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Author Topic: Just don't get Bettis to set the menu  (Read 1412 times)
msdmnr2002
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« on: Sep 19, 2007 at 11:10 »



http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburgh...s/s_528161.html

Steelers' Tomlin plans to 'feed' Parker
By The Tribune-Review
Wednesday, September 19, 2007


On the dominance of the Steelers' defense through the first two games:
"They're playing the game at a high level and they're playing with a great energy and enthusiasm. Those guys take a great deal of pride in how they play. They care about one another and it shows. "


On Willie Parker having 50 carries two games into the season:


"We're going to ride Willie until the wheels come off. He's getting better with each carry as these games go on and I'm starting to realize that about him, he's a rhythm runner so we're going to feed him."

On the Steelers spreading the ball around in the passing game:

"Yes, there are some playmakers -- some Hines Wards, some people of that nature -- that you know can deliver for you when things get tough, but I don't want anyone to think they're less of a playmaker than anyone else."


On how first-team fullback Carey Davis has done as a blocker:

"He does a nice job of sticking on people in space, sifting through traffic and getting on guys he's supposed to get on. He's growing every week."


On the chances of him wearing a tie Sunday as 49ers coach Mike Nolan does for games:

"Very little, unless Mr. Rooney asks me (to). I'd prefer to be in a sweatsuit."


I like the idea of keeping Willie busy, but I don't like the idea of him getting 400 carries.  Hopefully the other guys will be able to step up and take some of the load.  I'd like to see FWP around 20-22 carries per game, ending up somewhere in the 340-350 range for the season, plus maybe 40 receptions.





 
 
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otismalibu
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 19, 2007 at 11:30 »

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Hopefully the other guys will be able to step up and take some of the load.


We can't forget our #2 guy.




 
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 19, 2007 at 11:32 »

IIRC, Football Outsiders put 370 as the numerical upper threshhold for HB carries per season before they start breaking down.  My thoughts, when I read this, on the HeelsSoxSteelers blog:

Quote
I'm familiar with the 370 stat. I also know that from 2001-06, we've averaged 529 rush plays per season (51.23% of all offensive plays). Looking at our most successful seasons over that stretch, though (2001, 2004, 2005) yields an average of 582 rush plays per season (57.52% of overall).

I'm not advocating that we lock in on a certain percentage of run to pass. But it's evident that our better, dominating teams were able to close out games with strong running in the second halves, at the very least.

The answer? Run FWP hard in the first halves, and spell him well in the second. My observation has been that in these games where we build substantial leads, we might be wise to start pulling both Ben and FWP earlier, and to spell FWP earlier in the second half.

If we run FWP to the max, 370, that would mean limiting him to 21 rush plays per game from here on out. If we target a 57% rush mix (theoretically), that would be 616 rushes total for the Steelers, 370 by FWP, and 246 by others. In other words, 16 rushes by other backs from here on out. Again, not hard targets, but I would develop a rushing strategy based on that.

Even if FWP gets the lion's share in 1Q and 2Q action, and maybe splits the 3Q and part of the 4Q, 16 rushes by other backs gives us a lot of leeway while keeping FWP fresh.

Davenport has looked, well, bulkier in a good way these past two games, bulling his way for some yards. I'd probably spell FWP mostly with Dookie based on that, but if we're activating Davis, why not alternate the two as FB and HB? Or run Davis as HB out of a single back set? Lastly, I don't know if it's feasible to activate Russell, but I for one would love to see what this kid has, especially as the year grinds on.

Consider these "other back" mixes early in the season:

Davenport - 8
Davis - 4
Others (Ben, WRs) - 3

And then middle season, with Davis and Dook alternating more:

Davenport - 7
Davis - 6
Others - 3

Finally, getting Russell into the act:

Davenport - 4
Davis - 2
Russell - 7
Others - 3

JMO on a feasible rotation to rest FWP, get some other backs into the mix, and see what we have in Russell. Knowing Tomlin, he's got far more extensive notes on RB mixes than this, though.
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Hercules50
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 19, 2007 at 12:09 »

A side note, for what it's worth: at least 1/3 of Willie's carries (unofficial count, may be even more) wind up with him bouncing outside, and the run ending with Parker upright, out of bounds.

So 370 Willie Parker carries are different than 370 Larry Johnson carries.

Could definitely be that, with two of our backup RBs being rookies, Tomlin will distribute carries to them after they've practiced a bit.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 19, 2007 at 12:13 »

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A side note, for what it's worth: at least 1/3 of Willie's carries (unofficial count, may be even more) wind up with him bouncing outside, and the run ending with Parker upright, out of bounds.

So 370 Willie Parker carries are different than 370 Larry Johnson carries.

Could definitely be that, with two of our backup RBs being rookies, Tomlin will distribute carries to them after they've practiced a bit.
Good point.  
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msdmnr2002
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 19, 2007 at 13:25 »

Good breakdown on the carries per back.

Also good note that FWP isn't getting hit like Larry Johnson.  Earl Campbell, Eddie George also come to mind.  
 
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 19, 2007 at 13:47 »

Also, is it my imagination, or from the second half of the Browns game on has Davenport looked more Bettis-like?  Thicker, hitting harder, getting the yards, breaking tackles, great second efforts?

1) Yes, LOC, I know.
2) No, the Bus he ain't, I know.

But still...
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aj_law
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 19, 2007 at 16:07 »

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Also, is it my imagination, or from the second half of the Browns game on has Davenport looked more Bettis-like?  Thicker, hitting harder, getting the yards, breaking tackles, great second efforts?

1) Yes, LOC, I know.
2) No, the Bus he ain't, I know.

But still...

 
Maybe.
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Hercules50
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 19, 2007 at 16:23 »

I just hope that Davenport can play productively earlier than during garbage time.

Remember: his impressive runs have occurred in games in which the opponent's defense had been on the field for a damn long time. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

That's different than having a dependable #2 RB who can spell Willie on, say, the third series of the game, and keep the offense chugging.

Can Davenport do that? I hope so. We're eventually going to play close games, games in which we'll need Willie productive in the fourth quarter.  And that will be easier to accomplish if Davenport can come in and carry 3 to 5 times, productively, in the FIRST half.  
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 19, 2007 at 17:36 »

True, 44 got his against Ds spread out & worn down.  But I saw that kind of running from him last year... well, never.

Anyone else thinking that the Ward hit on Holly was retribution?  IIRC, Winslow not too much before that leveled someone... forget who... not necessarily dirty, but just getting a lick in.  My thought at the time was that Ward was the enforcer on the field, saying You can't do that shit to our boys...
 
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