Judge likes what he sees at Steelers camp

CBS Sportsline columnist Clark Judge has some interesting observations about the Steelers today, starting with the fact that they’re deeper at wide receiver than most people think. Apparently, the additions of Cedrick Wilson, Nate Washington and rookie Fred Gibson give Ben Roethlisberger a lot more targets than usual.

Judge also says something I’ve been saying for weeks…

Keep your eyes on running back Willie Parker. You can’t miss him. He’s the fastest guy in the backfield and one of the most electrifying performers to come through here in years. You might remember him from last year’s regular-season finale when he left the bench to rush for 102 yards against Buffalo — including a 58-yard sprint, the Steelers’ longest run since 1997. When coach Bill Cowher last week was asked if he’d found a niche for Parker, he looked at his questioner in disbelief. “Have I found a niche?” he said. “Hand him the ball.” Look for Parker to be involved — heavily involved — in the team’s third-down packages.

I’m already imagining the Steelers’ single-wing package with Big Ben in the shotgun, flanked by Parker and Antwaan Randle El. Most Steelers fans envision Roethlisberger handing off to Randle El, who shuffle passes to Parker for a big gain. On the other hand, it could be a direct hike to Parker, or even a reverse to Cedrick Wilson, who is “very fast, very quick, an excellent route runner and he has great hands,” according to offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.

The Steelers generally like to pound the ball and run the clock. Perhaps this year, they should open up the offense and let the defense take care of the pounding…

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