View Full Version : Willie stays positive

08-28-2006, 12:12 AM

Willie Parker isn't about to quibble with coach Bill Cowher's criticism of the Steelers' running game during the exhibition season.
"If the head man says the running game isn't going right, it's not going right," Parker said after the Steelers' 16-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles dropped their exhibition record to 0-3. "We have to make some improvements."

Parker, though, has been absolved of any wrongdoing by Cowher, who hasn't seen much continuity from the supporting cast.

"Willie is fine," Cowher said. "I'm very comfortable with where he is."

Parker isn't going to argue that assessment, either. Although he has played sparingly during the exhibition games -- and might make just a token appearance in Thursday's finale -- Parker said he'll be ready to handle the workload when the Steelers open the regular season Sept. 7 against the Miami Dolphins.

Cowher has taken great care to avoid injury to Parker, his biggest backfield asset, during the exhibition season. Duce Staley, looking sluggish on nearly every carry, has done nothing in the preseason to show he'll be a dependable backup. Third-down back Verron Haynes is inexperienced as a full-time starter.

Continuing a preseason trend, Parker lasted just one series with the first-team offense against the Eagles, but he made the most of his time. He handled the ball on six of the first seven plays, carrying three times for 13 yards and catching three passes for 18 yards.

In three games, Parker has carried the ball just seven times for 30 yards, and he has four receptions for 25 yards.

Such inactivity is the reason Parker can't wait for the statistics to count, and his carries to increase exponentially once the Dolphins defense takes the field.

"I'm sick of it," Parker said, referring to his time spent on the sidelines. "I'm ready to play for real. I'm ready to show everybody -- not just me, but our offensive unit and the team as a whole -- that we're a good team."

Parker intimated that he'll be playing this season with a chip on his shoulder, one he will carry because of a perceived lack of respect. He went from undrafted free agent to 1,202-yard rusher to Super Bowl hero with a 75-yard touchdown run. Still, he sees critics -- aside from his coach -- who wonder whether he can duplicate such numbers again.

I like those last 2 statements by willie..its good to have player out on the field with an attitude to want to win and help his team. It shows he's got pride and wants to compete and do his best.

08-28-2006, 12:19 AM
Smart man that willie Parker

08-28-2006, 12:27 AM
I'm really liking what I am seeing from Willie, especially those receiving yards! It's showing he will become a dump off target and could become like a Westbrook or faulk!

The Steelers are looking more and more explosive once you start to disect all the different positions.

08-28-2006, 12:44 AM
I love Willie's attitude. I know he will show everyone too.

08-28-2006, 08:15 PM
After watching Willie Parker this year compared to last, he's going to challenge Barry Foster for most rushing yards in a season for a Steeler. Why?

A) He has become a complete back. He lacked some skills as a blocking back, but he works hard to learn, and he's getting better. He worked in the offseason last year on his pass catching skills and we all know how beneficial that was.

B) He runs with speed and power. That's rare. He needs to learn more patience, though. On one screen pass last week, he ran right past his wall of blockers. He needs to watch some film of Emmitt Smith...nobody was better at riding the wall down the field.

C) He runs with balance. The last guy I said that about was Shaun Alexander, and that was based on how he ran at Alabama. The problem is, he tends to lean forward a bit now because he's trying too hard to prove he can be both Barry Sanders and Jerome Bettis. In fact, he needs to be neither, just be Willie Parker.

D) Attitude. No TO/Chad Johnson nonsense here. This is a kid who loves the game, and appreciates the opportunity...he'll give everyting he has and leave it all on the field, and probably would even without the huge contract that awaits him next year.

08-28-2006, 08:22 PM
Smart man that willie Parker
Haha, agreed.:tt02:

House of Steel
08-28-2006, 11:04 PM
Willie is going to go for 1500 yards this season and 9 TDs or more. This kid is the complete package. I can't wait for this season to begin. It is going to be a fun ride to MIAMI baby, SUPER BOWL XLI or BUST!!!