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Iron City South
12-22-2007, 10:42 AM
I've contended from the very begining that Willie Parker is a square peg in a round hole and isn't an every down back, nor is he a "Smashmouth Steeler Football" style of runner that has always been a staple of our franchise. He's a mere "change of pace" back that should compliment the "big bruiser" who can actually hit the correct hole and "break a tackle" ... :clap:

WOW, what a novel concept ... a running back who can run inside and break tackles ..... AMAZING!

and now our OL finally confirms my position .... I want EVERY ONE OF YOU who scoffed at my position as "hog wash" to read carefully what is being said here ... because what they're saying is "We want a big back that is decisive and hits the holes with AUTHORITY and can actually break a 2nd level tackle" :yesnod:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_544023.html


With Parker out, Steelers don't panic
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, December 22, 2007


ST. LOUIS -- Steelers guard Kendall Simmons said the performance of Najeh Davenport in Thursday's win against the Rams evoked memories of another big back who did most of his damage running inside.
"It kind of reminded me of the old days of just running straight ahead and pounding on people," Simmons said after Davenport rushed for 123 yards as an emergency replacement for Willie Parker.

Former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis was a powerful inside runner. Davenport isn't in Bettis' class as a between-the-tackles thumper, but he's the next best thing for a team that has no choice but to make him its new feature back.

"That's what we're going to have to do from here on out," Simmons said.

Coach Mike Tomlin was pleased with how the Steelers remained true to their game plan of establishing the run. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians called Davenport's number a season-high 24 times after Parker suffered a broken right leg on his first carry.

"We didn't change our personality," Tomlin said.

All told, the Steelers called 37 running plays for 166 yards.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger attempted only 20 passes, completing 16 for 261 yards, three touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 passer rating.

"B.A. called a great game. We were loving those inside runs," center Sean Mahan said. "We like the big guys pounding it up in there, running real hard. It inspires us to block harder."

Tomlin believes that Davenport, rookie fullback Carey Davis and rookie Gary Russell, who was inactive for the game, have the ability to push the pile and keep the Steelers' ground game respectable.

"We pride ourselves in playing our football and knowing that guys are capable of stepping in," Tomlin said. "The answer is inside our building. Some weren't even suited up tonight. We'll get them ready."

Arians agreed that the Steelers have workable options at running back.

"The first two guys (Davenport and Davis) are more than capable," Arians said. "Gary Russell is a young kid that we're excited about. He's going to get his opportunity."

Davenport was Mr. Excitement against St. Louis. He ran inside and outside, scored a touchdown and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. He also caught two passes for 44 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown in which he ran through an opponent's tackle and scored easily.

With only 71 carries entering the St. Louis game, Davenport has fresh legs for the Steelers' stretch run.

"I'm a big back with a lot of speed," Davenport said. "Whatever B.A. calls, we've just got to make it work."

Simmons said the Steelers will miss Parker's ability to get outside and turn the corner.

"It definitely takes that element of speed away from our offense," Simmons said. "Najeh's got the speed to get outside, but he does a great job of breaking tackles."

Davenport broke off runs of 18, 16, 14 and 10 yards against the Rams. He didn't come out of the game on third down as Parker did, remaining in the game plan as a legitimate receiving threat. He also scored on a 1-yard run, retaining the same role he held when Parker was healthy as the team's goal-line specialist.

"It's been drilled in us that we've got a good, solid locker room and don't really need to go outside (for help)," Davenport said. "If somebody goes down, somebody else steps up."

DIESELMAN
12-22-2007, 10:59 AM
As much as we all love Willie, your right, he doesn't fit with our OL. No matter how bad the OL sucks, especially in pass protection, the OL is built to open some kind of a hole that only a big back can get through. A speed back with no vision won't get it done but a big back with vision can get it done. I can't wait to see Russell in on there, this is his chance to show us something.

BlackGold4vr
12-22-2007, 11:15 AM
Yes, I was a little disappointed when after the game Adam Schefler started talking about the Steelers going out and resigning Verron Haynes. If my memory serves me correctly, didn't Gary Russell beat out Haynes for the roster spot?


Play Gary Russell!

Why must the Steelers always be so afraid of playing rookies? If Russell beat out Haynes for the roster spot he should be next in line to back up Dookie at HB. Haynes should be on the practice squad. :yesnod:

BlitzburghRockCity
12-22-2007, 11:37 AM
I want EVERY ONE OF YOU who scoffed at my position as "hog wash"

That's because it is hog wash :lol:

Dude, that article and what the players said does not in any way make Willie Parker look bad or suggest we should stop using him as the primary back, stop reading into stuff to fit your point of view. :cool:

Any offensive lineman in the league will tell you they like having a RB who will pound it up the middle and break tackles, that's a given but do you think that makes Tomlinson or Peterson any less effective? Of course not. The offensive line has to block for whoever is back there plain and simple and I hardly think Tomlin would read any more into that article any more than I did.

Najeh will do well, we all know he has it in him. His style is different may be easier to block for than a Willie Parker is but that doesn't mean you get rid of Willie just because. If the OL can't block for a back like Willie, LT, or Peterson then get them the hell out and get guys who can block because you can't base your whole team on guys that are 1 dimensional. I'm all for Russel getting some reps and seeing what this kid can do as well; I mean after all we signed him for a reason right so why not get him some reps now and see if delivers. You can't have too many good RB's on a roster so the more the better because you never know when they'll need to step up.

Parker can do the job, he's done it for us since he got here but he's still learning too, he's young and has as much to learn as anyone else about having vision, finding the right holes, etc. Our new offense isn't a pound it out offense anymore and I think people need to finally start realizing that. We aren't 3 yds and a cloud of dust no matter how much you want us to be. We're a pass first offense that sets up the run off that. Sure Tomlin still wants to run and stop the run but the way we approach the running game is different now. We'll always run and you have to be able to do that to survive in this league but considering the leading RB's in the NFL in recent years this whole "pound it, brusing" type of back mentality is not what's getting teams TD's and winning games anymore like it used to. We aren't Franco, Jim Brown, or Christian Okoye any more in the NFL. It's all about more versative RB's like LT, Peterson, Parker, McGahee, etc.

