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Parker May Practice as Early as Wednesday

ESPN reports Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said RB Willie Parker (toe) is expected to practice in some limited fashion this week, perhaps as early as Wednesday. Hmmm, does what Rashard Mendenhall did to the Chargers on Sunday night have anything to do with Willie’s quick recovery? We shall see.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. DrGeorge

    October 7, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Ed Bouchette in the Pgh Post-Gazette today talks of the dilemma Tomlin faces in whether to start W. Parker (the titular starting RB, who appears to be recovered from his injury) or the latest wunderkind, R. Mendenhall. Mendy was was in everyone’s doghouse until last Sunday against the Chargers, when the O-line made holes in S. Diego’s injury-decimated line large enough for Casey Hampton (all 340 pounds) to go through. Now suddenly, Mendy walks on water, at least in the media.

    In truth, Tomlin’s dilemma is not all that great. Parker is approaching 30, nearing the end of his contract (which was not renewed), and has not run with his old speed or authority since he blew out his knee. Mendy is healthy, the anointed future of the franchise as a number one draft choice, and an RB with decent speed but inadequate power (he tends to fall down when touched). How difficult a choice is that?

    The key to the Steelers rushing success is the O-line. Against the Chargers, the O-line was awesome. Employing a new blocking scheme (or is it an old scheme Arians was convinced to use more consistently?), the O-line negated the S. Diego nose tackle with double teams and utterly collapsed the DEs on off tackle slants, using pulling guards and solid blocking of C. Davis. If the O-line is permitted to perfect their new-found skills at run blocking, it really doesn’t matter who carries the ball, so long as he doesn’t fumble. For sheer reliability and versatility, I prefer M. Moore to both Parker and Mendy. But then, I didn’t waste a number one pick on Mendy and don’t have skin in the game.

    So, to my mind, the return of Parker and the choice at RB is barely newsworthy, a non-event. But given Tomlin’s mind set and the need to develop consistency at RB, I predict that Mendy will start again on Sunday, even if Parker is 100%. But who cares? Against Detroit, it simply doesn’t matter.

  2. mark

    October 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I am confident that Mendy will start against Detroit.Tomlin made it a point back in August when he declared Parker the starter. I don’t think Tomlin anticipated this sort of running problem that the team has had for 3 out of the 4 games.The running game has progressed every week, but moving the chains in BIG spots has been an issue. The line was very good Sunday against a team that they dominated at the line of scrimmage last year also. They should be able to dominate the Lions as well and from my perspective starting Mendy makes all the sense in the world. He is healthier,younger, worth more money (#1 pick) and is coming off a great performance. Feed the hot hand, like I have said before. Is it possible that Mendy’s running style is more suited now for the line’s blocking schemes? How about keeping the kid’s confidence high as well as the lines? I can almost see a similar game and outcome this coming Sunday as we saw last Sunday. Time of possession will be important and with renewed confidence in the offensive backfield, the Steelers will be hard to stop.Its also time for some turnovers!!

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