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Thread: Harris: Parker needs to share run duties

  1. #1
    Hall of Famer SteelCrazy's Avatar
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    Harris: Parker needs to share run duties

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 44303.html



    Sentiment says the Steelers should keep Willie Parker in the starting lineup while trusting he can turn back the hands of time.

    Parker was a feel-good story who made the team as an undrafted free agent. He ran for a record 75-yard touchdown in Super Bowl XL. He has led the Steelers in rushing four consecutive seasons.

    History says the Steelers would be wise giving fewer carries to Parker while giving more carries to second-year running back Rashard Mendenhall.

    A free agent after this season, Parker's expiration date in the backfield is approaching.

    He turns 29 on Nov. 11. He has 1,182 career carries, including 321 in 2007 when coach Mike Tomlin promised to run Parker "until the wheels fall off." It became an unfortunate choice of words when Parker broke his leg in the next-to-last game that season.

    Parker hasn't played a full season since 2006. His average yards per carry has decreased every year he has been in the league, bottoming out at 3.8 yards per carry in 2008.

    In his first two games this season as the feature back, Parker rushed 27 times for 66 yards (fewer than 3 yards per carry). His workload nearly doubles, with how often Mendenhall and Mewelde Moore have carried the ball.

    A reduction in carries, rather than an increased workload, could enhance Parker's productivity and longevity.

    Inevitably, as an NFL running back approaches 30, as the injuries mount and the wear and tear on his body takes its toll, his performance falters.

    It happened to Shaun Alexander, who rushed for 1,696 yards and 16 touchdowns at age 27 and 1,880 yards and league-record 28 touchdowns at 28, only to fall off to 896 yards and seven touchdowns at 29. At 31, Alexander was out of the league.

    It happened to Priest Holmes, an undrafted free agent who didn't become a regular contributor until 27 because of a knee injury. After rushing for 1,615 yards and 21 touchdowns at 27 and 1,420 yards and 27 touchdowns at 28, Holmes rushed for 892 yards and 14 touchdowns at 29 while missing half the season with an injury.

    Larry Johnson rushed for 1,750 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2005 and 1,789 yards and 17 touchdowns on 416 carries in 2006. The following season, Johnson rushed for 559 yards and three touchdowns in only eight games because of injury at 28.

    Nicknamed "Fast Willie" because of his blazing 4.3 speed, Parker whether because of age, wear and tear on his body or an assortment of injuries doesn't hit the holes with the same burst he flashed his first year as a starter.

    It was Mendenhall who displayed the blazing speed Parker is noted for when he blasted through a hole on the right side for 39 yards in the third quarter of Sunday's 17-14 loss at Chicago the Steelers' longest run of the season.

    Mendenhall's run set up Ben Roethisberger's 2-yard touchdown dive, which gave the Steelers a 14-7 lead. In all, Mendenhall accounted for 52 of the 69 yards on the scoring drive.

    Surprisingly, Mendenhall never touched the ball again.

    After finally making a couple of plays against the Bears, it would have been refreshing to see the coaching staff feature Mendenhall so he could make more plays late in the contest.

    The Steelers made a major financial commitment to Mendenhall, their first-round draft pick in 2008 and running back of the future.

    Maybe the coaches are displaying patience with Mendenhall because time is on his side, just as time now works against Parker.

  2. #2
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    Re: Harris: Parker needs to share run duties

    i think that is what is expected, we have a first round pick in the backfield now, parker cant get 24 carries a game any more, we need to give him his 10-15 carries and give mendy almost the same, if parker comes to his old form (which i doubt) than up the carries, but we need to share the carries..

  3. #3
    Hall of Famer AngryAsian's Avatar
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    Re: Harris: Parker needs to share run duties

    Been saying it for awhile. Backfield by consensus = success in the NFL. Willie is a rhythm runner and with our line we can't afford to waste play after play set up Willie's comfort level. Moore is our bread and butter in the no huddle and I'd like to see Mendy get more snaps to see where he can take this run game. I'd just like to see production from our backfield, something that has been lacking this early into the season.