BlackGold4vr
12-22-2007, 12:55 PM
That's because it is hog wash :lol:

Dude, that article and what the players said does not in any way make Willie Parker look bad or suggest we should stop using him as the primary back, stop reading into stuff to fit your point of view. :cool:

Najeh will do well, we all know he has it in him. His style is different may be easier to block for than a Willie Parker is but that doesn't mean you get rid of Willie just because. If the OL can't block for a back like Willie, LT, or Peterson then get them the hell out and get guys who can block because you can't base your whole team on guys that are 1 dimensional.


:plus1:

Well said TG.

Our O-line can't open up holes for a small lightening fast back to run through, so the solution is to get a back that can do it on his own and make his own holes instead of addressing the fact that this O-line sucks. :scratch:

Imagine a game where O-lineman did their jobs and cleared running lanes for Willie to run up into. My honest opinion is that too many teams have bought off on the prototype O-lineman needing to be 320-350 lbs and now what we have is a bunch of fat guys who only move fast when a buffet line is in sight. These guys look fat, tired and slow. On every single play one of these guys completely misses their blocking assignment because they aren't quick enough or agile enough to get there. The whole line needs retooled and I would love to see our team move back to smaller, quicker and stronger O-lineman. Back in the 70's the O-line featuring Webster, Clack, Kolb and company used to boast that they were all in the 500+ benchpress club. The Steelers were famous for their trap plays with the pulling guards leading the way through the holes. Now these guys aren't fast enough to get down the line and lead Willie through the hole. And if they can't do the straight ahead block the man in front of you plays how could we possibly expect them to run down the line and block someone at the point of attack? The Whole line needs retooled and the whining because they can't hold a block long enough for Willie so they want a back who breaks tackles to distract from the fact they can't block is just pitiful if you asked me. :nono:

Black@Gold Forever32
12-22-2007, 12:57 PM
Ok.....Mahan and his quote "a big back inspires to block harder" is total crap.....You're in the NFL you should inspire to block harder every play no matter what....

As for Gary Russell, the kid was a stud and a bad *** at Minnesota....I watched him play many times when he was in college....So I'm excited to see what he can do...**** on Verron Haynes....He would have been hurt if he did resign....Haynes was always hurt.......

Another thing I think these fresh legs of Davenport is going to help this running game....I do think Willie was starting to wear down.....He still had 8 100 yard games this year and he still should be the starter at RB for this team down the road....But I would like to see other backs get more carries in the season....That would help Willie a ton....

BlitzburghRockCity
12-22-2007, 01:00 PM
The NFL has evolved over the years the lineman with it. Look at the Broncos offensive line for so many years with backs like Terrel Davis for example. Denver has never had a HUGE offensive line by any means and infact they generally have one of the smallest lines in the league every year. Shanahan knows how to draft and groom offensive lineman to be good, technical, blockers. Now granted Denver does do that border line chop block stuff which I don't agree with but the point is they can block for anybody because they are skilled and know what the hell they are doing unlike our guys who can't seem to get on the same page to save their lives. If we had an OL that did it's job even half the time Willie would have the potential to be a 2000 yd back.

Granted he's still got things to learn but no matter whether you are talking about a QB, RB, or WR, everything on the team starts and ends with the OL.

Steelersfan
12-22-2007, 01:00 PM
:plus1:

Well said TG.

Our O-line can't open up holes for a small lightening fast back to run through, so the solution is to get a back that can do it on his own and make his own holes instead of addressing the fact that this O-line sucks. :scratch:

Imagine a game where O-lineman did their jobs and cleared running lanes for Willie to run up into. My honest opinion is that too many teams have bought off on the prototype O-lineman needing to be 320-350 lbs and now what we have is a bunch of fat guys who only move fast when a buffet line is in sight. These guys look fat, tired and slow. On every single play one of these guys completely misses their blocking assignment because they aren't quick enough or agile enough to get there. The whole line needs retooled and I would love to see our team move back to smaller, quicker and stronger O-lineman. Back in the 70's the O-line featuring Webster, Clack, Kolb and company used to boast that they were all in the 500+ benchpress club. The Steelers were famous for their trap plays with the pulling guards leading the way through the holes. Now these guys aren't fast enough to get down the line and lead Willie through the hole. And if they can't do the straight ahead block the man in front of you plays how could we possibly expect them to run down the line and block someone at the point of attack? The Whole line needs retooled and the whining because they can't hold a block long enough for Willie so they want a back who breaks tackles to distract from the fact they can't block is just pitiful if you asked me. :nono:


You can say what you want but I want a bigger back because it helps us control games. Willie can get all the yards in the world and it will always be in big chunks. 1, -2, 1, 30......that doesn't help your offense or defense. And who the hell wouldn't want a RB that breaks tackles????? :scratch: Willie can't break them that's for sure.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-22-2007, 01:04 PM
Sure he can IMO , he's gotten a lot better at running inside the tackles. Now is he ever going to be a Bettis type back that carries 4 guys with him, probably not and that's where you want a compliment back like the Chargers have for LT. Willie can get the job done for us but like BG32 said we need to have some help for him so he doesn't wear down and so we have a change of pace guy who can spell him and get that tough 4th and 1 at the goal line when the defense is keying on the style of Willie instead of the pure power. Having said that I still think Willie is the starter but Tomlin needs to offset his reps to keep him fresh. :bigthumb:

Steelersfan
12-22-2007, 01:09 PM
I'm sure he will stay the starter also but I don't know why everyone looks past the fact that Parker is so one dimensional? He can run with speed and that's it. He doesn't see the field well, doesn't catch well, doesn't break tackles (imo), doesn't even make people miss very often with his speed (which we should see more of!). He is above average when he runs to the outside but below average on everything else.
Again, I'm not hating on Willie. I like him but just not the way we use him.

SteelersfaninPhilly
12-22-2007, 01:09 PM
O-LIne play is not going to matter. With our D play slipping.

LatrobePA
12-22-2007, 01:32 PM
I love Willie, and must say I was sick all night after he was hurt. He's a good guy with a huge heart that really has ho idea how good he is with a POS o-line that we have. So for him to be leading the NFL with no major blocking, he's done something.

44 was money but he seems to wear down too fast, so mix it up with Davis, Russell and I think we will be FINE!

SteelerSal
12-22-2007, 01:39 PM
WOW!! Willie gets hurt and then gets thrown under a train because Najeh has a great game against the Rams.............I said the Rams!:scratch:

The O-line's run blocking sucks *** and for them to need a bigger back to inspire them to block harder confirms that they arent worth a shiat.:willybs:

BlitzburghRockCity
12-22-2007, 01:46 PM
I'm sure he will stay the starter also but I don't know why everyone looks past the fact that Parker is so one dimensional? He can run with speed and that's it. He doesn't see the field well, doesn't catch well, doesn't break tackles (imo), doesn't even make people miss very often with his speed (which we should see more of!). He is above average when he runs to the outside but below average on everything else.
Again, I'm not hating on Willie. I like him but just not the way we use him.

I think he used to be 1 dimensional when he first came into the league and even during the super bowl run he was just running to day light and blowing by everyone. He's evolved into a better back since then but I agree he does need to work on how he sees the field and sets up the blocking. If he can get that down the dude will be as unstoppable as any back in the league today. He's gotten better at at catching because they use him more but again that comes back to vision and setting up the field when you take that swing pass or dump off in the flat. It's just another step for him to work on to improve his game and be a more complete back.

Friday133
12-22-2007, 02:32 PM
I'm surprised how many of yinz want to be rid of Parker. I long for the days of Tim Worley!

Iron City South
12-22-2007, 03:31 PM
You can say what you want but I want a bigger back because it helps us control games. Willie can get all the yards in the world and it will always be in big chunks. 1, -2, 1, 30......that doesn't help your offense or defense. And who the hell wouldn't want a RB that breaks tackles????? :scratch: Willie can't break them that's for sure.


Wow, someone who actually "gets it!" .... :bigthumb:

Some of you totally take others not wanting Willie as the primary back out of context. Nobody is saying we don't like the guy or don't want him in black & gold .... all that is being said is that he's not the primary back that they're trying to make him out to be. He doesn't fit the personnel we have. By the time it would take us to get all the necessary personnel to fit him, he would be retiring. I'm not kidding either .... it takes years to get the right people and change your identity.

Whizenhut knew Willie didn't fit the mold to be the primary back. Weisenhut also knew the bodies that block for Willie aren't the right guys for a one dimentional speed runner with bad vision and lacking fluid hip movement that makes people miss.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-22-2007, 03:46 PM
Getting rid of Willie is not the answer nor is using him as a backup RB or something other than what he is now. You're perception of what the Steelers are is not what the reality truly is for this team :bigthumb: You don't expect lineman to only block for a certain type of running back; that's ridiculous, and so is the notion that we should change RB's just because of that. If lineman can't learn to block for whatever type of back a team has then they don't need to be on the team. RB's change all the time and lineman have to be able to adapt. What would happen if your power running back went down in the middle of a season and a different type of RB had to step in, what do you do expect the lineman to just say " oh well he's not a RB that fits how we feel like blocking so we'll just stink up the joint" . Comon man you can do better than that :lol:

Our system fits a back like Willie just fine, he just needs some polishing and refining to get to be the complete back we need him to be.

Why do you think our OL can't pass block any better than they can run block?? Because they aren't good enough that's why, it has nothing to do with Willie as a runner. We as fans were spoiled by the Bettis' and Fosters' who just simply make their own holes when there wasn't one and because of that we allowed ourself to get old, outdated, and just plain bad on the OL by bad drafting of prospects and just simply not putting enough emphasis on such a key element of the team. We had no passing game to speak of so we had to have the big power back then to help move the chains. the NFL has evolved and the Steelers have followed. If the OL can't block then they can't block and we need new ones. Whether it's 5 new guys totally or just a replacement here and there this team has succeeded inspite of the OL not because of it and the same goes for Willie. Yes he needs some polishing and refining, it's a constant learning process but the new Pittsburgh Steelers are not the team of old on the offensive side of the ball. No longer do we just run, run, pass, punt and rely mainly on the ground game as our weapon of choice. We use speed now as a big weapon as well as power, we use creative plays, exotic formations, and the like along with the running game and that's where a versatile back like Willie comes in.

Iron City South
12-22-2007, 05:17 PM
Getting rid of Willie is not the answer nor is using him as a backup RB or something other than what he is now. You're perception of what the Steelers are is not what the reality truly is for this team

You're wrong. Dead wrong. Not only does the majority of true Steelers fans want a bruising power back to play a smashmouth run game, now the O-lineman are now saying it (allbeit a subtile manner). That's the staple of Pittsburgh football my friend. Anytime we tried to change that or meddle with our bread and butter .... we've failed and went back to what we know .... and who we are. :yesnod:



What would happen if your power running back went down in the middle of a season and a different type of RB had to step in, what do you do expect the lineman to just say " oh well he's not a RB that fits how we feel like blocking so we'll just stink up the joint" .


It's all about the personnel TG .... First of all, if you build around a power running game chances are your backup will be of the same ilk or close to it (i.e. Bettis/Staley combo). You wouldn't want your back-up to be a totally different style of runner because it will have too great a negative affect on the other offensive players. (particularly the lineman who need to know the running style of those they're blocking for)



Our system fits a back like Willie just fine, he just needs some polishing and refining to get to be the complete back we need him to be. Yes he needs some polishing and refining, it's a constant learning process but the new Pittsburgh Steelers are not the team of old on the offensive side of the ball.

You're either high or dillusional if you think Willie will just learn field vision, or learn fluid-hip movement, or lean decision making skills .... those are all things that are intuitive of great backs ....

