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View Full Version : Parker puts a little more bounce in his performance



BlitzburghRockCity
09-17-2007, 10:06 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07260/818215-66.stm



http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/200709/20070917pdsteelers0916j_500.jpg
On one side of the hallway, Mike Tomlin was talking about Willie Parker and how it sounds funny to say he "bounced back" after a 100-yard rushing performance. On the other side, Parker was quoting Bill Cowher and putting the stamp of self-approval on a performance that was more pleasing to his palate.

Parker had his third 100-yard game in a row and his fifth in the past six games, dating to last season, but he is still not ready to announce his return to Pro Bowl form. Not even after rushing for 126 yards on 23 carries and scoring on an 11-yard run in a 26-3 victory against the Buffalo Bills yesterday at Heinz Field.

"It was a tough game last week, feast or famine, as coach Cowher would say," Parker said. "I knew this was a big game for me because I wasn't satisfied at all [last week]."

Parker was unhappy with his performance in Cleveland because he lost a fumble on one play and slipped on another in which the coaches thought he would have had a 40-yard touchdown run. But he helped ease the disappointment yesterday with his 15th career 100-yard rushing game on a day when the Steelers really didn't need anything more than Jeff Reed's four field goals.

Parker put the finishing touch on his performance when he ran for an 11-yard touchdown with 7:13 remaining, running behind Willie Colon's block on rookie linebacker Paul Posluszny and gaining a certain measure of satisfaction. At least for another week.

"I did a better job, but there's still room for improvement," Parker said. "I'm not going to say I'm satisfied."

The reason?

Parker was stopped for no gain on second down at the Bills' 1 in the third quarter, one play before Ben Roethlisberger threw a 1-yard touchdown to rookie tight end Matt Spaeth.

"I think I could have scored on that goal-line play," Parker said.

OK, so the Steelers need to improve a running game that has averaged 195 yards in two games, at least according to Parker's discerning eye. But there was nothing to pooh-pooh about the way the Steelers slashed and gouged their way through the Bills defense, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and wearing them down in the fourth quarter.

And Parker did it in every manner, beating the Bills to the perimeter with runs of 21 and 24 yards around the end, then hurting them inside in the second half with runs of 16, 11, 9 and 7 yards.

"The more you expect out of yourself, the more you're going to achieve," guard Alan Faneca said of Parker. "You set your standards low, that's what you're going to achieve."

The Steelers finished with 184 yards on 33 carries, with Najeh Davenport piling on 46 more on the final series when the Bills were playing as if they had had enough.

Granted, it's what the Steelers should have done against a defense that ranked 28th against the run in 2006 and gave up 171 yards to the Denver Broncos in the season opener. But, in the wacky world of the NFL, where even the Browns can score 51 points in a game, nothing is to be taken for granted.

"I just knew they were slow on the edges and their ends rush so hard up the field," Parker said. "They pass rush 100 percent, all the time. I knew they would leave a hole in [an inside] gap and that's what I studied all week and that's what it ended up being."

"We felt they were a little light on the outside and if we blocked those defensive ends we'd be fine," guard Kendall Simmons said. "That's what we started doing in the second half."

The Steelers rushed for 100 yards on 18 carries in the second half, most of those coming inside the tackles. Parker, though, had some early success to the outside, and on his runs of 21 and 24 yards, he followed big blocks by fullback Carey Davis.

It is what he has been doing for three seasons as a starter, since he had his first 100-yard game in the 2004 season finale in Buffalo. He became the 11th player in club history to surpass 3,000 career rushing yards and moved into 10th place on their all-time list with 3,117 yards.

"We challenged him a little bit this week and he challenged himself to bounce back," Tomlin said. "I know it sounds a little funny to say he bounced back because he ran for 100 yards, but he wasn't pleased with that performance."

I like how Tomlin said that he challenged Willie this week to play better and Parker responded in a big way with a tough, solid performance. That goal line play Willie just got stood straight up and pushed backwards because I thought he was going in too and then he just got smashed backwards.

Willie can do the job for us I have no doubt of that, but there's always room for improvement. I like the attitude he's taking this year of never being satisfied.

Stairwayto7
09-17-2007, 11:03 AM
The goal line? he looked as if he bailed on that play. At the last second he turned and ducked, we need to consider Davenport on the goal line. hell if you bring in Davenport on the gaol line, everyone will assume he is getting the ball, then you step back and lob the ball to Miller! TD!

BlitzburghRockCity
09-17-2007, 11:09 AM
Kreider would be a good option there, so would Davis too. I think we need to work on mixing up the running options at the goal line. Spaeth and Miller are perfect options in the red zone in the passing game but I think we need to make sure that we use other people in the running game also when it gets down close too just to keep the defense on it's toes.

AZ_Steeler
09-17-2007, 11:30 AM
Regardless if Wilie should have scored on the goal line or not, it's nice seeing him rack up another 100 yards and getting his first score of the year! It is a little odd saying he bounced back from last week but in a way he did because you could see it in him that he was running with a purpose!

BlitzburghRockCity
09-17-2007, 11:37 AM
You know it must be a Steelers running back in question when we're talking about 100 yds not being good enough and a player having to bounce back the following week :lol:

It just goes to show how important the run game is to us and 100 yds in a game can be a deceiving statistic at times.

ARKIESTEEL
09-17-2007, 11:59 AM
Kreider would be a good option there, so would Davis too. I think we need to work on mixing up the running options at the goal line. Spaeth and Miller are perfect options in the red zone in the passing game but I think we need to make sure that we use other people in the running game also when it gets down close too just to keep the defense on it's toes.


I agree with this I think we need to get Dan in the Offense more than a blocker

GoBenGo
09-17-2007, 12:10 PM
Willie looked great, bustin' it up the middle, breakin outside. Stiff armin'
He looked like he was on a mission.

Stairwayto7
09-17-2007, 12:13 PM
TOP GUN! I totally agree that 100 yards is deceiving! But its nice!

digdug
09-18-2007, 03:51 AM
I'm glad to see Davis embracing his role as FB and Kreider being Kreider. I think moving between two FB's could be a double edged sword-keeping them both fresher as the year wears on but not getting the RB as comfortable as he is with just one.

SteelersWoman
09-18-2007, 03:56 PM
... if you bring in Davenport on the gaol line, everyone will assume he is getting the ball, then you step back and lob the ball to Miller! TD!


Kreider would be a good option there, so would Davis too. I think we need to work on mixing up the running options at the goal line. Spaeth and Miller are perfect options in the red zone in the passing game ...


... It is a little odd saying he bounced back from last week but in a way he did because you could see it in him that he was running with a purpose!


You know it must be a Steelers running back in question when we're talking about 100 yds not being good enough and a player having to bounce back the following week :lol:....


Willie looked great, bustin' it up the middle, breakin outside. Stiff armin' He looked like he was on a mission.


I'm glad to see Davis embracing his role as FB and Kreider being Kreider. I think moving between two FB's could be a double edged sword-keeping them both fresher as the year wears on ....

:plus1: