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Captcoolhand
02-14-2007, 11:58 AM
Mike Tomlin doesn't have a permanent residence in Pittsburgh yet, he doesn't have a finalized plan in terms of when the team's minicamps will be yet, and he doesn't always have a good idea of which face belongs to which name yet.

But he does know already what he has in Willie Parker, and he also knows he needs to get him some help.

"Willie is a guy who is capable of succeeding in a lot of offensive schemes," said Tomlin. "Initially coming in, I had an impression of him as a perimeter runner, but the more tape I watch I see he's a guy who can hurt a defense in a variety of ways. I've developed a great deal of respect for what he's capable of doing as a ball carrier in all facets of the game."

That seems to be a common occurrence with most who watch Parker, first from afar and then in a more analytical manner. Because Parker has difference-making speed, and because he has used it to record 26 plays of 20-plus yards in only 43 career NFL games, that speed is a dominating force. But it's only after Parker is watched more closely, on a play-by-play and game-to-game basis, that his other skills as an NFL running back become apparent as well.

"The first time I saw Willie and saw how fast he was, I knew we had something special," said Dick Hoak, who retired in January after 45 seasons as a player and assistant coach for the Steelers. "He had something that you can't teach. You can't teach what Willie has."

Hoak heard the criticisms of Parker, about the things he allegedly could not do, but he shrugged them off then just as Tomlin is doing now.

"If you look at a lot of the backs now in the league, there aren't a lot of big ones," said Hoak. "He's just done a tremendous job and he's only going to get better. Willie has that ability to score from anywhere on the field. He's been great and he's going to get better. He's going to get better."

From Tomlin's perspective, what Parker needs is some help, not because he's necessarily lacking as a player but because the successful teams in 2006 showed it takes more than one quality running back to succeed against the kinds of defenses on the teams that advanced deep into the playoffs.

"We need one, we have some potential men identified, and it is important," said Tomlin about adding a complement to Parker for 2007 the way Jerome Bettis was in 2005.

"I was saying to someone the other day, when you look at the teams in the conference championship games, all of them had two backs. There were the two guys in New Orleans Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister the two guys in Chicago Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones the two guys in New England Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney and the two guys in Indianapolis Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes.

"Each of the last four teams had two guys who are capable of being feature-caliber backs, and I think that's just part of today's NFL. If we're going to be in that mix, we need to do the same."

Because the Steelers had Bettis for a decade, and because Bettis finished his career as one of the top backs in NFL history, there never seemed to be a pressing need to add players at the position.

During Bettis' career here, the only marquee free agent running back signed was Duce Staley in 2004 when Bettis was said to be on the downside of his career, and the only players drafted were complementary types taken in the later rounds.

There were some mistakes made in this regard, such as the time the Steelers bypassed Michael Turner, who now is a fine complement to LaDainian Tomlinson in San Diego, in favor of outside linebacker Nathanial Adibi in the 2004 NFL Draft. But there also was a lucky break, which just so happened to come in the same offseason when Parker was signed as an undrafted rookie.

Tomlin has made it clear that he believes in running the football, and he also took notice of how the NFL's final four teams handled the chore last season. In this simple equation, one plus one equals two, and so the Steelers can be expected to look into adding one to go along with Parker.

"Having the ability to be multiple and having the ability to attack defenses in different ways is important," said Tomlin. "You have to have the ability to have a change-of-pace offense to attack people in different ways. Frontal, or from the perimeter, it just gives defenses one more thing to work
Well this is definitly a sign of us drafting a RB this year. But what about Dookie,He never said anything about him. They must not be planing on bringing him back:dunno:

BlackGold4vr
02-14-2007, 12:10 PM
IMO I believe we will draft a RB on day 1 in the 3rd or 4th round. We are supposed to be getting 2 compensatory picks for the free agents we lost last year. The article that I read speculated a 3rd and a 4th round pick. That would mean 2 picks in the 3rd and 2 more in the 4th. That would give us 6 picks on day 1 if we don't make any deals to move up. Surely one of those 6 picks would be a RB. I can't imagine filling 6 spots with needs picks and not selecting a RB with one of those! If we pick a RB I believe Dookie would initially retain the 2 spot on the depth chart and the rookie would be gradually worked in more and more throughout the season and somewhere along the line take over the 2 spot. Where would that leave Verron Haynes? He could be cut!

:beer3:

K Train
02-14-2007, 12:30 PM
**** haynes, hes gone. We are gonna draft a runningback like ive said before and this article supports that....Leonard/bush/hunt in the second! tomlin obviously thinks we need 2 good backs and i agree 100%

Captcoolhand
02-14-2007, 12:31 PM
IMO I believe we will draft a RB on day 1 in the 3rd or 4th round. We are supposed to be getting 2 compensatory picks for the free agents we lost last year. The article that I read speculated a 3rd and a 4th round pick. That would mean 2 picks in the 3rd and 2 more in the 4th. That would give us 6 picks on day 1 if we don't make any deals to move up. Surely one of those 6 picks would be a RB. I can't imagine filling 6 spots with needs picks and not selecting a RB with one of those! If we pick a RB I believe Dookie would initially retain the 2 spot on the depth chart and the rookie would be gradually worked in more and more throughout the season and somewhere along the line take over the 2 spot. Where would that leave Verron Haynes? He could be cut!

:beer3:How do you get 6 picks on day 1 if they only have 3 rounds:scratch:

BlitzburghNation
02-14-2007, 12:46 PM
Great read Capt cool hand :clap: thanks for the heads up and i definetly like what i'm hearing from Tomlin :clap: I also agree with what K-TRAIN said that
haynes will probably be cut :dunno:

BlackGold4vr
02-14-2007, 01:32 PM
How do you get 6 picks on day 1 if they only have 3 rounds:scratch:

Is it 3 rounds day 1 and 4 rounds day 2?

Captcoolhand
02-14-2007, 01:47 PM
That would give us 6 picks on day 1 if we don't make any deals to move up.How do we get 6 picks in day 1:scratch: :dunno:

Black@Gold Forever32
02-14-2007, 01:55 PM
I have said all along also that the Steelers need to draft a RB. I also think they should draft Michael Bush is he is the best available player from a value stand point in the 2nd round.

K Train
02-14-2007, 01:58 PM
I have said all along also that the Steelers need to draft a RB. I also think they should draft Michael Bush is he is the best available player from a value stand point in the 2nd round.

:plus1: turns out no else thinks that though, i think any one of leonard/bush/hunt would be beasts for us and im all for them in the second....especially with the possibility of trading down and picking up an extra second or third rounder

Black@Gold Forever32
02-14-2007, 02:02 PM
:plus1: turns out no else thinks that though, i think any one of leonard/bush/hunt would be beasts for us and im all for them in the second....especially with the possibility of trading down and picking up an extra second or third rounder

I like Leonard as well. The reason he can do so many things. You need players like that on your football team. I would be happy with Tony Hunt in the third round. The Steelers need depth at the position. Plus I don't know if this is true. But I read that Keven Colbert said the Steelers didn't plan on bringing Dookie back. You can't always believe what you read so I don't know if its true.

BlackGold4vr
02-14-2007, 02:06 PM
How do we get 6 picks in day 1:scratch: :dunno:

With compensatory picks (tentatively) we would have 4 picks on day 1 and 5 picks on day 2. 2 in the 3rd round and 2 in the 4th round. Was thinking 4 rounds on day 1 and its 3. :bigthumb:

K Train
02-14-2007, 02:09 PM
najeh isnt the same kind of runner as these guys, hes a fat willie, these guys can run against the kinds of defenses willie had trouble with, they are grinders. guys used to wear out a defense so willie can break the 50 yarder.

Leonard does so many things, his strong point is running but he catches out of the backfield (something we dont do very good), he can line up at TE, HB, FB, hes just an overall mismatch....not to mention hes fast AND can pound the ball

Black@Gold Forever32
02-14-2007, 02:28 PM
najeh isnt the same kind of runner as these guys, hes a fat willie, these guys can run against the kinds of defenses willie had trouble with, they are grinders. guys used to wear out a defense so willie can break the 50 yarder.

