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  1. #1
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    Steelers' Parker displeased with own effort

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_527370.html

    By Scott Brown
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Thursday, September 13, 2007


    Ask Willie Parker to assess his performance in the Steelers' season opener last Sunday and he makes it sound like he rushed for 29 yards, not the 109 he grinded out against the Browns.
    "I was making some bad reads," Parker said. "There were some holes I didn't hit."

    The Pro Bowler still notched his 13th career 100-yard rushing game, and his final total would have been closer to 150 yards, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said, had Parker not slipped and fallen on a play in the fourth quarter of the Steelers' 34-7 win.
    But take away two lengthy runs and Parker had 62 yards on 25 carries, and he hinted that open running lanes aren't the only thing he missed in Cleveland.

    The Steelers had a fullback in the game for only five plays in the first half, and Dan Kreider, Parker's lead blocker the previous two seasons, was only on the field for one of those.


    "I need some company back there," Parker said.
    Parker, however, should be used to running without a fullback escort. Arians said 60 percent of the Steelers' running plays last season came in one-back sets, while 40 percent were run when two backs were in the game.
    That percentage was essentially flip-flopped last week, as Arians said the Steelers ran out of a two-back set around 65 percent of the time because they had a big lead and wanted to run out the clock in the second half.

    "We're very little in running-play difference from what we've run in the past," Arians said.
    The one noticeable change in the running game is the smaller but more athletic Carey Davis starting over Kreider at fullback.
    Both dressed for the Cleveland game, and it appears as if the two will share the position -- Arians said he expects both to be active for Sunday's game against Buffalo -- with Kreider playing in short-yardage and goal-line situations as well as when the Steelers are trying to chew up time. "If that's the role they want to have for me," Kreider said, "I'll embrace it and try to excel at it."

    Bills to pay?Willie Parker could have a big game Sunday against the Bills at Heinz Field.In three of its last six regular-season games, Buffalo has given up
    more than 100 yards to an opposing back.
    DatePlayerCarriesYardsResult09-09-07Travis Henry23139Broncos, 15-1412-24-06Travis Henry25135Titans, 30-2912-03-06LaDainian Tomlinson28178Chargers, 24-21

    Some of the running backs that excelled last season in the NFL got off to slow starts in Week 1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson and Steven Jackson combined for just 126 rushing yards.


    Along with being a Pro Bowler in 2006, Parker has something else in common with those three backs: He saw very little action during preseason games.
    "A lot of people say that that I could be rusty," Parker said, "but I don't make excuses for myself."

    Nor should he, said Arians, who noted that Parker still rushed for more than 100 yards against defense that is better than people think.
    Not that Arians or the Steelers mind Parker feeling that he can and should play a lot better when the Steelers host the Bills on Sunday.
    "He shouldn't be satisfied," Arians said. "As a group we left a lot of offense on that field and a lot of points on that field. I was not very happy with our performance last week."

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Willie better watch himself here, you can't be making excuses for why you didn't perform. If you have a FB fine, if not fine, but when you don't perform you can't blame someone else.

    Having said that, I like having a FB and I think we should continue to use the FB on a regular basis. Short yardage and running the clock out of course but Kreider can be a receiver out of the backfield as well as any FB. The OL needs to get itself squared away as well because in a 1 back offense if just 1 lineman misses a block or makes some mistake the whole play can be botched in a heartbeat so it's going to take time for the 5 guys up front as well as Willie learning how to read the holes and hit them hard.

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    i do like the fact that he is hard on himself, he will be fine, Go willie


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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    Willie better watch himself here, you can't be making excuses for why you didn't perform. If you have a FB fine, if not fine, but when you don't perform you can't blame someone else.
    I agree. He just does not have the strength to move the pile. That's why I always liked Willie better running to the sides.


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    PsychoWard's Avatar
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    willie doesn't need to be hard on himself he had over 100 yards!! thats a lot more that the so called top running backs in the league had! willie will be fine!

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    Stairwayto7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoWard View Post
    willie doesn't need to be hard on himself he had over 100 yards!! thats a lot more that the so called top running backs in the league had! willie will be fine!
    100 yards is a goal each game, but that doesn`t always define how good a game it was.

    It was not one of his best, but I still think that our o-line has not had time to gel, Tomlin had them all over the place in the preseason!


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    2nd String memphissteelergirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prosdo View Post
    I agree. He just does not have the strength to move the pile. That's why I always liked Willie better running to the sides.
    Could not agree more, Prosdo! That's why I would like to see WP and Najeh in the backfield together. Use Najeh for the short yards up the middle and Fast Willie for the longer gains to the outside.

    "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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    Willie would be a great programmer because even though he had over 100 yards rushing he still isn't happy, where a programmer would write some code that works and gets the job done but wouldn't be happy with it! Willie and I have a lot in common

    There is nothing wrong with striving for perfection and feeling you can do better, it's what makes us all better and helps us excel at what we do and if Willie's not happy with his performance than I'm not either! I expect 200 yards a game from him and at least 2 TD's that came from 20+ yard breakaways!

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    I would think in the heat of the moment, when the pressure's on, it would be SOOOO much tougher making the right decision, than when the game's over, and you're sittin back thinkin about it, or watchin on tape. So easy THEN for him to say--I SHOULD'VE hit THAT hole...

    And like someone said in another thread--the Browns D is tougher than we made it appear that day.

    But it's great that Willie is never satisfied, no matter HOW many yards he got. That will keep him playin better than if he were happy with his performance.

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    Willie saw very limited gametime during the preseason (knee). He will be fine when he gets back in the groove again.
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