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Thread: Willie Parker could be playing chicken with 'Curse of 370'

          
   
   
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    AZ_Steeler's Avatar
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    Willie Parker could be playing chicken with 'Curse of 370'

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    I'm not one to mess around with curses... just look a the Madden curse

    Barry Foster carried the Steelers on his back in 1992. He ran a team-record 390 times for a team-record 1,690 yards. He added 36 receptions to his offensive total.

    Then his wheels came off. A badly sprained left ankle that eventually required surgery helped more than cut his yardage in half in 1993, when he ran 177 times for 711 yards. In 1994, he had 851 yards. In 1995, he was out of the league at age 26.

    Yesterday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made a promise about Willie Parker at his news conference that challenged the "Curse of 370," the very reason many believe Foster broke down.

    "We're going to ride Willie until the wheels come off," Tomlin declared. "He's game for that, he's in great physical condition, he wants the ball, he's a competitor and he's showing he's capable of doing that."

    Uh-oh. For the true believers, if Parker hits 370 carries this season, his wheels will come off and he will never be as good a runner again. This is not anecdotal, like the "Curse of the Bambino." There is documented evidence that if a runner carries 370 times a season, including the postseason, nothing but bad things happen to him.

    Researchers at Football Outsiders, an independent Web site based in Framingham, Mass., dedicated to following the NFL, have documented the phenomenon for several years. They have produced an impressive list of those backs who carried 370 times in one season and then hit a wall.

    They define the "Curse of 370" thusly:

    "A running back with 370 or more carries during the regular season will usually suffer either a major injury or loss of effectiveness the following year, unless he is named Eric Dickerson."

    Among the documented post-370 failures that Football Outsiders documents are such recent examples as Terrell Davis, Eddie George, Curtis Martin, Jamal Lewis, Ricky Williams and Natrone Means, and such luminaries of the past as Hall of Famer Earl Campbell.

    Parker carried 337 times last season, fourth most in Steelers history, for 1,494 yards. He has 50 carries this season, for 235 yards. That's a pace of 400 carries.

    Could Parker join the list of cursed rushers or, if he reaches the magic number of 370, could he join Dickerson, a Hall of Famer who is among the few who thumbed their noses at the curse?

    Tomlin believes the more Parker carries, the better he becomes. Tomlin plans to use him much the way Bill Cowher used Foster in his first season as Steelers coach -- as often as possible.

    "He's getting better with each carry as these games go on, and I'm starting to realize that about him. He's a rhythm runner," Tomlin said. "So we're going to feed him. We're not going to make any bones about that."

    Feed him to the wolves, curse believers claim. Tomlin wasn't asked about any curses at his news conference yesterday, and it's obvious he does not believe in them. He came to the Steelers professing his belief in a two-back system but seems to have adjusted that outlook. Najeh Davenport, Parker's backup, has 14 carries for 89 yards and has been used mainly on third downs and in mop-up time in routs of Cleveland and Buffalo.

    Fullback Carey Davis is third on the team with four carries.

    "We're going to play some people, but Willie Parker is our feature runner and that's no secret," Tomlin said. "When he needs a blow, he's going to get a blow; when he doesn't, he won't.

    "Najeh has been kind of our third-down feature back. He's been our closer. Najeh has a significant number of carries here these first two weeks. He had six carries the other day; Carey Davis had a carry. So we're spreading the ball around, but we're going to ride with Willie Parker because we recognize what he is."

    So, too, was the thinking in Seattle when Shaun Alexander ran 370 times to lead the NFL with 1,880 yards rushing in 2005, a 5.1-yard average per carry. In the third game of 2006, his foot was broken and he ran for 896 yards and a 3.6-yard average per carry. Through two games this season, he has 175 yards and a 3.9-yard average per carry.

    Many curse observers are also watching Larry Johnson this season. He ran an NFL-record 416 times in the 2006 regular season for 1,789 yards. The Kansas City Chiefs rewarded the former Penn State back with a new contract Aug. 21 -- six years, $45 million, including $19 million in guaranteed money. It's the richest contract in Chiefs history.

    Through two games, Johnson has 98 yards on 26 carries, tied for 29th in the NFL.

