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Friday, October 31, 2008

Parker will play

Willie Parker made it through practice this week and will see his first action in more than a month at Washington.

That's good news for a Steelers' offense that has been a little pass heavy without Parker in the lineup.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians seemed to fall in love with Mewelde Moore's pass catching ability in recent weeks, constantly splitting Moore out wide with an empty backfield.

It didn't hurt them against Cincinnati, which has no pass rush. But it did have an effect againsts New York last week.

With Parker back, the Steelers will rely a little more on their running game.

© Marvel Smith is out again and doesn't appear anywhere close to returning. But Mike Tomlin continues to call his injury back spasms.

Regular readers of this blog know it's more than that. Maybe someday Tomlin will admit it.

© Ryan Clark is out, meaning Tyrone Carter will get the start.

Santana Moss has missed practice all week for the Redskins with a sore hamstring, but is expected to play. Could hurt his ability to get deep.

© This game is the perfect matchup for the Steelers.

The Redskins are a run-heavy offense that doesn't generate a pass rush on defense (10 sacks in eight games).

The Steelers will limit Clinton Portis, of that you can be sure. And of Ben Roethlisberger has time to throw, look out.

As long as the Steelers don't give up anything in the return game, they'll be OK.


Matt said...

What is wrong with Marvel, if it isn't back spasms?

Patrick said...

Dale, no mention of Polamula possibly missing due to his child being born? Do you think it won't be an issue?

With what you said about Arians splitting Moore wide and it hurting us against the Giants, whats your opinion of Arians? I personally think he needs to go if there aren't obvious changes by season's end. And as much as I think of Ben, I think Arians offense has let Ben become too involved in it, decision wise and too much focused on him, and has lead to Ben thinking he can always make a play. I know Ben always has been that way, and probably always will, but I think this offense plays to Ben's weaknesses rather than strengths.

Brian said...

Arians scared the crap out of me from the day he said "Rushing yards are rushing yards," in reference to the death of the power running game in our offense. Huge difference in our running game now from 2 years ago. And a HUGE difference in our ability to put games away by imposing our will on opposing defenses with our running game. Big loss in advantage IMO.

Anonymous said...

Personally i'm also tired of Arians. He is not creative enough and at times his play selection seems awful. I hate the bunch formation that he uses to try and "spread the field" as it seems to rarely ever work. As far as Ben being involved, i think it's a good thing. Look at the numbers he put up last year (first year with Arians), and that's with a line that can't pass protect. Also look at the success we have with the no huddle, that's all Ben. Peyton and Brady get a lot of say in their offensive schemes and i don't see why our franchise qb shouldn't. At times this year it does seem like he is trying to do too much though. Just my opinion, what do ya'll think?

Patrick said...

I don't really disagree with you (anounymous) but I think Ben has in his head that he can do anything, and maybe thats not Arians fault. But I think this offense has planted that seed in Ben's head.

Another thing I noticed after watching the Giants replay on the NFL Network, Ben's feet aren't moving much. Not like he should be running out of the pocket, but when he is standing in the pocket, he is flat footed and not moving around much. I know thats weird to say about a QB that constantly eludes pressure, but watch his feet compared to other QB's. He doesn't move them as much, or as much as he used to in my opinion.

Dale Lolley said...

I would like to see Ben roll out more, but I think opposing defenses are taking that away, knowing that it's a strength.
I don't think Arians is as bad as some think. He coaches to the strengths of the team. They haven't run the ball as much lately because he knows he's down to one good running back. Moore's not a 25-carry guy.
Ben has always been a guy who holds the ball looking to make a play. Other teams have adjusted to that.
Bottom line is that they're 5-2. The sky isn't falling.
As for Marvel, it's my understanding he's got another disc problem as I reported after the Cincinnati game. He had numbness in his foot again.

Anonymous said...

At what point do we put Marvel on IR? Right now we have a single backup that can play for the entire OL. That is not good at all, and if Marvel can't play for the next 4 to 5 games it is not worth keeping him on the roster. We are absolutely hurting for depth, and I can't imagine Marvel will be around next year...

Dale Lolley said...

They have Essex, Jeremy Parquett and Tony Hills. They were hoping Marvel could play this week. But it's just not happening for him.

Alex said...

I think we should run the no huddle half the time. We have consistent success whenever we use it and then we go whole games without it? Are we saving it for a rainy day?

Stick with what works, go no huddle and take the playcalling out of Arians hands. I heard an interview where Tim Wexell said some Steelers insiders even said the playcalling improved when Ben took over and called the plays.

Patrick said...

I think we'll see a big hard fought win tonight. My prediction (maybe better stated, my "hope") is a lot of rushing between Parker and Moore and a stifling D. The D should come as no surprise. I think they will get to Campbell early and often and take this 28-20 or so.

I just don't see the Redskins D shutting down the Steelers offense like the Giants or Eagles. When that happens, thats it for us.