Leonard does so many things, his strong point is running but he catches out of the backfield (something we dont do very good), he can line up at TE, HB, FB, hes just an overall mismatch....not to mention hes fast AND can pound the ball

I'm not a big Dookie fan so you don't have to sell his short comings to me.lol I wouldn't mind him back for depth purposes but the Steelers still should draft a RB even if Dookie is resigned. I wouldn't be to confident in Dookie being the main RB if Willie went down.

As for Leonard I know he can play so many positions thats why I like that dude so much.

K Train
02-14-2007, 03:26 PM
Najeh runs a vicious screen but thats about it.

BTW.....im not sure why we call him "dookie" anyone care to explain that one??

Black@Gold Forever32
02-14-2007, 03:28 PM
Najeh runs a vicious screen but thats about it.

BTW.....im not sure why we call him "dookie" anyone care to explain that one??

You never heard the story behind Davenports nickname? It goes back to his days at the U. He was caught taking a crap in a female students closet. So ever since then he has been known as Dookie.

K Train
02-14-2007, 03:29 PM
lmao typical thug from miami

BB2W
02-14-2007, 05:16 PM
:plus1: turns out no else thinks that though, i think any one of leonard/bush/hunt would be beasts for us and im all for them in the second....I would like to see them one of those three guys...

tony hipchest
02-14-2007, 07:41 PM
espn just ran a little segment on leonard at the pre combine camp. he has dropped 10 lbs, down to about 228. he is considered too small to be a full time fullback, and a little too slow to be a full time or a #1 starting back (we got willie anyways) taken in the 1st round (interresting note: jerome was the last full back drafted in the 1st round, then you have rob konrad who was drafted in the late 90's in the 2nd round). with leonards versatility he could go as high as konrad did. he may or may not be there with the steelers 2nd pick. unfortunately this could mean the end for dookie and verron (great team guy and role player)

K Train
02-14-2007, 09:02 PM
im kinda sick of the "great team guy" thats a cowher thing, we need great players and if that means getting rid of Verron then so be it, he had his chance last year, didnt impress in camp, and fumbled in the season...bye bye verron.

Next thing, im going to say it one more time LEONARD IS NOT A FULLBACK. I REPEAT NOT A FULLBACK. Just because hes white doesnt make him a FB, hes a great runner, and hes a big boy. He is not slow either....have you ever seen the leonard leap?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp2WqYIttKg

Steelersfan
02-14-2007, 09:03 PM
HAHA! You see that guy land on his head.....lol

tony hipchest
02-14-2007, 09:14 PM
Next thing, im going to say it one more time LEONARD IS NOT A FULLBACK. I REPEAT NOT A FULLBACK. Just because hes white doesnt make him a FB, hes a great runner, and hes a big boy. He is not slow either....have you ever seen the leonard leap?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp2WqYIttKgleaonard can call himself all he wants, even the president of the united states. if the nfl says hes a full back then thats what he will be or he can find himself going kordell stewarts route. randle el isnt a wr, but the nfl said he is.

this is why leonard is dropping the weight and working so hard to get his speed up to try and prove his is an hb. the nfl will decide.

hes not slow compared to most people, but when you start comparing him to other running backs entering the draft, hes not gonna make it into the 1st round on his 40 times alone. huge difference between a 4.3 40 time and 4.6 when youre trying to be a running back.

BB2W
02-14-2007, 09:16 PM
HAHA! You see that guy land on his head.....lol
:rofl:

I've seen the clip, but never watched the defender. That was embarassing... what a whiff.

K Train
02-14-2007, 09:53 PM
leaonard can call himself all he wants, even the president of the united states. if the nfl says hes a full back then thats what he will be or he can find himself going kordell stewarts route. randle el isnt a wr, but the nfl said he is.

this is why leonard is dropping the weight and working so hard to get his speed up to try and prove his is an hb. the nfl will decide.

hes not slow compared to most people, but when you start comparing him to other running backs entering the draft, hes not gonna make it into the 1st round on his 40 times alone. huge difference between a 4.3 40 time and 4.6 when youre trying to be a running back.

But we dont need him to have amazing break away speed, you can see on that run he is fast, just like hines ward isnt exactly "fast" compared to other WRs, but yet he schooled Deangelo Hall with one shoe.