See, there's a reason Parker wasn't a #1 or even a #3 draft choice. People seem to forget that Parker was an UNDRAFTED free agent who never started in college and I'm here to remind everyone that there was a reason for it . .... and it's not because his was "misunderstood". :nono:

Sure, Parker has speed, there's no question about that ...... but there's also no question that he lacks a great deal of other critical skills which set the elite backs apart from the rest. You can't JUST HAVE SPEED .... this is why some feel he is one dimentional. :yesnod:

Friday133
12-22-2007, 06:00 PM
Why does Steelers football have to be smash mouth? Because you fans think that is what the Steelers are all about? Why should it even be up to any of you? Last time I checked there isn't one person on a message board that collects a check from the Rooney's. I'm all for adjusting the line to FWP's strengths. I remember some ****** running backs from the 80's that were supposedly big bruising backs. The fans were lucky to have a player like Bettis for so long, we got spoiled.

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Sure, Parker has speed, there's no question about that ...... but there's also no question that he lacks a great deal of other critical skills which set the elite backs apart from the rest. You can't JUST HAVE SPEED .... this is why some feel he is one dimentional. :yesnod:

You sure seem to know a lot about this subject. :bigthumb: My question to you is, why are you living in the Virgin Islands doing God knows what, when its clear you belong on the right side of Kevin Colbert. :yesnod:

Black@Gold Forever32
12-22-2007, 06:05 PM
Ok.....Iron City South with all this talk about getting rid of Willie Parker you never mentioned who you want to replace Willie? This draft class doesn't have many of those power runners you're talking about....We have Davenport but there will be a need for another RB if you ditch Parker....

Iron City South
12-22-2007, 06:22 PM
Ok.....Iron City South with all this talk about getting rid of Willie Parker you never mentioned who you want to replace Willie? This draft class doesn't have many of those power runners you're talking about....We have Davenport but there will be a need for another RB if you ditch Parker....


If we're talking draft .... love this guy, absolute HAMMER:

http://www.olemisssports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=2600&ATCLID=542644

Another worthy Hammer: http://michigan.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?pr_key=19444

If we're looking for someone with experience, here's your 2008 Free Agent Running Backs. I'd be interested in looking at any of the following in bold. I'd also be interested in contacting Jacksonville about Greg Jones.

Running Backs
1. Michael Turner San Diego
2. Julius Jones Dallas
3. Justin Fargas Oakland
4. Jamal Lewis Cleveland
5. Tatum Bell Detroit
6. Chris Brown Tennessee
7. Derrick Ward New York Giants
8. Michael Bennett Tampa Bay
9. Michael Pittman Tampa Bay
10. Ron Dayne Houston
11. Mewelde Moore Minnesota
12. Dan Kreider Pittsburgh (Fullback)
13. Musa Smith Baltimore
14. Artose Pinner Atlanta
15. Rock Cartwright Washington
16. T.J. Duckett Washington
17. Jesse Chatman Miami
18. Joe Echemandu Houston
19. LaBrandon Toefield Jacksonville
20. Brad Hoover Carolina (Fullback)

Friday133
12-22-2007, 06:31 PM
Isn't Micheal Turner another Willie Parker?
Aren't Julius Jones and TJ Duckett washed up?

Black@Gold Forever32
12-22-2007, 06:40 PM
If we're talking draft .... love this guy, absolute HAMMER:

http://www.olemisssports.com/ViewArt (http://www.olemisssports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=2600&ATCLID=542644)icle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=2600&ATCLID=542644 (http://www.olemisssports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=2600&ATCLID=542644)

Another worthy Hammer: http://michigan.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?pr_key=19444

If we're looking for someone with experience, here's your 2008 Free Agent Running Backs. I'd be interested in looking at any of the following in bold. I'd also be interested in contacting Jacksonville about Greg Jones.

Running Backs
1. Michael Turner San Diego
2. Julius Jones Dallas
3. Justin Fargas Oakland
4. Jamal Lewis Cleveland
5. Tatum Bell Detroit
6. Chris Brown Tennessee
7. Derrick Ward New York Giants
8. Michael Bennett Tampa Bay
9. Michael Pittman Tampa Bay
10. Ron Dayne Houston
11. Mewelde Moore Minnesota
12. Dan Kreider Pittsburgh (Fullback)
13. Musa Smith Baltimore
14. Artose Pinner Atlanta
15. Rock Cartwright Washington
16. T.J. Duckett Washington
17. Jesse Chatman Miami
18. Joe Echemandu Houston
19. LaBrandon Toefield Jacksonville
20. Brad Hoover Carolina (Fullback)

Green played at IU before transferring to Ole Miss....I live in Indiana so I did see him a play a few times....He didn't stand out when watching him....But its hard to judge a player that played on teams like Indiana....He didn't have much around him either....As for Stewart...Yea he is a bad ***....There is a chance he might not even be there when the Steelers pick in the first round if he does declare for the draft....

Not a great lest of FA RBs.....I still think improving the Oline is the main objective in the draft and this off-season...I also am fine with Willie Parker....But I think Davenport should get more carries next year.....

But I was curious in who you had in mind in replacing Willie Parker...

TEEMONT
12-22-2007, 07:10 PM
Wow, so now if we don't think the Steelers should be playing "smashmouth" football, we aren't true fans?

So the O-line only blocks for big backs? I'm sure Ben loved to hear that.

SteelerSal
12-22-2007, 07:17 PM
On your list there are only 2 that I like and one of them (Turner) would probably be too expensive, IMO.
But then again... I don't have a problem with Parker. It's the O-line that needs to be replaced or act like they know how to open holes. They are slow getting out of their stance and have absolutley no push off of the line.

