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GoCubbies65
11-18-2008, 03:12 PM
Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/200811/20081118pg_steelerstopper_330.jpg

Parker pushes for change back to 'Steeler football'
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Willie Parker wants the Steelers to get back to what he calls "Steeler football." Except for one final, victorious drive against the San Diego Chargers, he said that wasn't it Sunday, not unless you count the cold and snow at Heinz Field.

Ben Roethlisberger threw 41 passes, most of them of the dink and dunk variety and none of them for a touchdown in an 11-10 victory. The Steelers ran 28 times and averaged 4.4 yards per carry with Parker gaining 115 on 25 chances.

"We have to capitalize more on the run so we can take out the passing," Parker said afterward.

The Steelers have attempted more passes than they have runs this season. The only time they've done that and had a winning record in this century came in 2002, when Tommy Maddox replaced Kordell Stewart at quarterback.

They passed more than they ran in 2006 and were 8-8. They passed more in 2003 and were 6-10. They ran more often every other season and had winning records.
Steelers Chat
Join Steelers beat writer Ed Bouchette in the PG chat room at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the ups and downs of the Steelers Nation.

It reflects the evolution of the Steelers' offense under coordinator Bruce Arians, who de-emphasized the fullback when he took over last season and put more on Roethlisberger's shoulders.

Also, Parker has missed half of the games this season with two different injuries and the man they drafted in the first round to help him, Rashard Mendenhall, played only four games before his season ended because of a broken shoulder.

Parker returned in grand fashion with his third 100-yard game of the season, but he wants more. He was not used at the goal line when Mewelde Moore ran from the 1 and lost a yard. He ran twice on third-and-1 plays in the first half, picking up the first down on one and failing on the other.

Gary Russell took over on two third downs in the second half and picked both of them up with runs of 4 and 6 yards.

"The game plan was to not put me in bad situations," said Parker, who wore a harness to protect his injured shoulder. "We didn't do that in goal line, and in a lot of short-yardage they kind of pulled me out. That was the game plan for my first game back.

"I think that was the best thing for the first game back. It's up to me if I want to keep it that way or make a change, and I'm going to make a change."

Coach Mike Tomlin may have other ideas. He liked how Russell ran on his two third-and-short tries, and it sounds as though he will give him more chances.

"Maybe we found something with Gary Russell," Tomlin said. "We will see. I think that based upon what he showed us in this football game, he is a strong candidate for that.

"Just like when given the opportunity to return kickoffs for us, he has shown us that he is a fighter in that regard. He has done some nice things for us over the past couple of weeks in expanded roles."

Parker thought only one series looked to him like "Steelers football" Sunday, and that was the last one. They drove 73 yards to put Jeff Reed in position to kick a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to win it.

"That's the drive that really like -- just keep calling run plays, keep calling run plays," Parker said. "The defense knows we're about to run and they just can't stop it. That's Steeler football to me.

"It was really important. I think we came together for once in the game. We just made plays."

There weren't many running plays on that drive, though, until the Steelers reached reasonable field-goal range at the 21 after Roethlisberger completed a 13-yard pass to Santonio Holmes.

To that point, Roethlisberger had completed all six of his passes, and Parker ran twice, although a third run was called back by a penalty.

With the ball at the 21, Parker ran four consecutive times to the 4 and then ran for a touchdown that also was nullified by a penalty before Reed kicked the winner.

"I'm a running back so I love getting the ball, especially in crucial situations," Parker said. "When the pressure's on, I want the ball."

The ball, though, has been put in Roethlisberger's hands more than those of his running backs this season. And during the past two games, he has thrown mostly short passes. His average per attempt of 7.1 is a full yard below his career average.

Tomlin did not mention Roethlisberger's right shoulder -- reinjured Nov. 3 in Washington -- as a reason for those short passes, but credited the defenses the Indianapolis Colts and Chargers used.

"It was very similar to last week in the Indianapolis game because they were playing a lot of Tampa-Two," Tomlin said. "We were taking what they were giving us and playing pitch-and-catch. I thought that we did a very nice job of that."

The Steelers rank 25th in total offense in the NFL, 23rd rushing and 18th passing. Their defense today is 1-1-1 -- No. 1 overall, No. 1 stopping the run and No. 1 against the pass.

CubbieSteve
11-18-2008, 05:36 PM
I agree with Willie.

Ben threw 41 times this past Sunday. While effective, I would like to see him throw about 25-30 times tops.

jesusncleats
11-18-2008, 07:21 PM
Note to FWP and Steeler Fans: WE DONT HAVE THE LINE TO POUND IT!.......FWP, YOUR NOT A POWER BACK!

The only reason they avg 4.4 is because of the pass game was so efficent that they couldnt stack the box...I will admit the last drive of the game it was very effective, but thats really the first time this season.

GoCubbies65
11-18-2008, 08:37 PM
Note to FWP and Steeler Fans: WE DONT HAVE THE LINE TO POUND IT!.......FWP, YOUR NOT A POWER BACK!

The only reason they avg 4.4 is because of the pass game was so efficent that they couldnt stack the box...I will admit the last drive of the game it was very effective, but thats really the first time this season.

I took away from this more that he wants a FB in front of him not so much that he wants them to be a power team because he can't do it

He wants someone to take that initial hit for him so that he isnt taking it

NYMetros
11-18-2008, 08:44 PM
We moved the ball great last Sunday. We would have gotten into the end zone twice if it wasn't for a holding call in the 4th quarter and for time running out on us at the end of the 1st half.

jesusncleats
11-18-2008, 11:31 PM
We moved the ball great last Sunday. We would have gotten into the end zone twice if it wasn't for a holding call in the 4th quarter and for time running out on us at the end of the 1st half.

Mostly a product of the passing game.

CubbieSteve
11-19-2008, 12:06 AM
I guess if Ben continues to make safe and easy throws 41 times a game, I'll be alright with that. But what if he goes back to taking chances and making tough throws?

I say let FWP get the ball 30 times a game and let the passing game work off the run game. Willie is good enough to create his own gains without great blocking from the OL.

countrycasanova
11-19-2008, 10:16 AM
point-blank-period..we have always had more success when ben has come through on third downs and asked to be efficient. Our line is not good enough for been to dropback 30-40 times a game. the chargers probaly didnt have four sacks comin into the game, but they got 4 on ben. let that sorry line pound on people...so they can slow down a pass rush. point-blank-peroid our offense have lost us the 3 games we lost. WE kno we have weapons on our offense, but our weapons are only as good as our line..we need our offense to have consistant drives, not mess up field position, and make plays when they are there. Our line and big ben's mistakes are the two things that are keeping us from being superbowl locks. If we get back to a 52%(run)/48%(pass) offense, I think it can only help the line

Steelersbud420
11-19-2008, 10:34 PM
Yeah I think we are more effective when we run the ball more. I guess with Willie just coming back they wanted to ease him back into it. With Cinci coming up we will probably run alot more. and some of those dink and dunk passes won't be bad either