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Thread: Nice to see Parker on the Edge

  1. #31
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    Re: Nice to see Parker on the Edge

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    I didn't see any one tackler bring him down.
    You might be right about that but I didn't see him break any tackles either. So while one guy might not have brought him down he did hold him until help arrived. Given the scrubs he was playing against that is not what I expected from him and if he played against the starters I think they easily would have brought him down.

    Last pre-season he was a beast and constantly broke tackles and made something out of nothing. I was hoping to see the same thing this year. We really need a short yardage/goal line back. Mendy doesn't appear ready to assume that mantle so I was hoping that Russell would fit the bill. Unfortunately his performance in the game didn't look like he was up to the challenge. However, it was only one pre-season game and there is time for both backs to improve.

  2. #32

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    Re: Nice to see Parker on the Edge

    ...chicks like guys who stay OT btw...

    "18 and D'OH!" ---headline on 2/5/08

  3. #33
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    Re: Nice to see Parker on the Edge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Smartmonies
    Quote Originally Posted by Jooser
    [color=#FFBF00]MSM, I wasn't here last night, and I am glad I missed it. I am not taking any sides in this stupid argument. I just want to talk football. I am not a sports reporter and I am not an ex-NFL player or coach or anything other than a die hard fan. I bleed black 'n gold as I am sure you do. My ONLY point is that if things get too heated and nasty, either take it to the Trib or just take a day off from here and cool your heels - and that's all. I wasn't trying to be a jerk and I apologize if I came off that way. I left the Trib and came here because it's a lot more football and less BS. There's some very knowledgeable folks here and I love reading the input, I only wish I could match some of the wit.

    No need to apologize. I understand where your coming from.

    But, more importantly, it was really nice to see FWP on the edge. I think we should take a look back a few years at the Chiefs and the way they exposed the outside with Priest Holmes. He didn't have the speed that Willie had, but was more elusive and harder to tackle. Still, it's hard to tackle what you can't catch and FWP has the jets to exploit that outside running.
    Here is the problem. in 2006, the Steelers had a better center. Faneca was also a bit younger. They demanded the attention of the defense. Last year our center was more than awful. It took teams a few games to find out that they no longer needed to really concentrate up the middle. Their gameplans were to keep Willie to the inside. Arians didn't run willie a lot ot the outside, because teams quite frankly were just taking it away. Of course 2 nights ago you saw a vanilla defense. The only way Willie will get back to having a lot of outside opportunities is if the Center (and Kendall simmons who was awful last yr) become a force again inside. Teams take away your strenths and make you beat them with your weakness. In 2007, the steelersweakness on offense was up the middle. Teams forced the steelers to run there and Pitt couldn't beat em.

    I agree that we took a step back at center last year, but I think we can all attest that in 2006, Hartings began to slip noticably and it wasn't exactly a strength of the team. I really like the football outsiders numbers you frequently post and I'd be interested to see what they say about runs up the middle in '06.

    Last year, our tackles weren't exactly dominant to the point where it forced linebackers and safties to cheat outside and our play selection certainly wouldn't give them reason to do it either. If you're trying to imply that Arians purposely and repeatedly sent Parker up the gut to exploit that, when our center was constantly being blown up and we had no lead fullback, then I'd say that's more of an indictment of his philosophy and play-calling than anything. There are plenty of ways you can put your players in position to maximize their skills that don't require you to abandon common sense and run scared from the opposing linebackers setting up shop a couple of yards outside.

    To be honest I never bothered to look specifically at where the linebackers or safeties were lining up and it's real hard to tell from a barstool, so I can't say for certain whether this was happening or just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. You don't continually sacrifice gap integrity without regard to down and distance or offensive tendencies. You'd have to be certain that your DT's could handle the center and guards, shed and make the play or a guy like Parker will be in the secondary in no-time flat.

    The point I was trying to make is that Willie is a guy who does his best work on the edge. Now we have a (hopefully) viable threat to run the ball between the tackles in Mendenhall, and maybe even Russell, that will force Arians to look at the best way he can use his backs. You have to mix it up a little to keep everyone honest, but I'm hopeful that we are going to see Parker get far more carries off-tackle, then what we saw in '07. It has little to do with drawing the defense up and in with more effective center or guard play and everything to do with maximizing the abilities of our backs in my opinion.


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