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Paul Zimmerman
September 05, 1994
Jim Parker led the charge at tackle and guard for the John Unitas—led Colts
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September 05, 1994

Total Package

Jim Parker led the charge at tackle and guard for the John Unitas—led Colts

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"I developed my own techniques, too. I'd get my hands up quickly, to grab or steer the guy, just like they do now, and then get them down quickly, so the ref couldn't see. I made sure I never set the same way twice, never gave the guy the same look. I watch guys now, and they'll get beat, and instead of figuring, O.K., I've got to give him a different look now, a different technique, they'll do the exact same thing and get beaten exactly the same way. I see linemen tipping off run or pass by the weight on their hands. That's one thing you never want to do."

How about the modern era speed rushers: Bruce Smith of the Buffalo Bills, with that lightning quick inside move; Derrick Thomas of the Kansas City Chiefs, coming around the corner in high gear; former Giant Lawrence Taylor, setting you up with speed and then bull-rushing you into the cheap seats? How would Jim Parker do against those folks?

"Bruce Smith?" he says. "I'd take away one of his options by narrowing my split. Make him go only one way, and then make him earn every inch. Thomas? Well, what we did to speed demons was to beat them into the ground with running plays, take some of the zip out of them. As for Taylor, he'd present real problems.

"I've watched him a lot through the years, trying to find fault with him. But I couldn't, and do you know why? What I saw there was a student, a player who spent a lot of time learning his job. I saw the obvious effort that he put into it. He was smart. He didn't do the same thing every time. He'd make you study.

"What's interesting about defensive ends now is that they look smaller. Then you see on the program that they weigh 280 or something. I guess it's all that weight training that makes them look sleek. But in my day a big guy looked like a big guy."

He looked like Jim Parker.

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