"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.