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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Parker blows up

Willie Parker went off for about the fourth time this season about the Steelers' lack of a running game.

Only this time, he was a little more specific with his complaints.

Parker said Wednesday that he prefers to run with a fullback in front of him - something the team rarely does - and that until the Steelers do that, the running game is going to look sporadic.

We'll see how Parker's outburst flies with the head coach.

When Parker complained to me and a couple of others following the Washington game about the team's lack of running, he promised to meet with head coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians about his unhappiness with the rushing attack.

But then Parker was injured, so the meeting never happened.

But he's healthy now.

© Brett Keisel will try to practice Thursday, while Troy Polamalu (calf) may wait until Friday as he did last week before practicing.


Anonymous said...


I don't want to brag but if you reference your july 25th post I predicted a 12-4 regular season. I know we got 3 games to go but that doesn't look so crazy does it?

Back from the Dead

Blount Trauma said...

Dale, in your opinion, who would gain the most yards with 25 carries against the Ravens -- Parker, Moore, or Russell?

Anonymous said...

I think he has reason to complain, to the coaches can't keep feeding a guy with 12 carries / 25 yards. Granted, he can bust the big one at any time, but 12/25 isn't enough yardage to keep the chains moving. I like balance, and strongly believe the pass sets up the run and the run sets up the pass.

Dale Lolley said...

Parker would have the most success.
The problem is that they don't give him enough carries to get into any kind of rythym and they also run him out of a single-back set with two tights.
Willie's the kind of runner who if you give him a crease, he'll burn you. But it's too easy from somebody to shoot the gap and bring him down without a lead blocker.
Also, is a run for 2 yards worse than a sack or incompletion?
To open the third quarter against Dalllas, Parker gained five yards on first down. The next play was an empty backfield pass.
Is there something wrong with running it twice in a row? Or running it with a fullback in the backfield?
I watched Carolina do it all night Monday. We'll see Baltimore try to do it Sunday.

Patrick said...

No coaches should be upset with Parker, and I'm sure his teammates are behind him. He's a player whos job is to carry the ball and he wants it. Good for him, someone needed to say something.

I don't understand the non attempts to run either. Dale said it well, unless we have a serious fumbling problem (we don't), whats the harm in a run.

I do think though, that some of this has to do with went on early in the season. The Eagles basically said we are bringing Heat on almost every play, try to beat it. I suppose Arian's answer to that is to pass more in the hopes of softening a D once it gets burned. Unfortunately, and I'm not bashing the line, but we don't have that great of a line to defend blitzes and consistently complete long passes.

I hope they run early and often against the Ravens. I said in a previous post, if you give that D opportunities they will sieze them and make points out of it. Running will minimize those chances and opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Parker also mentioned this displeasure last year as well. He said that he prefers running with a fullback, but the coaches (more specifically Arians, I believe) stated that they wanted to give the new offense and new packages a shot to see how effective they would be.

Well, different year, same complaint, and the offense isn't nearly as effective this year. I say bring in a true blocking fullback (Latsko comes to mind), and give Parker what he wants.

You're absolutely right, Dale. It's too easy for anybody to shoot a crease against this team (especially with our non-jelled O-Line), but Parker goes down especially fast after first contact. Give him a lead blocker or two to root out a path through the DLine and LBs, and let Willie do the rest against the DBs and whoever else remains. This is especially important since he feels more comfortable running this way.

The I as opposed to the Two-Tight might not be as dynamic a package, especially with our talent at TE. But if we aren't able to consistently run out of that package, we shouldn't try to. We should find what works (Which may or may not be I-formation), and then stick with that, and build off of its success.

Patrick said...

the one thing I don't understand about the lack of running in this offense is why we drafted Mendenhall. With RB's being found in later rounds, undrafted and the shortness of their careers, if the offense coaches KNEW we weren't planning to run, why draft a RB in the 1st round? Makes me think that there is some further disconnect between Colbert and the coaches (see Max Starks for more about that)

You can say best player all you want, but no need to take a RB in the 1st if you don't plan to emphasize the RB in your offense. Theres talent elsewhere for that.

adamg said...

While the OL might not be the best ever, I think a contributing factor is that pass protecting means the OL starts on the defensive. Yes, they go for that initial punch on the DL, but then it's step back and absorb. This creates a more passive (not that these guys are ever passive in the regular sense) mindset and that, IMHO, carries over to the run game when the Steelers try to use it.

OTOH, if you are committed to run first, that means the OL can be aggressive from the start because run blocking means getting out of the blocks and blasting the DL/LB out of the way. That is a much more
aggressive mindset from the outset
and it carries over to pass protection. I think we saw against NE how that works.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say. Three years ago we were complaining that we finally had our franchize Q.B. and all we do is hand the ball off for 3-4 yards. At the same time anyone that followed the steelers for 45 minutes could figure out to follow the full back and the running back would be sure to follow.
Now to 2008: Can't remember the last time we had a healthy back field to do our running. How about letting our coaches do what they do. Last time I checked. We were 10-3 and getting ready to seal up atleast the number 2 spot for the playoff's

Anonymous said...

with carey davis being a little banged up there is a free agent out there by the name of dan kreider...why cant they just bring him in and see what happens. cant hurt...

adamg said...

Sean McHugh would be fine at blocking back. He's only a "hybrid" because coaches see his size, 6'5", and see a TE, not a FB, but, he's a FB by trade. He can block and likes to do it. In fact, I suspect if Arians insists on running out of 2 TE set, he would be much better off if the two were Miller and McHugh rather than Miller and Spaeth.

Anonymous said...

I agree-Miller is great!