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Willie Parker will get his chance to make an impression Friday

Lost amid the headline-stealing names such as Donovan McNabb, Albert Haynesworth and Mike Shanahan this season is running back Willie Parker.

"Everything I hear, 'Willie Parker is in the back,' 'he's the backburner,' he's this, he's that," Parker said Tuesday in the locker room. "What you all don't know: That just motivates me. ... I've been in situations before, and I always come out on top. Not saying I'm going to come out on top here, but I'm definitely gonna give it a fight. And I'm ready for any challenge and every challenge that's in my way."

Parker is the next back up. As coaches try to figure out their running game for the regular season, Clinton Portis got the start against the Buffalo, Larry Johnson had his shot last week versus Baltimore, and Parker will try to impress coaches Friday at the New York Jets. He has had just one touch thus far in the preseason and knows that a lot hinges on what he can make of his opportunity Friday.

"I'm definitely excited to go out and show everybody what I can do," Parker said. "I guess I'm the running back, the so-called running back, that's been counted out. So I'm definitely ready."

Though the Redskins focused more on their passing game against the Ravens, Johnson struggled in his opportunity last Saturday, gaining just four yards on eight carries. Parker, who lost a yard in his lone carry last week, knows he has a lot riding on one game, but he's trying not to let the pressure get to him.


"I just look at is, it's my time," said the 29-year-old running back, who signed with the Redskins as a free agent in the offseason. "My time to go out there and show what I can do."

Circumstances aren't necessarily ideal. While Portis drew one of the league's worst defenses, Johnson had a tough order with Baltimore's defense, and Parker has an even bigger challenge. The Jets had the league's top-ranked overall defense last year - they were No. 8 against the run - and their starters will be especially hungry in the third preseason game.

"I know, kind of tough, right?" Parker said. "But at the same time, they put on their pants just like we put on our pants."

Parker has a lot to do to impress coaches. He's historically been regarded as a poor pass-blocker, and coaches will be watching that as much as his carries Friday. He acknowledged that his pass blocking "always can get better."

"That's one thing I always pride myself: getting better at my weakness, my weak points," he said. "So therefore, by the first game, hopefully I'll be all right."

League observers feel like Portis is the best fit for the Redskins' blocking scheme, and he obviously had success running behind in Denver. Parker said he also likes what he sees in front of him.

"I love this scheme," he said. "After the first level, our offensive linemen kind of cut their defensive linemen. So you're on the second level before you even start running. Hopefully we can go ahead and perfect our scheme."

Parker, entering his seventh season, hasn't hit 1,000 yards in a season since 2007. He hasn't topped 100 yards in a game since 2008. He knows expectations aren't especially high, and he's eager to show he still has some juice left.

"I feel like I'm a rookie all over again. I love it," he said. "Every day I wake up, I just love coming to practice and going out and work on my craft. Now it's time to go put it on the field."

By Rick Maese  |  August 24, 2010; 12:43 PM ET
Categories:  Running backs , Willie Parker  
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Next: Mike Sellers hopes to play Friday against Jets

Comments

Slow your roll Mease

Posted by: Diesel44 | August 24, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

If the Bucs would trade Clayton, Ward, and a late rounder for Albert I'd do it right now and be thrilled.

also does "he reminds me of my range" mean that same range that overruns plays, can't cover a double move, and gets burnt once a week LL? I hope not....

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 24, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 24, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Let's go Tar Heel!!

Posted by: learnedhand1 | August 24, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

hopefully he makes a better impression than LJ... if not then we're in big trouble.

Posted by: rachel216 | August 24, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

yeah the tar heel that wont even claim to be tar heel

Posted by: swalker5 | August 24, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

If the Bucs would trade Clayton, Ward, and a late rounder for Albert I'd do it right now and be thrilled.

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 24, 2010 12:49 PM


Co-sign. Getting ANYTHING for AH is a win in my book. Anyone holding out hope that we'll get a 1st or 2nd rounder for this guy is fooling themselves. Get rid of of him for whatever you can get...it's the only way.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Hope he makes an impression too, but it will have to a BIG one if he has a chance to make the team. Already the younger Torain and Williams have fit in very well with this offense. Both are good instinctive runners and do a nice job catching passes out of the backfield. An uphill and, at this point, an almost insurmountable task for and LJ and Parker. But we'll see Friday night, that's why they play the game.

Posted by: bones21 | August 24, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Ok so we want moore back for sept 12th right???