Running Backs
1. Michael Turner San Diego
2. Julius Jones Dallas
3. Justin Fargas Oakland
4. Jamal Lewis Cleveland
5. Tatum Bell Detroit
6. Chris Brown Tennessee
7. Derrick Ward New York Giants
8. Michael Bennett Tampa Bay
9. Michael Pittman Tampa Bay
10. Ron Dayne Houston
11. Mewelde Moore Minnesota
12. Dan Kreider Pittsburgh (Fullback)
13. Musa Smith Baltimore
14. Artose Pinner Atlanta
15. Rock Cartwright Washington
16. T.J. Duckett Washington
17. Jesse Chatman Miami
18. Joe Echemandu Houston
19. LaBrandon Toefield Jacksonville
20. Brad Hoover Carolina (Fullback)

BlitzburghRockCity
12-22-2007, 09:09 PM
Ok first off I cleaned this thread up because it went to total ****. This is a great discussion and I wanted it to continue but it went down the wrong path. Let's keep it on the up and up now shall we?

BlitzburghRockCity
12-22-2007, 09:20 PM
You're wrong. Dead wrong. Not only does the majority of true Steelers fans want a bruising power back to play a smashmouth run game, now the O-lineman are now saying it (allbeit a subtile manner). That's the staple of Pittsburgh football my friend. Anytime we tried to change that or meddle with our bread and butter .... we've failed and went back to what we know .... and who we are. :yesnod:

The majority of Steeler fans may or may not want a bruiser back, you can't say that for sure unless you are in all of their heads. Fans don't decide what's best for the team, much as we'd like to think we know how the gameplan should be each week. The running game will always be a staple of the Steelers; it has to be that way for us to succeed, but the way we go about running the ball now has evolved and changed from a smash mouth 3 yds and all that to a team that uses the passing game to set up the run. We still have to run and we do run and we will run but the days of Bettis and Franco are gone dude and it's on to a more versatile offense and that means a more versatile back like Willie or someone of that type.






It's all about the personnel TG .... First of all, if you build around a power running game chances are your backup will be of the same ilk or close to it (i.e. Bettis/Staley combo). You wouldn't want your back-up to be a totally different style of runner because it will have too great a negative affect on the other offensive players. (particularly the lineman who need to know the running style of those they're blocking for)

Dude, we've had a Power back/Change of pace back many times in the past. The exception would be Bam Morris and Barry Foster but since then look at all the past backs that have been a change of pace. You need to have both on a team. A guy that can run you over and a guy that can run by you. It totally takes the defense for a ride when you can control the game like that because they get tired and worn out from being beat up and they have no energy left to chase a smaller back. Bettis and Parker did pretty darn well as I remember. Willie and Najeh or whoever we have inthe future will do the same for us.





You're either high or dillusional if you think Willie will just learn field vision, or learn fluid-hip movement, or lean decision making skills .... those are all things that are intuitive of great backs ....

Ok so you're telling me that RB's are either born to be good or they aren't? They don't learn how to see the field or train their bodies to be more fluid?? Comon man you think Bettis was as good in year 1 as he was in his final year? Of course not, he took his natural ability and used years of teaching and aquiring skills to get better. You need both but to say you are born with it or you can't be one is just ludicrous.


See, there's a reason Parker wasn't a #1 or even a #3 draft choice. People seem to forget that Parker was an UNDRAFTED free agent who never started in college and I'm here to remind everyone that there was a reason for it . .... and it's not because his was "misunderstood". :nono:

The reason he wasn't drafted was because he rarely got a chance to play and the coach didn't believe in him or give a chance to play. You go around to the teams in the NFL and ask them if they want Willie Parker on their team and you'll find a line a mile long of teams that would want him. Perhaps some of his lack of playing was his own doing we don't know but that's in the past and the dude is a weapon on offense for us plain and simple.


Sure, Parker has speed, there's no question about that ...... but there's also no question that he lacks a great deal of other critical skills which set the elite backs apart from the rest. You can't JUST HAVE SPEED .... this is why some feel he is one dimentional. :yesnod:

He does need to improve his skills, I agree 100 percent. He needs to adapt his style to the surface and game plan he's on that week, he needs to work on his vision, be more cognisent of how he holds the ball, but all in all his upside is tremendous and if he takes this job serious enough he'll be something special.

DIESELMAN
12-22-2007, 09:35 PM
Smashmouth football has been a Steeler tradition for many, many years now. A lot of are used to it, me personally, I would like to see us continue to be that. Everybody here and in the league knows our OL sucks, but the big difference between FWP and a big back is the size of the hole the OL creates and what each back can do with it. Dookie showed what he could do Thursday night, and for those that don't know, Dookie is the first back to rush for over a 100 yds against the Rams this year.

Iron City South
12-22-2007, 09:45 PM
I'm kinda where Diesel is with regard to the type of running attack we should deploy. I'm all about going right at the other team and punching them inthe mouth first. There's no better feeling than to impose your offensive will on a defense .... when they know it's coming .... yet they can't stop it.

I'm not about a finesse fast-back, in fact I dispise that type of running game. I'm not really interested in the fact that Parker is fast and can break one at any time. Sure, it's nice .... but to be perfectly honest I'd rather have someone who is more consistent with each carry.

If I had 2 running backs each with 10 carries apice and each ending up with the same amount of overall yardage. I'd rather have a RB that has 10 carries @ 4 YPC than a back who will give us 7 carries for 7 yards, 2 carries for 10 yards, and 1 carry for 13 yards. If you haven't noticed, Willie's 1 and 2 yard carries are putting us in more 3rd and long situations than ever (which is well illustrated in factual data in the other thread that I posted).

Like I said, I like Willie, I just like him as the 2nd option or change of pace back. I think we need a "pounder" first (our thunder) .... and a change of pace fast-back second (our lightning).

BlitzburghRockCity
12-22-2007, 09:54 PM
It's all about the personnel TG .... First of all, if you build around a power running game chances are your backup will be of the same ilk or close to it (i.e. Bettis/Staley combo). You wouldn't want your back-up to be a totally different style of runner because it will have too great a negative affect on the other offensive players. (particularly the lineman who need to know the running style of those they're blocking for)



Like I said, I like Willie, I just like him as the 2nd option or change of pace back. I think we need a "pounder" first (our thunder) .... and a change of pace fast-back second (our lightning).


I'm alittle confused here, make up your mind already. :whistle: :lol:

What it really comes down to is our own point of view as to what the Steelers should be doing in the running dept. Hey I miss Jerome as much as anyone and I loved how Barry Foster ran for us. I have no problems with a big back being used and I think every team needs a change of pace from power to speed.

As far as Willie being a finesse back, he's the same type of runner as LT, Peterson, McGahee, etc. all of whom are the staples of their teams offense. Willie will never be a bruiser RB but IMO he's more versatile than people give him credit for. Willie gets all those 1 and 2 yd gains or losses because he's getting the handoff and finding the pass rush right in his face before he can get started. Sure the burden is on him to hold up his end of the bargain but do you think Bettis would be able to make a solid gainer on first down when there are 2 DL or LB's right on top of him constantly?

We can go back and forth from now till oblivion but what it all comes down to is the fact that our OL is crap and at this point I don't even know if Bettis could work with these guys because they are playing uninspired, lack luster football. Until we fix that we will continue to be inconsistent in the running game and none of us will be happy :bluelol:

Iron City South
12-22-2007, 10:49 PM
As far as Willie being a finesse back, he's the same type of runner as LT, Peterson, McGahee, etc. all of whom are the staples of their teams offense.

There's where you are wrong. People want to belive Willie Parker is the same type of RB that both LT, Peterson, and even McGahee are when nothing could be further from the truth. Those guys are petigree ... they were all #1or high round picks! (McGahee would have been had it not been for his injury) Scouts and draft analysts know EXACTLY what to look for in a running back that makes them a "total package" They look for

- Speed, agility, quickness
- Ability to run inside, outside, juke, cut-back, side-step
- Hands, ball handling, ball protection
- Blocking, reading blocks, overall field vision

Then they look for specific physical attrubutes like size (height/weight), strength, upper body strength, lower body strength, hand size, hand strength, hip movement, footwork, stride, etc. Evaluating football talent is almost down to a science these days.

My point about Willie Parker is that he primarily has "speed" on his resume ..... Period. Just because he has speed and a similar physical stature to LT and other 1st round elite backs ... it's not only wrong, it's disingenuous to put him in that mix of elite talent. He doesn't have it ... He lacks game skills and physical ability in too many other areas.


Willie will never be a bruiser RB but IMO he's more versatile than people give him credit for. Sure the burden is on him to hold up his end of the bargain but do you think Bettis would be able to make a solid gainer on first down when there are 2 DL or LB's right on top of him constantly?

Yes, that is exactly the point I am making. Because our OL is for the most part a bunch of "Average Joes'" .... certainly nothing elite, we need a banger that can compensate for a very pedestrian O-line. A hammer that can get behind a body and use his own to push the pile for 3 and 4 yds a pop consistently.



We can go back and forth from now till oblivion but what it all comes down to is the fact that our OL is crap and at this point I don't even know if Bettis could work with these guys because they are playing uninspired, lack luster football. Until we fix that we will continue to be inconsistent in the running game and none of us will be happy


2 options IMO: You can either change out the bodies on the line (all of 'em) and make them elite to compensate for the skills Willie lacks (keep in mind you'll have to pay dearly to get this and it will take time for the new unit to gell) ... or change out Wille for a "hammer" to compensate for what the O-line lacks. To me, it's much easier to change out one body than it is five.

If we are forced to use the guys we have now on the O-line, then a bigger back with more all-aournd skills like Davenport will be the better option. The playbook gets much bigger.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-22-2007, 11:20 PM
No we don't need a banger, we need to fix the OL. You can't compensate a lack luster OL by getting another RB. You're just putting a bandaid on the problem instead of fixing it. By doing that you expect a power back to be successful when in actuality they aren't going to do anything either because like I said multiple times in this thread I don't care if you are Jim Brown or Walter Payton or anyone else...when you have multiple defenders in your face as soon as you take the handoff you aren't going to do anything period. You're judging Willie's abilities when he's working behind a bunch of junk yard rejects instead of the road maulers that we need. It's not fair to do that. Bettis had the luxury of a good OL for most of his career and look where it got him. His abilities combined with the OL will get him to the HOF one day.

I can too compare Willie to LT, Peterson, and the like because he is the same type of runner, exactly the same he's just not as polished yet. Natural ability only takes you so far and then you need teaching and coaching to help you refine your skills. Some RB's need more polishing than others but if you think LT would be where he is today without a stellar OL then you're sadly mistaken.

The OL needs fixed plain and simple, if you just say we need a power back instead of a finesse back then what are you going to do about Ben getting sacked 100 times a year??? We need lineman that can run and pass block; other teams do it and have stars at the skill positions so we can do it too.

A great line can make an average back look good but a bad line can make a great back look bad.

We'll just agree to disagree because it's obvious we're not going to see eye to eye on this no matter how much I plead my case or you plead yours. All I know is Willie is the man on this team, Tomlin believes in him and Arians does too so he's not going anywhere anytime soon but the OL has got to get fixed and in a hurry or we're going to send Big Ben into early retirement from getting mauled a half dozen times every game. :redcool:

Iron City South
12-22-2007, 11:24 PM
TG ... you're totally dismissing the fact that our current OL talent is born and bread run blockers. What I hear you saying is that they're a steaming pile of **** and I'm saying , "True, if you're talking pass blocking only."

Let it be said that our OL can run block. That's what Mahan is saying in his PPG comments today as well. He saying, "this group of guys are born run blockers. Don't ask us to pass block 35 times a game. We love serving as the wall in front of a big power back. It inspires us to hunt people down and run them over"

In other words, our OL has zero confidence that Willie has the physical ability to to something with what they give him. They'd rather have a banger that can break a tackle or two.

K Train
12-22-2007, 11:41 PM
since when cant willie break a tackle or two? its the 5 or 6 that contain him that tackles him, because our guys are garbage at run blocking too...which btw is only half of their job. We dont have a line good at anything....at all, the only reason we have adaquate run blocking is spaeth, miller, ward and holmes are all beast blockers....but we all know you need the big fat bruiser pounder smashmouth grinder fat dude to be somewhat happy at all. I hope we go get darren sproles whos like 5-6 just to spite you lol

BlitzburghRockCity
12-23-2007, 12:01 AM
TG ... you're totally dismissing the fact that our current OL talent is born and bread run blockers. What I hear you saying is that they're a steaming pile of shiat and I'm saying , "True, if you're talking pass blocking only."

Let it be said that our OL can run block. That's what Mahan is saying in his PPG comments today as well. He saying, "this group of guys are born run blockers. Don't ask us to pass block 35 times a game. We love serving as the wall in front of a big power back. It inspires us to hunt people down and run them over"

In other words, our OL has zero confidence that Willie has the physical ability to to something with what they give him. They'd rather have a banger that can break a tackle or two.


The OL needs to stop whining about not being able to pass block and just do the job they are paid to do. We need them to pass block because that's what we do on offense, we pass the ball and we're good at it. The offense we employ has had a lot of success this year and we've just started to tap it's potential. If these guys can't pass block then they need to pack up the locker and hit the road because we need guys that can do both. If they want to run block, then fine go for it but you better be able to pass block too because Ben cannot keep getting killed week after week, year after year or it's going to take a toll on him. Today's offensive lineman need to be more versatile, lighter on their feet, and more intelligent than ever or they won't make the cut. :redcool:

Steelersfan
12-23-2007, 01:04 AM
since when cant willie break a tackle or two? its the 5 or 6 that contain him that tackles him, because our guys are garbage at run blocking too...which btw is only half of their job. We dont have a line good at anything....at all, the only reason we have adaquate run blocking is spaeth, miller, ward and holmes are all beast blockers....but we all know you need the big fat bruiser pounder smashmouth grinder fat dude to be somewhat happy at all. I hope we go get darren sproles whos like 5-6 just to spite you lol

Are you serious? Willie doesn't break tackles and never will. He isn't that type of back. Geez, the guy hardly ever makes someone miss much less break the tackle!
So let's just keep Willie, take a few years to revamp the o-line, and then see what happens. By then Ward will be gone and Parker will start to lose the one thing he is good at, speed. What then? rebuild again?
The key is to find a balance so we can compete year after year. And changing the o-line over to fit a back doesn't work with that.
I'd rather find a good RB that fits this line while we start reworking it and fix some D problems. All the time still competing.
Willie has been playing long enough that he should be improving in blocking, seeing the field and catching. I haven't seen that and don't want to wait to see if he ever does to be honest. Show some improvement, maybe I'll wait. But haven't seen that.

K Train
12-23-2007, 01:15 AM
the oline needs to be fixed anyway, its a gradual thing, its not like were at rock bottom anyway....i dont want willie getting 400 carries, in fact i think theres a problem if he gets over 300 touches in a season...i wanna see what najeh is gonna do with this opportunity first though

BlitzburghRockCity
12-23-2007, 01:49 AM
So using a different RB now to compensate for junk offensive line, rebuild it, then have to change RB's again once the OL is set? No thanks :lol:

The key to any team is the OL, always has and always will be, once that is fixed then the rest of the offense falls into place. In our case we go out and get a good FA guard or tackle depending on who's on the trading block or available and then we draft atleast 2 day 1 lineman ( center & guard or tackle again depending on who we might get in FA), resign Starks to play LT for now and move Marvel to RT. Make sure the guards we draft are able to step in right away and then we start there. We have Parker and Davenport as a 1-2 punch and both are young enough that they'll be in the league for a long time as the OL comes together and we're good to go.

Parker can break tackles, he's done it all year. He's run more between the tackles then ever before. People keep forgetting and I swear it drives me crazy...Parker didn't have the luxury of 3-4 college experience so his learning curve is a bit longer than LT, Peterson, McGahee, and other backs of his type but suffice it to say the dude has come a long way and if he continues to apply himself and learn his craft he can make it.

portcityblackandgold
12-23-2007, 07:46 AM
the phrase was" inspires us to block better " The O-Line is not as bad as it has been made out to be. My contention is Ben and Willie need to do things in the alloted time, especially Rothelisburger. Throw the damn ball. Come out the huddle thinking third option and throw it right to him.. If it is broke and it needs fixin now is the time:plus1::tt02:

Iron City South
12-23-2007, 12:26 PM
I have no reservations about being one of the few who believe the Steelers are better off going into BAL and into the tournament without Parker as the feature back.

Parker is without question the more raw-talented running back, without a doubt, but Dookie is the more versatile running back. He has more to offer as a whole, more options. The O-line knows he has better vision and do more with less with regard to holes to punch through.

Arians can no longer hand the ball off to Parker and hope/wait for the big break-away run (that are very far and few between mind you). Arians is now forced to dig into his playbook and take some chances with a more dynamic game plan.

DIESELMAN
12-23-2007, 12:39 PM
Experience is one of the keys, especially behind our OL. Najeh because of his experience sees the holes and no matter how small it is, its because of his size he can get through and get 3-5 yards. Willie going through that same 6 inch hole, he can't get through because of his size, or he doesn't see the hole, tries to break it outside but the pursuit has already strung him to the outside and bam...tackle for a 2 yd loss. Najeh has a good 50+ pounds on Willie, thats what gets it done. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.....what should've happened this year was Najeh and FWP splitting carries, Najeh beating and wearing down the D and Willie coming in to hit em with the death blow of speed. Look at the play Willie got hurt on, a running play to the outside, where the Rams D was fresh, they stuffed him for a loss.

Prosdo
12-23-2007, 12:46 PM
This is my opinion on the situation. I think the line needs to be fixed, but on the other hand Willie is not a work horse. I don't think he should be carrying the ball as many times a game as he is. I think Willie is best in a 1-2 punch running back group. You have the guy who can move the pile and you have the speed guy. I don't know if Davenport is that guy. I guess these last games will tell us.

Iron City South
12-23-2007, 02:34 PM
Prosdo - What's with the Sean Taylor shrine? Are you a Skins fan or someting? ... Just curious.

DIESELMAN
12-23-2007, 04:54 PM
Prosdo - What's with the Sean Taylor shrine? Are you a Skins fan or someting? ... Just curious.
Its a sign of respect for a player who did turn his life around and left this world too early.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-23-2007, 05:06 PM
Prosdo - What's with the Sean Taylor shrine? Are you a Skins fan or someting? ... Just curious.

The same reason we have a Sean Taylor image on our homepage. To echo Diesel's comment; it's a sign of respect to a fallen NFL player who shouldn't have left this world so soon.

steelcitysfinestXL
12-23-2007, 09:10 PM
Prosdo - What's with the Sean Taylor shrine? Are you a Skins fan or someting? ... Just curious.

WOW, i know im late getting into this thread, but now, with the Taylor comment, i see how you think!!!

LISTEN, find a game tape of last weeks game, put it in and watch nothingbut the o-line!!!! Where Naj had 144 parker woulda had 250 and 3 TD's. The O-line looked like a bunch of allstars!!!! You are right about a few things...
1. The O-line seems to be blocking 100X better for Naj
2. We NEED to have a big back to get the tough yards and break tackles!!

But, We won a superbowl with willie as the 1 back and Bussie as the 2. The difference is we had a good O-line that year. Parker has not had blocking all year if he did he would had 2000 already with the amount of carries he has gotten.
I dont wanna believe that the o-line would rather block for a BIG back, but the proof is in the pudding. I DVR almost every game, and i like to go back and watch why we were/were not successful... its no secret, WE LIVE AND DIE WITH OUR O LINE!!! They really haventgiven parker any room to run anywhere. Alot of plays in the backfield, missed assignments or jusr Mahan and Simmons getting beat badly by guys who are flat out better than them. Which is another reason the article posted is bullshi#.... MAHAN and SIMMONS are 2 of the biggest reasons parker is having a down year. They are HORRIBLE the both need to be at gaurd, maybe even gone!!!!

You can say what you want about parker, he has got alot of yards and carries this year behind an oline with 3 guys playing out of possition and one guy that just needs to be a buck up!!! In my mind Willie did a hell of a good job lasting aslong as he did the way he was being played!!!!

Iron City South
12-23-2007, 09:31 PM
WOW, i know im late getting into this thread, but now, with the Taylor comment, i see how you think!!!


Really? So by my asking an honest quetion ..... you now know how I think? Do tell .... why don't you tell us all then how I think? C'mon paley boy, I want to watch you make a horses *** out of yourself on the same level of your last post about how Parker could have had 3 TD's and a 250 yd game against the Rams.

Oh, by the way ... Parker is not having a "down year" as you asserted ... he went out on top of his class in craft. Parker's problem is that regardles of he rushes for 50 yds, 100 yds, or 150 yards, he still has poor vision, can't break tackles, and can't run inside. Keep watching game film though, I'm sure when you're open to seeing the truth, you'll eventually see Parker's shortcomings. :bigthumb:

BlitzburghRockCity
12-23-2007, 10:04 PM
You obviously haven't watched the game film on Parker if you think he can't break tackles and can't run inside. Granted he does need to work on his vision but according to you he might as well just give up because in one of your previous posts you said that is intuitive of good backs and can't be learned. Im sure all the other backs in the NFL would appreciate your analysis of what they can and can't do. :greengrin:

You keep :deadhorse: with this Parker can't do this and that but the fact is he lead the league in rushing this year inspite of that and inspite of the fact that he's still young and has much to learn. For a kid who didn't play in college really at all to come out and have 3 1000+ yd seasons is just terrible he might as well just take your advice and be confined to a change of pace back...and then when he doesn't succeed at that he might as well just give up because he can't learn since it's not intuitive to him. Honestly man you're just spinning your wheels here because Willie has done better at running inside and has done better at breaking tackles. Is he great at it yet? No....will he definitely succeed and be great at it? We don't know yet but I'll reserve my judgement once I see how he continues to improve and work at his craft. In the mean time he'll just to do what Tomlin wants him to do and we'll use Najeh to do what he does. Since he's not your traditional power back that you think we have to have in our offense he's just not going to be good enough for you as a starter no matter what he does. The power running game of the Steelers as we used to know it is not anymore, this team is a more versatile offense now and the versatile back is what is needed to run in this system. Najeh is extremely versatile and Willie is learning that too but he's not there yet. I've said this countless times that I miss the power back too but Jerome is a once in a lifetime kind of back that you can't count on finding anymore but even he needs a good FB and a good OL. Najeh is just the kind of back we can use in our offense and Willie can be too. :bigthumb:

Friday133
12-23-2007, 10:04 PM
Really? So by my asking an honest quetion ..... you now know how I think? Do tell .... why don't you tell us all then how I think? C'mon paley boy, I want to watch you make a horses *** out of yourself on the same level of your last post about how Parker could have had 3 TD's and a 250 yd game against the Rams.

Oh, by the way ... Parker is not having a "down year" as you asserted ... he went out on top of his class in craft. Parker's problem is that regardles of he rushes for 50 yds, 100 yds, or 150 yards, he still has poor vision, can't break tackles, and can't run inside. Keep watching game film though, I'm sure when you're open to seeing the truth, you'll eventually see Parker's shortcomings. :bigthumb:

I still can't believe you're not working for Colbert. Come on man send him your resume, its obvious you're qualified for the role!

SteelCityPride08
12-23-2007, 10:10 PM
i didnt know davenport was the first rb to gain 100 yds verse the ram

i feel bad for willie cuz the running title is gone but i like davenport

Stlrs4Life
12-24-2007, 11:15 AM
I still think it is the OL. Willie is at no fault.

Iron City South
12-24-2007, 12:26 PM
I still think it is the OL. Willie is at no fault.

Willie is a good running back as long as your team stays between the 20's .... beyond that he just doesn't get it done as the starting back.

We need a "banger" who can run inside, outside, catch, block, break tackles, etc. ..... you know, a "complete" back.

Willie can go back to his spot duty of being situational runner for us. :yesnod: