Monday, May 04, 2009

What about the old guy?

It hasn't taken the media long to fall in love with rookie running back Frank "The Tank" Summers and everybody knows the Steelers expectations for former No. 1 pick Rashard Mendenhall, but what about the starter, Willie Parker?

Parker's coming off an injury-plagued season that he called a personal disappointment and is heading into the final year of his current contract.

It's interesting that he's gone from everybody's favorite underdog to the guy everyone wants to forget about, despite the fact he's been the team's starting running back during two Super Bowl runs.

This will probably be Parker's final season with the Steelers - unless Mendenhall proves he can't handle the starting job.

But I expect a big season out of Parker in 2009.

© As expected, Larry Foote was released today.

"Larry has been a big part of our success, but unfortunately the realities of the salary cap made this decision inevitable," said director of football operations Kevin Colbert. "We wish Larry and his family nothing but the best as he moves forward with his career."

18 comments:

datruth4life said...

Dale,

A healthy Willie Parker and an improved OL could equate to a big season for FWP. But the OL is still a bit troubling for me. I don't like Willie Colon as the starter RT. Your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Why didn't they trade Foote to Detroit for a 7th-rounder when they could, instead of release him for nothing in return?

Anonymous said...

Detroit knew they could wait until Foote was released and sign him to a new deal without giving up a pick.

Anonymous said...

But Detroit supposedly offered a 7th for Foote during the draft, and the Steelers turned it down.

Dale Lolley said...

I've heard no confirmation on the seventh-rounder from Detroit.
Even if it's true, they may have weighed the offer against what they could have received if somebody had gone down this weekend.
Let''s suppose that Dallas lost its starting middle linebacker for the season in the disaster down there this weekend. The Cowboys would have given up more than a seventh for Foote.
A seventh-round pick is really nothing.

As for Colon, he's OK. I think he'd be better at guard, but it's not my call.

drinkyourmilkshake said...

Always confused by the fans love for Colon to move to guard and the teams insistence that he isn't even considered for the position. Is one side wrong?

Anonymous said...

New England got two 5th-rounders for Ellis Freaking Hobbs, and we couldn't get anything for Foote?

Dale Lolley said...

That's why they didn't deal him for a seventh. They were holding out.
That said, CB is a tougher position to fill than a MLB.

Patrick said...

I like FWP, I hope he gets a chance for an extension. He's always been good on the field, though a bit inconsistent, and attitude was always there.

He welcomed the arrivial of Mendenhall and I hope he doesn't ride the bench this year.

Ben said...

People like Hines Ward, Willie Parker, Deshea Townsend and Jerome Bettis really put people like Larry Foote to shame. The more he talks, the more I come to understand the situation, the more I dislike him.

I know he might have been a great guy in the locker room, but he appears to have delusions of grandeur when it comes to his diminishing skills. The guy is a good - not great - run stuffer, but he is a liability in the passing game. Casey Hampton is another two down player - and he's excellent at what he does. Does anyone hear him complaining?

To me, it comes down to this, and I know I'm borrowing from Ed Bouchette -- Willie Parker was undrafted, Larry Foote was a 5th rounder. The Steelers gave them each a chance to succeed. Both started on two Super Bowl winning teams. Both have 1st round replacements waiting in the wings. One of them is handling the situation admirably. One is not.

Goodbye, Larry.

Dale Lolley said...

I don't have a problem with the guy wanting to play. You're being a little biased because he happened to want off of your favorite team because of it.
I don't know that he had diminishing skills. He's 28. He can still play.
He saw the writing on the wall that he wasn't going to start this year. He could have taken the big paycheck and made nearly $3 million for not playing. He wants to play.

Ben said...

He can still play -- against the run. He can't rush the passer and he can't cover. He isn't getting any faster.

I can't deny that I am biased, that would be disingenuous, but I never appreciate when a player asks to be released or to be traded. I saw that Darnell Dockett is asking to be traded and lowered my opinion of him accordingly. Same with Boldin.

He wants to play - thats fine, I can totally appreciate that. So come to camp ready to work harder than ever and prove you deserve that starting spot. Be a man about it.

Anonymous said...

Foote was a 4th round pick that the Steelers coaches groomed to fit our defense. He is nothing special at all, you won't hear from him again

Anonymous said...

My problem is that, I suspect, he made this public and cost us the ability to get anyhing in trade.

Thomas said...

i agree with you Ben. If he wanted to play he should have fought for the job or at the very least not made it public knowledge that he wanted out. That just screwed the Steelers chances of trading him for anything worth while.
I do have to admire him for wanting to go to his home town team and try to help them turn the franchise around. esp a team that went 0-16 last season. I hope he goes to Detroit and not the pats or any team like that.

Anonymous said...

Who are you guys to decide what is OK or not OK for him to do? He wants to start and thinks he can play all 3 downs. He's getting expensive and the Steelers have enough bodies at ILB to replace him. So they let him go. Which say s a lot of good things about the organization.

And Foote, he was a pretty good player for the last 5 years. So instead of talking that Larry should stay, why don't we just wish him good luck in Detroit?

Dale Lolley said...

I honestly don't have a problem with a player wanting out of a situation he deems bad.
Think about Boldin's situation if you will.
Here's a guy who's been one of the best receivers in the NFL over the past five years and yet his own team is paying another receiver a lot more money than him. Think about what you'd do in your workplace if somebody with similar experience and production made three times as much money as you did. You'd want to look for a new job or at the very least go to the boss and ask for more money. Boldin did both. But he's stuck in Arizona because sports works differently than the real world. Players are stuck with the team that drafts them - unless they happen to be John Elway or Eli Manning and can force a trade.
As for Foote, he wasn't going to be given a chance to compete this season. The job was going to go to Timmons. Foote held Timmons off in 2008, but it wasn't going to happen again in 2009.

Zone Blitz said...

I don't expect a big year out of Parker at all, in fact, I expect the opposite. Parker knows he's not in the long-term plans for the organization and likely won't get an offer prior or during the season. I think he does his best to stay healthy and fresh so that he can market himself to other teams based on his current resume.

I'm betting you see Parker sitting out a lot of games this year.