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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Parker fallout

"Every morning when I come to work I walk past five Lombardi’s, not five rushing titles. The issue is winning, so do we need to get better in terms of running the football? Absolutely. The reason is this, because it increases our chances of winning. So that is my response to it and he needs to be a little more careful with the things he says and how he says it because they can be misinterpreted as uninformed or selfish, of which he is neither."

That was Mike Tomlin's response to Willie Parker's statements on Wednesday.

Tomlin said he also addressed the team about keeping its eye on the prize.

Certainly some of what Parker said about the problems with the running game are true. But some of it was also said out of frustration.

Tomlin also said that Parker didn't have a big problem running out of the two tight end sets last season when he was leading the league in rushing before being injured in the team's 15th game.

He has a point there.

But last year's offensive line was probably a little better with Alan Faneca in there and Parker wasn't banged up like he is now. Ben Roethlisberger was also having a better season, keeping opponents from stacking the box.

© Aaron Smith, Troy Polamalu, Deshea Townsend and Hines Ward returned to practice today, while James Harrison sat out to take a break.

Brett Keisel and Carey Davis both worked out a bit before practice, but did not practice. They could give it a shot Friday.


adamg said...

No surprise here. No matter what the business, management always sticks up for itself when criticized.

Mberenis said...
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Anonymous said...

Let's just win on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I have been critical of the design and game planning. As for Tomlin's abilities to handle players and keep people motivated & their focus on the big picture, I think he is phenomenal. That being said, you know there has to be some tension related to the ineffectiveness of the running game, both on the staff level & the player level.

adamg said...

The offensive lineman have made similar comments, though more low key than Parker's, this season, too. They want to be asked to play smash mouth football and seem to be just as frustrated with the plays as FWP.

I agree there's some tension that Tomlin will have to resolve in the off-season. One the one hand, you have BR, who appears to like things the way they are with 30-40 throws a game, and Arians who is accomodating that and on the other hand you have Tomlin who always says how much he believes in the run game. Tom Coughlin has a pass happy OC in Kevin Gilbride yet the Giants play a power football offense. Tomlin needs to do the same and tell his QB and OC what HE wants, not what THEY want.

Joe said...


Your comments are dead on. I truly believe in Tomlin's intelligence. He got the job in part by keeping things stable. Now we are starting to see some strains on offense. I believe if Tomlin wants Arians gone after the season, it will be done. Tomlin has a lot more equity as a coach going into his 3rd year with 2 division championships than he did as an untested, unknown commodity. But then again, winning cures all evils, and if the Steelers make it/win the Super Bowl I don't think we'll hear too much more.

Other Patrick said...

Tomlin has to say this. HE can't let player's go on talking to the media about how they want to change the playcalling and personnel on the field.

This definitely gets FWP a demerit from Tomlin. What does FWP gain by saying this stuff to the media? Is BA going to see the light if he reads it in the paper? This should stay internal to the team.

adamg said...

There's no doubt you can run from a one-back set, BUT the teams that do it (Philly, NE) use the west coast offense with short drops and quick passes that open up the running lanes for Westbrook, Maroney etc.

The Steeler offense seems to take the worst of both worlds - one back sets in long yardage and deep passes.

Anonymous said...

Baltimore press are reporting that Keisel has been ruled out of the game now. I assume the plan to try him @ practice today did not go well?