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View Full Version : Davenport hopes to make the Heinz Field Hop a regular occurrence



BlitzburghRockCity
10-09-2007, 01:13 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07282/823973-66.stm


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Is it the Heinz Field Leap ... or maybe Heinz Field Hop?

Willie Parker came away unimpressed with Najeh Davenport's performance Sunday. Oh, he had nothing but good things to say about Davenport's two touchdown runs, his 45-yard dash around left end, his 58 yards on seven carries, his blocking on third downs and his four receptions for 38 yards.

But those leaps into the South and North end zone stands? Not on your life.

Davenport, who broke into the NFL with the Lambeau Leap as a running back with the Green Bay Packers, calls it the Heinz Field Hop, said he has already patented it and hopes it becomes a part of the Steelers' home routine from now on.

Not if Parker has anything to do with it.

"It's the Heinz Field Leap, Hop, something?" a bemused Parker said. "I'm like, 'Go back to Green Bay with that, boy.' I won't do that. I'll be too tired to jump up in the stands and all that."

If Davenport wants to continue it, he should at least get more alliteration into it. If it's the Lambeau Leap and not the Lambeau Field Leap, then it should be the Heinz Hop.

"You just have to lower the railings a little bit so the rest of these guys can get up in the stands," Davenport explained, "so Willie can get up in there. His vert isn't really the best."

When your horizontal is as good as Parker's, there's really no need for a vertical. Parker returned to the top of the NFL rushing leaders with 507 yards in five games, but there's one thing in which he does not lead his own team -- touchdown runs. He has one and the other three belong to Davenport.

The Steelers have been looking for another Bus since Jerome Bettis retired after the 2005 season and while there will never be another Bus, they may have discovered a suitable Pickup Truck in Davenport.

He is two inches taller than Bettis at 6 feet 1 and he is listed about 10 pounds lighter at 247. He's not the type of insider runner as was Bettis nor does he deliver Bus-like blows or have his power, but he has deceptive speed and quickness and he's versatile.

Davenport has settled in as the team's primary third-down back, a tribute to his awareness and blocking and his ability to catch a pass.

His 45-yard dash around left end to the Seahawks' 20 came on second-and-18 after Ben Roethlisberger was sacked. He shook off one tackler and a block by Nate Washington helped spring him. That run ignited the drive that ended with Roethlisberger's 13-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller for a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.

"That's something we expected from him, really," left tackle Marvel Smith said. "He's a big back but he has some speed too. I'm sure he caught some people by surprise the way he ran the ball but that's something we all know -- when he's open he runs the ball hard."

That Davenport joined the Steelers was a matter of good fortune and a good eye by their scouts. The Packers released their veteran back Sept. 2, 2006, on the final cut, 11 months after he broke an ankle in a game.

The entire NFL had a chance to sign him and no one did, perhaps because any vested veteran on a team's roster the first game of the season is liable for his entire salary for that season no matter what.

The Steelers were among those teams that did not sign Davenport before their first game. Yet the Steelers also had an edge over 30 of the other 32 NFL teams when it came to Davenport last year; they opened the season on Thursday, three days before anyone else. They beat Miami Sept. 7, 2006, and signed Davenport the next day.

He finished second to Parker last season with 221 yards on 60 carries and caught 15 passes for 193 yards. He scored twice.

After five games this season, he has scored three times -- his other touchdown was a 39-yard run against San Francisco, which gives him two runs this season that are longer than Parker's longest of 25. Davenport has almost equaled last season's rushing total with 209 yards, and he has caught seven passes for 66 yards.

Some Pickup Truck, or even trick, by the Steelers.

"Anytime Najeh steps in the game, nothing changes in our mind," guard Alan Faneca said. "He's a hell of a back and not every team has two guys like that who are interchangeable.

"You don't want anything to happen to Willie, but if anything did, Najeh would step right in and do a great job."

Step right in and Hop right up.

Hey if it's good enough for Lambeau then it's good enough for Heinz Field right? :lol:

K Train
10-09-2007, 02:01 AM
heinz field hop? thats dumb lol

Koopa
10-09-2007, 02:05 AM
what's dumb is everyone keeps mentioning his name in a big back sentence.......... he's still soft, but he's doing good with his speed.......... he'll never be a power back, but at least he's doing good being a third down back and stealing willie's tds

K Train
10-09-2007, 02:08 AM
dude, hes been running really hard everytime he touches the ball....im starting to let the idea of him being soft leave my mind.

other than the fact he might be kinda squishy

black an gold 4 life
10-09-2007, 02:11 AM
i like the way it sounds heinz field hop lol i don't care what they call it just keep scoring touchdowns lol

SteelersWoman
10-09-2007, 04:34 AM
"Big" could be being referred to as in size. 6', almost 250 lbs, that's a "big" guy. I don't think I've heard anyone refer to him as a "power" back. There's a difference between the two...

He's averaging almost 8.4 ypc, he can stiff arm, break tackles, hasn't dropped a pass that I can think of, has given our guys some wind in their sails when it seemed like nothin was movin, gotten in for TDs, etc...I can't ask one thing more of him--he's impressed me very much this season.

As far as the capacity he's being used in, he's better than any back in the league right now--and he's got the stats to prove it. We're just lucky we've got the two number 1's of their own class on OUR team :D

steelersgal86
10-09-2007, 06:18 AM
i like the way it sounds heinz field hop lol i don't care what they call it just keep scoring touchdowns lol

:iagree:

floodcitygirl
10-09-2007, 10:58 AM
I thought his jumping up to the stands was pretty cool and I imagine a thrill for those fans. Probably helped fire everybody up. If Willie can't do it at the end of a run maybe he needs to work on his cardio a little more to build up his endurance. :lol: As others have said, as long as they make it there I don't care what either one of them does to celebrate it.

AZ_Steeler
10-09-2007, 12:14 PM
I don't agree with it... we get mad when the terrible towel is duplicated so why do we want to approve a leap into the stands?

SteelerFan87
10-09-2007, 02:50 PM
I don't agree with it... we get mad when the terrible towel is duplicated so why do we want to approve a leap into the stands?

Good point. I think Najeh should be able to do it though because he used to play for the Packers. It can be his own personal TD dance that he brought with him from Green Bay, and maybe the other players shouldn't do it.

Black@Gold Forever32
10-09-2007, 08:10 PM
dude, hes been running really hard everytime he touches the ball....im starting to let the idea of him being soft leave my mind.

other than the fact he might be kinda squishy

I'm with you Train....I have noticed Dookie having more toughness then he has had in the past....Still not the traditional power back Steelers fans have come to known but he has shown more power....I have really been impressed with him so far and I think he is going to continue to have a good year....I really like the combo of Parker/Davenport....

SteelerSteve
10-10-2007, 12:39 AM
haha, he better call it the "hop" because from what I saw, it sure wasn't a leap:lol:

BlitzburghRockCity
10-10-2007, 03:27 PM
I'm with you Train....I have noticed Dookie having more toughness then he has had in the past....Still not the traditional power back Steelers fans have come to known but he has shown more power....I have really been impressed with him so far and I think he is going to continue to have a good year....I really like the combo of Parker/Davenport....

Now wasn't I preaching that all last year when everybody was saying how he runs soft **coughcough koopa coughcough** :lol:

The dude is for real and he's only getting better every week. Another plus is he can run the screen really well too so that just ads another weapon for Ben and the offense to utilize. :bigthumb: