Fast Willie Parker Is Not "The Bus," but...

GFJonesContributor IJune 10, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Willie Parker #39 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs the ball in the first quarter against Antrel Rolle #21 of the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Where's the Willie love, people? I have been reading too many comments dissing Fast Willie and salivations over our new backfield beasts waiting in the terminal for their shot. Parker is a proven weapon.

No, he ain't da Bus, but when teamed up with a bus he is really effective. Last year was an exception year for the Steelers in the running game. We lost our big back to a freak accident with a freight train named Ray Lewis. Our line was beat up and a patchwork of subs. Willie got hurt. How can we blame Parker for all of this?

It was a disappointing year for smash mouth fans on the offensive side of the ball. I'm betting that the Steelers organization is looking at getting back to that balanced running attack that has worked so well up until this point. Willie is competitive and has great heart. He will be back strong in 2009.

For the stat lovers:

Year       Yards      Avg. yds. per att.     Games played

2004        186            5.8                           8 (0 as starter)

2005        1202           4.7                          15

2006        1496           4.4                          16

2007        1316           4.1                          15

2008        791             3.8                          11

Just don't know how you can diss a guy that has averaged over 1,300 yards and 4.4 yards per carry average in his three non rookie/non injury years let alone blame him for a poor offensive line. Even the Bus struggled when the line was not up to snuff.

There's nothing wrong with having a little thunder and lightning in the running game.