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    AZ_Steeler's Avatar
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    Post Steelers Notebook: Parker thrives in home games

    Willie Parker has as many 100-yard games as he did last season after seven games. And he is tied for fourth in rushing in the American Football Conference with 564 yards.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Parker thrives in home games

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06307/735265-66.stm

    Friday, November 03, 2006

    By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



    Willie Parker has as many 100-yard games as he did last season after seven games. And he is tied for fourth in rushing in the American Football Conference with 564 yards.

    But Parker, a second-year starter, is already behind his pace of a year ago when he rushed for 1,202 yards and was second among 1,000-yard rushers in the AFC with a per-carry average of 4.7 yards.

    That, though, could change in a hurry.

    Parker has three 100-yard rushing games this season, and they have all come at Heinz Field. He gets another chance Sunday against the Denver Broncos (5-2), who are fourth in the AFC in rush defense.

    Last year, in the eighth game of the season, Parker had his lowest output of the season, gaining 13 yards on five carries before injuring his ankle against the Green Bay Packers. He had rushed for 602 yards on 127 carries in his first seven games.

    "We need to get this turned around in a hurry," Parker said.

    He was referring to the team's 2-5 start, not his rushing totals.

    Parker is coming off a performance in which he rushed for 83 yards on 22 carries against the Oakland Raiders, numbers that were helped by a 39-yard run. But he also had 11 rushes of 1 yard or less, including a loss of 1 on first-and-goal at the Oakland 1 late in the fourth quarter.

    "That's just how it was," Parker said. "There were so many runs that were just so close. We left a lot of stuff on that field. One play, I didn't pick up my feet. It's frustrating to me, knowing I could have done this or that."

    Parker, though, has increased his touchdowns and receiving totals from last season. After catching five passes for 74 yards in seven games last season, he has 13 catches for 75 yards in 2006, including a 25-yard touchdown against the Raiders. It was Parker's sixth touchdown this season, third most in the AFC behind San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson (11) and Kansas City's Larry Johnson (10).

    "We just got to get better," Parker said.
    At this point I'll take virtually anything, any kind of good luck or omen or something in recent history to try and find a positive. If Willie can have a good game this week, that means the OL is having a good game, and it means Ben has more time to throw, its a win-win situation; so we'll see...

    But the Broncos defense is tough as all hell, and you know they haven't forgotten what happened in the playoffs last year.

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    That Dude on NFL Live that use to be a Bronco... I can picture his face but remember his name (white dude) Picked the Steelers to beat the Broncos in a desperation game! A lot of people in my office are feeling like the Steelers are going to win too... I wish I had that much faith right now

    Parker is the key to the game this weekend. If Parker can comeo ut early and get it going the Steelers will do good. Plus if they don't jump out to a quick lead and then shut the offense down and try hard not to lose, then the Steelers will be fine as well.

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