We dont need him to run a 4.3 for him to be successful with us and i hope his stock does drop so we can get him.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-14-2007, 11:09 PM
Remember, Jerome was a "half back". Labels mean nothing really when it comes down to it. If the NFL calls him a FB it's because that's what he was in college atleast at some point. ARE came out as a QB but we drafted him as a WR. If he can run and hold onto the ball and drag a tackler or 3 in the process then Im all for considering him for the black n gold.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-15-2007, 09:16 AM
I can definitely see the team bringing back Najeh, to atleast compete because he's a healthy veteran, the likes of which we don't have on our roster right now besides Willie, in the RB dept.

Draft a young RB, preferably someone a bit bigger than Willie but not necessarily a big bruiser. As long as it's somewhat of a change of pace back, that's mainly what Im concerned about. They don't have to run as fast as Willie because we already have that style of back, just someone who can spell Parker here and there and carry the load in a pinch if something were to happen.

I still don't think we have to take a back on Day 1 to get what we need but if the opportunity presents itself in a manner that we just can't pass up, then go for it.

Hburg
02-15-2007, 10:29 AM
Everyone keeps saying they don't necessarily want a power back, just someone heavier than Willie. While I'm not voting that we find a guy that takes more time to reach speed than a loaded freight train I do want a guy who can run into a closing hole and still blast through it with momentum. As someone said before a back that can wear down a defense. Also, a back who can successfully get those last few yards in a goaline situation. I remember several times last season that Willie had fumbles and/or struggled to get in the endzone from only a few yards out.

BuFu

Captcoolhand
02-15-2007, 10:34 AM
I can definitely see the team bringing back Najeh, to atleast compete because he's a healthy veteran, the likes of which we don't have on our roster right now besides Willie, in the RB dept.

Draft a young RB, preferably someone a bit bigger than Willie but not necessarily a big bruiser. As long as it's somewhat of a change of pace back, that's mainly what Im concerned about. They don't have to run as fast as Willie because we already have that style of back, just someone who can spell Parker here and there and carry the load in a pinch if something were to happen.

I still don't think we have to take a back on Day 1 to get what we need but if the opportunity presents itself in a manner that we just can't pass up, then go for it.
Ok, I agree, but who comes to mind off the top of your head that would be available for day 2. Do we need a Bettis type guy or do they just need a guy who can carry weight and power both in and outside the line. I say the latter

K Train
02-15-2007, 12:46 PM
I think RB is an early priority, and from what i read so does tomlin

BlitzburghRockCity
02-15-2007, 02:54 PM
Ok, I agree, but who comes to mind off the top of your head that would be available for day 2. Do we need a Bettis type guy or do they just need a guy who can carry weight and power both in and outside the line. I say the latter

You and I agreeing is just too much for me to take man :lol: Honestly Ive been researching more of the day 1 picks so far, I haven't gotten into much of the day 2 guys yet but I will in the coming weeks. Just based on past experience though, RB's on day 2 are there to be had just about every year, and so many of them never get drafted or get passed by and not drafted till late in day 2.

It's not clear yet whether Tomlin thinks we need a pure power back like Bettis, or one that more versatile; a hybrid between Willie and Jerome you might say. Personally I could go with either type and be happy but I think to be the versatile offense that Tomlin is looking for in the running game having Willie and a "do it all" type back may be the way to go.

Captcoolhand
02-15-2007, 03:18 PM
that's the problem, who's coming out in this years draft that can be that type of person:dunno: Hunt????? NO. Bush? Ya maybe but being hurt all last year. This is a good question that might be decided with FA

BlackGold4vr
02-15-2007, 03:28 PM
that's the problem, who's coming out in this years draft that can be that type of person:dunno: Hunt????? NO. Bush? Ya maybe but being hurt all last year. This is a good question that might be decided with FA

Click on the link in the post about scout.com player rankings under the Draft section. The list also has filters set up for each position. I think its a pretty good list. Anyway you can click on the RB & FB filter and get a better idea of what out there.

:yesnod:

BlitzburghRockCity
02-15-2007, 03:39 PM
Bringing in a FA depending on who becomes available on March 1 just to secure some veteran depth might not be a bad idea, but Im going to jump into that link that BG4vr mentioned and see who's really out there on day 2 as a viable option for us.