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    The Absolute Truth Koopa's Avatar
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    leave it to bitch boy ed boucoasedfkljfa wtfever to bring up a curse, i hate this faggot lol

    well if we had a legit back up, cough tony hunt cough, then we wouldn't have to worry about no damn curse

    willie is young, and didn't play in college so he's still a new car........... not sure what foster did in college but i'm sure he played more then willie did

    hopefully we can blow out more of these teams we are playing these next few weeks so he can take the 4th quarters off and get some rest
    "SA, it's more than a FEVER it's an ADDICTION" -BlacknGold Bleeder

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    willie reallys take care of himself so i'm not 2 worried about him falling apart 2 b the size he is i think he's about 210 it's all muscle, he'll b ok

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    There's alway's a curse for something anymore so it doesn't matter what you do. Next thing you know there will be a curse because you put your pants on with the opposite leg first ! Willie is the feature back, he's our man, and it's up to him to lead our ground attack.

    You always worry about a RB wearing out before the postseason so it's imperative to use Najeh and Davis as well in the running game as much as possible to not only keep Willie fresh but to give those guys as many reps as possible so they aren't cold should they need to come in to full time duty for a period of time.

    One thing is for sure though, you never heard of teams worrying about wearing out their players, back in the day ! Everybody was a lot more tough back then and things were different. In the modern league things have changed so much that we now worry about ridiculous curses for players.

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    2nd String okiesteeler's Avatar
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    Willie is a better runner than Dickerson ever was inho and will be able to carry the ball as much as we need him too, without having to worry about some stupid curse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by okiesteeler View Post
    Willie is a better runner than Dickerson ever was inho and will be able to carry the ball as much as we need him too, without having to worry about some stupid curse.
    Wow.. that's a pretty big comparison there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    ...
    You always worry about a RB wearing out before the postseason so it's imperative to use Najeh and Davis as well in the running game as much as possible to not only keep Willie fresh but to give those guys as many reps as possible so they aren't cold should they need to come in to full time duty for a period of time.
    That's my thoughts on it as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    ...things have changed so much that we now worry about ridiculous curses for players.
    We worry about them because they always "seem" to come true

    The thing is, it's a ROUGH sport, and injuries are ALWAYS goin to happen in every game, to both teams. It's a fortunate week that it's not a BAD one (bad to me meaning the guy's out for at least 3 games or more--I shudder to think of ones worse than "bad"...) ANYway, that's why the curse "seems" to be true--it's the nature of the game.

    But JUST in case...stop at number 369 Willie!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelersWoman View Post
    We worry about them because they always "seem" to come true
    Exactly, especially when you look at Shaun Alexander last year and his MVP performance the year before, then last year Larry Johnson was huge for the Chiefs and he hasn't even broke a 100 yards total for the season let alone score a touchdown!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ_Steeler View Post
    Exactly, especially when you look at Shaun Alexander last year and his MVP performance the year before, then last year Larry Johnson was huge for the Chiefs and he hasn't even broke a 100 yards total for the season let alone score a touchdown!
    I know I was thrilled when Ben turned down the Madden cover a few months ago! NOT that I'm superstitious or anything mind you... but why borrow trouble?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    There's alway's a curse for something anymore so it doesn't matter what you do. Next thing you know there will be a curse because you put your pants on with the opposite leg first ! Willie is the STARTING back, he's our man, and it's up to him to lead our ground attack.

    You always worry about a RB wearing out before the postseason so it's imperative to use Najeh and Davis as well in the running game as much as possible to not only keep Willie fresh but to give those guys as many reps as possible so they aren't cold should they need to come in to full time duty for a period of time.

    One thing is for sure though, you never heard of teams worrying about wearing out their players, back in the day ! Everybody was a lot more tough back then and things were different. In the modern league things have changed so much that we now worry about ridiculous curses for players.

    fixed........... he'll never be a feature back, he will always need a true back up, to bad since bettis retired he hasn't had one......... his stats are decieving..... he had over 400 yards in two games last year against weak *** defenses, if he didn't have those crazy badass games he would've only had about 1200 or less yards if he had his usual ****** games on the road against the browns or if the saints played a little defense
    "SA, it's more than a FEVER it's an ADDICTION" -BlacknGold Bleeder

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