steelerfan513 wrote:that is some good logic. however, much of this can be attributed to inexperience. you have to remember that this was his first year as the starting running back, and inexperience breeds inconsistency. go back to Ladanian Tomlinson and Shaun Alexander's first seasons of starting, and you will see the same thing. Both only had four 100 yard seasons in their first years as the full time starter. that doesnt mean that FWP will be better than them b/c he had 5, but it shows that even the best running backs in the NFL suffer from inconsistency in their first years. with that year of experience under his belt, he should gain some more consistency and be able to perform better against better defenses.
like mattb said, he has bulked up on muscle, making him not just a better short yardage back, but a better back overall. that combined with his year of starting under his belt should help him put up better overall stats and lose some of the inconsistency and lack of performance against better defenses.
I can agree that experience can certainly play a role in how consistent a player's skill is, there's a strong correlation between Shaun Alexander and LaDainian Tomlinson that isn't so with Willie Parker. The big one being the teams they started on.
The San Diego Chargers were a terrible team when Tomlinson joined them and still only won 5 games that year. Likewise, the Seahawks were terrible in 2001 when Shaun Alexander took over for Ricky Watters as the starting runningback. That team went 7-9.
Parker's Steelers went on--as we all know--to win the Superbowl and had a 11-5 season record.
I'm certainly *not* saying this is reason to bump Parker up on your draft cheatsheets, but let's temper the optimism some. He still shouldn't be valued much higher than he is right now.