  4. #4

    Re: Harris: Parker needs to share run duties

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCrazy
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_644303.html




    It was Mendenhall who displayed the blazing speed Parker is noted for when he blasted through a hole on the right side for 39 yards in the third quarter of Sunday's 17-14 loss at Chicago the Steelers' longest run of the season.

    Mendenhall's run set up Ben Roethisberger's 2-yard touchdown dive, which gave the Steelers a 14-7 lead. In all, Mendenhall accounted for 52 of the 69 yards on the scoring drive.

    Surprisingly, Mendenhall never touched the ball again.

    I still can't figure that out! We all know what Parker can (and can't) do, let's see what Mendy can do!

  5. #5
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    Re: Harris: Parker needs to share run duties

    Quote Originally Posted by drprwnap
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCrazy
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_644303.html




    It was Mendenhall who displayed the blazing speed Parker is noted for when he blasted through a hole on the right side for 39 yards in the third quarter of Sunday's 17-14 loss at Chicago the Steelers' longest run of the season.

    Mendenhall's run set up Ben Roethisberger's 2-yard touchdown dive, which gave the Steelers a 14-7 lead. In all, Mendenhall accounted for 52 of the 69 yards on the scoring drive.

    Surprisingly, Mendenhall never touched the ball again.

    I still can't figure that out! We all know what Parker can (and can't) do, let's see what Mendy can do!
    Amen. Get Mendy 15-20 touches (carries and receptions) per game.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  6. #6

    Re: Harris: Parker needs to share run duties

    I think Parker could be more effective if Mendenhall is used first. When the Steelers had a big and small pairing (think Bam and Pegram; Bettis and Famous Amos), they used the big guy first to wear down defenses, and then the smaller, faster guy after the D was worn down. I think the same type of rotation could be effective with Mendy/Parker.

  7. #7
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    Re: Harris: Parker needs to share run duties

    how do you get 50 yards on 2 touches and never get the ball again?

    ask any fan and they all say give the ball to Mend next series...
    but the coaches bench him..

    hmm..

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    Re: Harris: Parker needs to share run duties

    what is Fu amatu ma a fala doing these days......he killed me, he could of been something had he not gotten hurt every week, powerful runner that could catch the ball out of the backfield....

  9. #9
    Hall of Famer Mister Pittsburgh's Avatar
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    Re: Harris: Parker needs to share run duties

    Parker used to be good because he would bounce a run to the outside in a heartbeat. He no longer does that. If the hole isn't there, instead of bouncing it he dances in the backfield.

    He is no longer a home run threat.

    In 2005 Willie had a long run of 80yds more than once, had 8 runs of 20 or more yards, and 3 runs of 40 or more yards.

    In 2006 Willie had one long run of 76yds, had 12 runs of 20 or more yards, and 3 runs of 40 or more yards.

    In 2007 Willie had a long run of 32yds, 12 runs of 20 or more yards, but no runs of 40 or more yards.

    In 2008 Willie had a long run of 34yds, only 4 runs of 20 or more yards in 210 carries, and no runs of 40 or more yards.

    So far in 2009 Willie has a long run of 13 yards....obviously none over 20 or 40.

    He doesn't have the wheels anymore! They came off Tomlin! Time to change what bus we ride and you might want to take care of the wheels a little better.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Harris: Parker needs to share run duties

    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz
    how do you get 50 yards on 2 touches and never get the ball again?

    ask any fan and they all say give the ball to Mend next series...
    but the coaches bench him..

    hmm..

    Plus the catch where he fell, got back up and reversed field for a first down. Mendenhall HAS to get more touches. He's the RB that should be leading the charge with Parker spelling. If it's that damaging to Willie's ego thats his problem. I just feel like Willie is being "sheltered" at the moment and maybe thats off base. I guess we'll find out.

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