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PITT23
08-16-2006, 10:53 PM
http://www.webtickets.com/sports/nfl/images/logo_Pittsburgh%20Steelers.jpgSTEELERS 2006 PREVIEW - RUNNINGBACKhttp://www.webtickets.com/sports/nfl/images/logo_Pittsburgh%20Steelers.jpg
By: PITT23 of SteelerAddicts.com

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41298000/jpg/_41298166_willieparker220.jpg


Last year at this time, I remember hearing on ESPN that our running back situation was in total disarray with three guys but none of them good enough to carry the team. Iím sure most fans felt the same way as well.

Wow, how things have changed. In week one against Tennessee, fairly unknown Willie Parker ran for 161 yards and a touchdown and people started to have that good feeling. On a 45 yard run we saw the speed that gives him his name. Week two? He came back just as strong with 11 and another TD.

Itís expected that ďFast WillieĒ is going to be just as good, if not better, than he was last year. He is running behind a great offensive line and his speed is something that he uses well. Some people donít realize he can pound it in up the middle quite well too. The question mark lies within the five yard line, a spot generally filled by Jerome Bettisí 255 pound frame. He went out on top and therefore can no longer shoulder the responsibility of blasting through the goal line defenses. Willie has been quoted as saying he wants to try those short yardage runs, both near the goal line and on shorter third down plays.

One guy who is working in training camp on short yardage plays is Duce Staley, but staying healthy has never been his forte. I figure that with fewer carries and less of that day to day wear he should have a higher chance to stay healthy. Whether the bigger Staley or eager Parker gets the carries in those situations, itíll be hard to fill the shoes of The Bus.

Other guys include Verron Haynes and Cedric Humes, both of whom are talented players. Haynes will occasionally play fullback which offers a great double threat of backs who can run it and heís said he wouldnít mind more carries. Humes was drafted later in this yearís draft and had a nice carry in the opening preseason game. Heíll continue to work with Omar Jacobs and Shane Boyd on the second and third team offenses.

Donít forget about Hines Ward who sees a reverse play more often than most other teams will ever run. He has a great determination to pick up great yardage with the ball in his hands and giving him the ball is a trick play (of sorts) that we can run without the assistance of Antwaan Randle El.

http://media.scout.com/Media/Image/17/175650.jpg

Returning as our fullback is Dan Kreider, one of the best fullbacks in the game. He doesnít receive as much attention as Parker but his blocks are always critical to our running game. His leading the way through the line can make the job easier for Parker, Staley, and any other play who runs the ball.




This is part two in a several part series featuring an outlook on each of the Steelers' positional groups. A new one will be posted every few days leading up to the season opener. Feel free to repost this anywhere with the proper credit and website address. Comments are welcome and appreciated.

Koopa
08-16-2006, 10:58 PM
i think we'll be fine. bettis is good, but his shoes ain't that big to fill, maybe in the lockerroom and on the sidelines, but all you have to be is fat and have some talent, and duce has that so he'll fill in good as the fat back to steal the tds from wille.

BlitzburghRockCity
08-16-2006, 11:09 PM
Duce has been absent as many games due to injury that Jerome has played in during his entire career ! Im all for Duce having an impact and playing well for us but his fragile body scares me still. If he stays healthy then yes we'll be ok with him, Willie, Dan, and Humes back there along with Verron.

Bettis will be missed there is no doubt, no just for his locker room presence, but because he knew how to hit the hole, follow his blockers, read the defense, and had as quick a feet as anyone in the leage.

PITT23
08-18-2006, 12:42 AM
Some reports are that Haynes might end up taking the spot that most people think Staley is going to play, especially if Duce gets hurt.

Prosdo
08-18-2006, 12:46 AM
I have heard that a lot as well Pitt and to be honest I think he will. Like Matt said Staley scares me some. I mean seriously how many games has he been out because of injury? I think more than he has played for us lol

shimmysteelerfan
08-18-2006, 02:06 AM
my prediction is staley will be out with a hamstring injury by week 4. can we get this as a bookie event?????

PemPgh14
08-24-2006, 11:29 PM
We'll be fine. We have Staley and Parker, which both have some amount of talent.

PITT23
08-24-2006, 11:41 PM
We'll be fine. We have Staley and Parker, which both have some amount of talent.
Staley is no where as good as Parker...

BlitzburghRockCity
08-24-2006, 11:48 PM
With all the recent press rumors of Staley being shopped around in a trade deal, he better be on his toes because people like Haynes are nipping at his heels for more playing time.

Steelersfan
08-25-2006, 12:07 AM
Staley is no where as good as Parker...

I'd have to disagree with you a little on that Pitt. You are talking about 2 backs that could work well together. I don't think either could carry a team by themselves at this point in their careers.
Parker is good for breaking one while Staley will (and has been when healthy) good for power yards. I like both of them for what they bring to the team.
While Parker had a great first year as a starter I will hold any judgement on him until after (or during) this year. He reminds me too much of Barry Sanders and as good a RB as he was the team never won ****. Clock control along with a good passing game win SB's. We had the luxury of having ball (clock) control, game breaking speed and a very good passing attack last year. I think we can have the same this year with both Staley and Parker as we did last year with Bettis and Parker. It will all boil down to how the coaches use them.

AZ_Steeler
08-25-2006, 01:50 PM
I honestly feel Staley could make it this whole year without any major injuries that force him to miss a game, of course this is assuming he stays with the Steelers and fills in the shoes most recently worn by the Bus.

A lot of people think Staley missed all of those games because of injury last year, when in fact he put in ego aside out of respect for Jerome. he could have played at any point during the later part of the season but there wasn't any room on the roster for him. Staley might have been made of twigs when he came to the Steelers because of the wear and tear on his body, but he has given is body a lot of rest time and should be a solild branch of an oak tree by now.