But idk.....

Do we want him back if he's not 100%??

I want him back there to make plays but not if he's gonna be a liability

Thoughts????

As far as the RBs go, I say work portis for his final yr with us, keep torain, williams, if they want a fourth look for someone cut from another team

Next yr we add FA playmakers at WR n LB

We draft ol, then dl, then wr/rb

(I gave us a third rnd choice because I think we will trade someone before the deadline)

Posted by: brandon_in_cali | August 24, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

He's understandably bitter about his experience there but he's still a Tar Heel whether he claims it or not.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | August 24, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

What we want, we can't have.

We Want 21.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | August 24, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: brandon_in_cali | August 24, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I hope they hold Moore out until they are sure he's 100%. And when he's back, he shouldn't be playing on the special teams coverage units! Why is the "emerging young star" at safety as they've been talking about all offseason out there on a preseason fake punt anyway? We finally had a starting tandem at safety that was looking good for the first time since ST21 and now he's out 4-6 weeks.

IMO its gonna be CP, Torrain, Williams, for sure, if Parker or LJ have a good week over the next two one will make it, if neither do they'll grab a guy off waivers....

but who exactly will they trade to anyone before the deadline for a 3rd rounder?????

Nobody is gonna give that for Albert after this summer and we don't exactly have a lot of other trade-able commodities.

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 24, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

If the Bucs would trade Clayton, Ward, and a late rounder for Albert I'd do it right now and be thrilled.

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 24, 2010 12:49 PM


Co-sign. Getting ANYTHING for AH is a win in my book. Anyone holding out hope that we'll get a 1st or 2nd rounder for this guy is fooling themselves. Get rid of of him for whatever you can get...it's the only way.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 1:01 PM
------------------------------------------
What we need is a few 4-3 teams to lose their star defensive tackles and then maybe we'll find someone who is desperate enough to make a play for Haynesworth. Today, I just don't see anyone desperate enough. I don't ever want to see a player get hurt, but if it benefits the Redskins, then maybe I'll feel better about it...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that after this weekend we won't feel compelled to call him "Fast Willie", but then again, I said Larry Johnson was going to have a big game last weekend... (cue the snickers)

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting how many people view this Haynesworth situation.

For years, the Skins have been a running joke of how they allow players to create their own rules with no accountability. On this blog, people have ripped the team for it's "coaches" or lack thereof....

Now...we have a proven coach, a proven General Manager and a team of 79 players who have bought into this system. Here's a coach who is simply asking a player to give his best after paying him 21 million dollars. I would have disagreed with Shanahan on the conditioning test if Haynesworth were in shape last year, but he couldn't stay on the field.

Now...some "just want it to be over". What do you want Shanahan to do? Let him play and practice when he wants a la Clinto Portis and Joe Gibbs?

I have absolutely no problem with what Shanahan is doing. Isn't this what many of ya'll wanted?

Posted by: rickyroge | August 24, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

If I were the Skins I would take any pick I could get for him...BUT DO NOT CUT HIM OUTRIGHT!!!!

Posted by: rickyroge | August 24, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Parker never had knee issues unless I'm mistaken. He had a toe injury of some sort. No reason to think he's slow. As far as I'm concerned I hope he does good. I want the best guys no matter who they are or what they did or didn't do in the past. The best guys as of today.

Posted by: FedorEm | August 24, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I see hayny n rogers as tradeable.

I'm. Thinking they will be traded when a team suffers injury.

I still think the 3 team deal with jackson n hayny could happen

Posted by: brandon_in_cali | August 24, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Of the three, Portis, Johnson, and Parker, I think that Parker has the most desire to get into daylight and make something of it.

When watching a runner break in the open, some have a flare that will cause the fans in the stadium to immediately get outa' their seats.

I think Parker has that gift and that desire. Is it still there??? If it is we will know for sure this Friday night.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Trading Rogers, when we are thin at FS and don't have a proven 2nd CB is a terrible idea.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting how many people view this Haynesworth situation.

For years, the Skins have been a running joke of how they allow players to create their own rules with no accountability. On this blog, people have ripped the team for it's "coaches" or lack thereof....

Now...we have a proven coach, a proven General Manager and a team of 79 players who have bought into this system. Here's a coach who is simply asking a player to give his best after paying him 21 million dollars. I would have disagreed with Shanahan on the conditioning test if Haynesworth were in shape last year, but he couldn't stay on the field.

Now...some "just want it to be over". What do you want Shanahan to do? Let him play and practice when he wants a la Clinto Portis and Joe Gibbs?

I have absolutely no problem with what Shanahan is doing. Isn't this what many of ya'll wanted?

Posted by: rickyroge | August 24, 2010 1:18 PM

You might be missing the point. No one is saying that Albert should get a free ride. Check my last post about the prevailing professional opinion about Big Al and Shanny.

Shanny is right and he has won and has made his point clear. Big Al understands and knows what he must do to get the starting role back.

The thing is that it appears that Shanny isn't letting it go and is rubbing it in a bit instead of focusing on getting Big Al into the starting role come Redskin/Dallas day.

As one commentator said, this isn't college ball, this is a business, winning means everything, and you have to put/get your best players on the field.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I see hayny n rogers as tradeable.

I'm. Thinking they will be traded when a team suffers injury.

I still think the 3 team deal with jackson n hayny could happen

Posted by: brandon_in_cali | August 24, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Rogers???? we need him as we don't really have another starting caliber CB anyway, plus all reports are that the coaches love him and he loves the new regime. IMO, he's not going anywhere.....and IMO at this point after all the crap, Albert isn't worth anything more than a player and a late round pick, nobody is going to give a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd for him now.

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 24, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"Fast Willie"?
That was 5 years ago.

Quick - name ONE Ex-Steeler the past 10 years to do better after leaving there.

No one replaces guys better than they do. LB left and went to Miami, and got paid, and they replaced him with Harrison who should have been SB MVP for his 100 yard int for TD.

They replaced Randle El, for less $, with the actual SB MVP Holmes.

When they add others guys, it's Ryan Clark. When we add their ex's, it's 60 yr old Willie or not quite the same Randle-El.

Dan, stop adding ex Steelers.

We also like ex Cowboys like Calvin Hill, Jean Fugette, Deion, Norv, James Washington, Alvin Harper, Suisham, Scott Galbreath. None have done anything but come to DC and lose.

Posted by: morrisday1 | August 24, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"Fast Willie"?
That was 5 years ago.

Quick - name ONE Ex-Steeler the past 10 years to do better after leaving there.

No one replaces guys better than they do. LB left and went to Miami, and got paid, and they replaced him with Harrison who should have been SB MVP for his 100 yard int for TD.

They replaced Randle El, for less $, with the actual SB MVP Holmes.

When they add others guys, it's Ryan Clark. When we add their ex's, it's 60 yr old Willie or not quite the same Randle-El.

Dan, stop adding ex Steelers.

We also like ex Cowboys like Calvin Hill, Jean Fugette, Deion, Norv, James Washington, Alvin Harper, Suisham, Scott Galbreath. None have done anything but come to DC and lose.

Posted by: morrisday1 | August 24, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I heard Adam Schefter saying a while back that the Seahawks could very well do a sign and trade. By signing V. Jackson, trading him to us for Haynsworth and a pick, then the seahawks send picks to the Chargers. I wouldn't mind that happening. Also, the Logan Minkins deal in New England sounds like something we should think about also. If we can't get V. Jackson, I think we go and sure up our Right Gaurd spot by adding Logan.

Posted by: roccoskins | August 24, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Albert isn't worth anything more than a player and a late round pick, nobody is going to give a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd for him now.

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 24, 2010 1:39 PM

Except that the experts, no matter who they are say that Albert Haynesworth can help make this defense great. No body questions the fact that this guy can flat out play.

I think that Albert knows that he is still one of the best in the League and it is also why he stands his ground and he is as hardheaded as Shanny is.

So, we have paid Albert and he as of right now, since being in training camp has bought into the program. He isn't fighting it. When he says he should not be playing 3rd string, that's true, but he knows he has to do it in order to get back to first string.

What is Albert worth??? Get his arse in football shape to be ready for them dang Cowboys and we all will see what he is worth.

Nobody likes what Albert did. But we should not let our feelings get in the way of getting this guy back to starting/game shape and cause us to lessen his value because we are still pissed at him.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

We also like ex Cowboys like Calvin Hill, Jean Fugette, Deion, Norv, James Washington, Alvin Harper, Suisham, Scott Galbreath. None have done anything but come to DC and lose.

Posted by: morrisday1 | August 24, 2010 1:56 PM

Actually, the Skins got three good years out of Jean Fugett, including a Pro Bowl appearance in 1977.

And as I mentioned awhile back, George "Holding Number 74" Starke was originally a Cowboy.

The others were a waste, though.

Posted by: NosferatusCoffin | August 24, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

nosferatus, you just proved my point. That while Jean Fugett was here making one pro bowl in 1977, Dallas was playing in 2 Super Bowls and winning one in 1977.

Thus as I said, ex Stelers and ex Cowboys in Dc yielded what? Nothing

Posted by: morrisday1 | August 24, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that concerns me is that the Buffalo D isn't nearly as good as Baltimore or the Jets. These guy are gettign judged on performances that aren't comperable. Though LJ can't block, so he's probably gone.

Posted by: Redskinrex | August 24, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Morris,

They already had Bille Joe DuPree who was just emerging into a Pro Bowler, so that is the main reason Allen traded for Fugett. Seems to me the Skins got a decent value for Fugett, all things considered.

Anyway, in 1977 the Skins were old, hurt and bankrupt of draft choices. Not to mention, the 1977 Cowboys were probably the greatest Dallas team. Certainly Landry's best team.

Posted by: NosferatusCoffin | August 24, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Until we see some better blocking from the o-line, only impressions that Parker will be making are indentations on the turf of the new stadium. Just hope nobody chalk marks the silhouettes.

Posted by: Vic1 | August 24, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

NosferatusCoffin
Agreed

Posted by: morrisday1 | August 24, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Honestly Johnson is a great back despite his poor shwoing against Baltimore. I lived in KC for 8 yrs and watched him fill priest holmes shoes the second he was hurt after puttin up incredible numbers the yr before. He's a great downhill runner they called too many off tackle runs for him and TW was getting burned alive by suggs. He runs well between the tackles easily getting 4 to 5 ypc. Our problem is we cut our fast RBs and have 4 north and south guys. Marcus Mason flies and we cut him. He's a great change up to do sweeps and pitch outsand flat plays. We have no burners.

The Titans were successful with a burner and a downhill guy. We won a superbowl with Byner AND Ricky Irvings as an outside threat. Without a fast back teams will stack the box knoing if we get to the edge the safeties will track us down after 30 yds max. On a bright note the Cgirls Oline are dropping like flies and Dez will have no preseason games between now and the opener to work out Rookie jitter. HAIL!!

Posted by: DGreen28BestEver | August 24, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone really believe that Parker is on this roster come the first game? I can't see it.

Posted by: RCBJr | August 25, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"Fast Willie"?
That was 5 years ago.

Quick - name ONE Ex-Steeler the past 10 years to do better after leaving there.

No one replaces guys better than they do. LB left and went to Miami, and got paid, and they replaced him with Harrison who should have been SB MVP for his 100 yard int for TD.

They replaced Randle El, for less $, with the actual SB MVP Holmes.

When they add others guys, it's Ryan Clark. When we add their ex's, it's 60 yr old Willie or not quite the same Randle-El.

Dan, stop adding ex Steelers.

We also like ex Cowboys like Calvin Hill, Jean Fugette, Deion, Norv, James Washington, Alvin Harper, Suisham, Scott Galbreath. None have done anything but come to DC and lose.

Posted by: morrisday1 | August 24, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse


UHHH Morrisday1: What about Mike Vrabel? He left to go become the anchor of the New England Defense....

Posted by: AlexPKeaton | August 25, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"Fast Willie"?
That was 5 years ago.

Quick - name ONE Ex-Steeler the past 10 years to do better after leaving there.

No one replaces guys better than they do. LB left and went to Miami, and got paid, and they replaced him with Harrison who should have been SB MVP for his 100 yard int for TD.

They replaced Randle El, for less $, with the actual SB MVP Holmes.

When they add others guys, it's Ryan Clark. When we add their ex's, it's 60 yr old Willie or not quite the same Randle-El.

Dan, stop adding ex Steelers.

We also like ex Cowboys like Calvin Hill, Jean Fugette, Deion, Norv, James Washington, Alvin Harper, Suisham, Scott Galbreath. None have done anything but come to DC and lose.

Posted by: morrisday1 | August 24, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse


UHHH Morrisday1: What about Mike Vrabel? He left to go become the anchor of the New England Defense....

Posted by: AlexPKeaton | August 25, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

How about a running back with a few less miles? You know, like the other 31 teams have?

Posted by: jburnetti | August 26, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

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