guard.

    4) McFadden...Ike are starting corners with Townsend and Gay in the Dime. I would certainly take a look at Townsend at FS.

    Again, I like this scenario, but it's going to be all about who beats who. I think McFadden was given every chance last year and couldn't unseat Townsend, but I'm hoping he realizes his potential this year. Townsend is so savvy, he could easily step in at FS if Clark or Smith is no longer a valid option.

    5) I would find room for Davis early...let him pin his ears back and blitz in certain packages.

    He's going to have to earn his way onto the field, but I really like the idea of keeping our edge rushers fresh and not losing any ability to get to the quarterback. I think we might get some valuable special teams play from this guy as well.

    6) Gone....Reid...Davenport

    Reid and Mewelde Moore will battle for the punt return job and unless the light goes on for him, we should have one less Willie on the team. I let Davenport compete with Carey Davis for the FB job. He's a damn fine receiver out of the backfield, has 20 lbs on Davis and is very fast for a big man.

    7) Dallas Baker makes the squad

    Agreed 100%. The reports I've read about him have been nothing short of spectacular and is one more reason we'll have just two Willies.



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  9. #19

    Re: Lets play Coach

    [quote=Iron Shiek]
    Quote Originally Posted by "steelcityrules!!":m9cgb8ks
    I think saying parker is the best back on the team is being a bit closed-minded. Parker is a really good back, and a really, really great value considering how much production we've gotten from him for the payout.

    but lets not overlook the fact that parker has not, nor will he ever be what we call a "complete back". meaning he's got superior speed and work ethic, and a constantly improving ability to cut and break tackles. BUT, he's not got the ability to run between the tackles consistently and force defenses to overload the middle to stop him.

    both russell and especially mendenhall have that ability, along with good to great speed to break it long.

    some here are really high on russell, but I'm not holding my breath. he needs to get on the field and produce before I annoint him heir to the black and gold rushing attack. Mendy on the other hand is going to be something special. he has the rare blend of size, speed, power, and vision to supplant parker as the starter from day one. I don't see that happening for a littney of reasons, but it's possible.

    as coach, I'd really work russell out during the preseason, make him carry the load for two of the games and give him 20+ reps each... see if he's got it. I'd sprinkle in mendy in those games and give him a half or two in the other games just to get some time in before he rips up the AFC north.

    See that's the good thing about this message board. You can say things like "Willie isn't a complete back" and not get a bunch of expletives hurled at you. I'd like to see if anyone disagrees, as I'm sure they do based on that rather large thread on the Trib board. That discussion was my last hurrah there I think, and I agreed with your assessment. Willie is good, but I don't see him being the "man" going forward, but makes for an excellent compliment (as he did for Bettis). Sure he carried the load the last couple years, but there were definitely deficiencies in his game that got exposed.[/quote:m9cgb8ks]


    If some want to chuck the F-bomb my way for saying that, fine by me. the fact still remains that he's not the total package. if he was, he would have at least played a few downs at UNC, and maybe he would have sniffed the draft.

    no knock on willie, as i said before, but the kid isn't gail sayers.

    the really great thing? his attitude on the whole situation. Willie actually welcomes a stud RB to come in and help, and potentially take his job, for the good of the team.

    what a class act, lets you know what kind of teaching bettis and ward instilled in the kid.

  10. #20
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    Re: Lets play Coach

    i don't know how you can say he isn't worth a dang because of his performance at UNC.
    if you said: i can't stand how he can't get tough yards
    id understand...
    willie just isn't an every down back. when he has a compliment we're much better off. i think we have that compliment. no need to trash the guy though.
    although i agree he has a GREAT attitude.
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