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Thread: Parker returns, eyes backup for stability

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Parker returns, eyes backup for stability

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08113...?cmpid=HBEHTML

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
    Willie Parker leads the running backs through drills yesterday in the Steelers' first spring practice at the team's South Side facilities.

    On the first offensive huddle of the first practice of the Steelers' new season, No. 39 lined up at tailback behind quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

    Willie Parker did nothing spectacular yesterday, unless you count the fact he was back on the field, running and cutting with the rest of his teammates.

    "Right now I'm a little shaky," Parker said, "but I'm at full speed, cutting and all that stuff. If not 100 percent, I'm real close to it."

    Parker led the NFL in rushing last season when, in the second-to-last game in St. Louis, the fibula in his right leg broke. Coach Mike Tomlin said they would run him until the wheels fell off, and one of them did.

    The fear, of course, was that the "Fast" in Fast Willie Parker would diminish because of his injury. But a little more than a month ago, Parker ran a 4.4 for his trainers indoors. His coach, while planning to take it easy on Parker this spring, is encouraged with his progress.

    "Willie has one speed," Tomlin said after conducting his first official spring workout. "That's what you love about him from a mentality standpoint, but we're not going to win games here April 21, so we're going to do the best we can to take care of him."

    Tomlin added that, "I expect him to be 100 percent, no doubt."

    Yesterday, Tomlin said his comment about running Parker until the wheels came off was made tongue-in-cheek. Nevertheless, Parker ran 320 times in 14 games plus one more carry in the 15th (for 1,316 yards) when his right foot stuck in the artificial surface in St. Louis ("That turf was not that great," Parker said.)

    He carried 658 times the past two Pro Bowl seasons for 2,810 yards. He has topped 1,200 yards in each of his three seasons as a starter, but the Steelers have made it clear they would like to find a banger to ease some of his workload, either through the draft or in the person of someone such as Gary Russell.

    "Do we need a stable of backs? Absolutely," Tomlin said. "If you look around this game there are a bunch of those kinds of backfields. We desire to be one of those and we think that we have some guys here right now that are capable of helping him carry the load."

    Parker welcomes it as something that might extend his career.

    "That's a great thing," Parker said after morning practice. "Last year I touched the ball a lot, a lot. To get somebody to split some things up, I think that would be a great thing. That would be something good for my career."

    The draft is good and deep in running backs and the Steelers likely can still get a good one in the third or fourth round.

    "Whatever helps this team out, I think that would be the best thing," Parker said, "because last year when I went down, we were short on backs. We need somebody else in here. If they bring somebody else in here, I'm all for it."

    Good to see FWP getting back into the swing of thing, and also that Tomlin seems to be placing a pretty high priority on improving the backfield with Willie this year. Parker seems to have a good attitude about it and knows he can't keep taking that many reps week in and week out and expect to survive for as long as he wants too.

  2. #2
    2nd String memphissteelergirl's Avatar
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    "Parker ran a 4.4 for his trainers indoors..."

    Niiice....good to see FWP getting back to his old self.
    "Commitment to the team - there is no such thing as in-between, you are either in or you're out."-Pat Riley

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    Thats character ala Bettis! Willie learned many things well from Jerome. It's good to see him using them all.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Yeah I think it was really good for FWP to be able to learn from Bettis and have him as a role model for the first couple years in the league; he really gave Willie a solid foundation on what it means to be a part of a team and have the right attitude in the locker room, etc. With all the problems that he had in college with his coach not playing him and using him as much as he wanted he could have easily had a chip on his shoulder that could have spiraled him into problems in his NFL career.

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    Absolutely. It is so much easier to feed an attitude and become a cancer. There are far too many examples to point at and he most likely would have filled that role had it not been for Jerome and the other vet's influence on him. I even give Joey P props for helping in that as well.

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    Chairman of the Board Iron City South's Avatar
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    "Whatever helps this team out, I think that would be the best thing," Parker said, "because last year when I went down, we were short on backs. We need somebody else in here. If they bring somebody else in here, I'm all for it."

    Translation - "I'm not an everydown back, I need help. I sure hope I can go back to my role of supporting an all-around back. That's how I see myself as being most effective.
    "The most interesting man on SA ... stay thirsty my friends"


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    Reppin' 724
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron City South View Post
    Translation - "I'm not an everydown back, I need help. I sure hope I can go back to my role of supporting an all-around back. That's how I see myself as being most effective.
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.....

    wrong wrong wrong wrong.....

    YOURE WRONG, YOURE WRONG, YOURE WRONG!!!!!!!

    (as said by Dr. Cox on Scrubs)

    What he is saying is, exactly what came out of his mouth. We have no viable back-up to me, a Pro-Bowl RB.
    Last edited by TEEMONT; 04-22-2008 at 11:42 AM.

  8. #8
    Ambridge's Avatar
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    "Do we need a stable of backs? Absolutely," Tomlin said. "If you look around this game there are a bunch of those kinds of backfields. We desire to be one of those and we think that we have some guys here right now that are capable of helping him carry the load."
    Too bad it took an entire season and an injured Willie Parker to figure it out!!!
    What's the next Revelation that Tomlin and staff are going to learn the hard way??.........I know!! That by using a "Killer" Fullback like Dan Krieder works really good too!!



  9. #9
    TampaSteelGirl's Avatar
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    Good to see Fast Willie out there kickin butt!! he'll be 100% very soon!!! He does need a compliment back though. Especially coming off this injury.


    Thanks Steelers086 for my awesome signature!!!




    Thanks for the new avatar SteelerBee!

  10. #10
    PLAYA OF DA YEAR Brady Quinn's Avatar
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    He does need help and most good teams have backs that share the load. It is a rough game and they need some help
    This is NEXT YEAR!

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