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View Full Version : Will Mendenhall take Parkers starting spot?



STEEL CITY TANK
07-20-2008, 03:22 AM
Locally people keep trying to start a running back uproar with the question. Will Mendenhall take Parkers starting spot? Willie Parker is my favorite Steeler on offense, so I hope it'll grow into a 1-2 punch with Parker at the 1 spot. Give me your thoughts on the question and what you think.:cope:

Koopa
07-20-2008, 03:29 AM
i think within the next two years he will.......... willie is a one trick pony, and pretty worthless when it comes down the stretch, he has no vision, no power, or pretty much anything...... he's fast and that's it........ we need a dude that has a nose for the endzone and will power his way to it with some speed, i think mendenhall is that guy.......

willie is the perfect back up though..........

SteelerDan43
07-20-2008, 10:12 AM
I doubt Mendenhall takes his spot any time soon, unless Willie really loses something from the broken leg you just dont replace the leagues leading rusher with a rookie or even a second or third year guy. Maybe once Willie hits 30 and his speed starts to go away then Mendenhall will become the full starter, but right now I dont see him being more than a heavily used 2 for the next few years

K Train
07-20-2008, 01:44 PM
were not replacing ladainian tomlinson though

if he doesnt take the starting job in 1 or 2 years we shoould be greatly disappointed in our first round pick

Koopa
07-20-2008, 01:46 PM
i hate when ppl call willie the league leading rusher, teh dude lead by like 5 yards on 50 more carries then any one else in the league

SteelerSteve
07-20-2008, 01:55 PM
were not replacing ladainian tomlinson though

if he doesnt take the starting job in 1 or 2 years we shoould be greatly disappointed in our first round pick
:plus1: I couldn't have said it better myself. Why do you think we spent our no.1 pick on him? to ride the bench? No, he will probably spend time being a compliment to Parker for the first part of the season, and eventually replace willie as the full time starter by the end of this year or the start of next season.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-20-2008, 02:12 PM
were not replacing ladainian tomlinson though

if he doesnt take the starting job in 1 or 2 years we shoould be greatly disappointed in our first round pick

That's a good point and a very good problem to have. One on hand we have an undrafted free agent who comes in off the street and makes the team, ends up learning behind one of the best ever in Bettis, sets a SB record for the longest run, and consequently takes the starting job the following season. Parker is a cinderella story worthy of any fans adoration but he still has things to learn and we need him to be consistent for the whole year week in and week out. I like Willie and I'm a big fan of what he brings to the team; I have all the faith in the world in his ability to produce.

On the other hand you spend your 1st round pick on a RB and you want him to come in and learn his craft quickly and elevate his game to the next level. I think if he shows up and puts on a show right from the start it's going to be hard to keep him off the field. He and Willie will be that 1-2 punch we need and both of them will get their chances every week. It's going to be a blessing for us to have 2 top notch RB's available in the stretch run of the regular season and in the playoffs.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-20-2008, 02:28 PM
Like others have touched on in this thread...You don't spend a first round pick on a player to ride the bench unless its a QB......Some first round QBs ride the bench.........I do know Larry Johnson did ride the bench at first with the Chiefs and he was a first round pick.....But the Chiefs also had a great OL and Priest Holmes who was playing at a very high level.....But you just can't keep a RB as talented as Rashard Mendenhall on the bench for long.....I'm also fine with Parker as the starter since I do think his work load will be reduced and Mendenhall will have his share of carries...If the Steelers have a Fred Taylor/Maurice Jones-Drew situation this year with Parker/Mendenhall then I'm fine with it....But I do expect Rashard to start in 2009....Wouldn't be shocked if it happened late this season also...

SteelerDan43
07-20-2008, 03:45 PM
In my opinion Mendenhall will be Joseph Addai, better off as a tandem than as a feature back. I think we took Mendenhall to be an excellent part of a tandem, not a feature guy hence why I thought it was a good pick. But to push Willie aside this season is a little far fetched in my mind. Willie still finished 4th in the league in yards, not exactly ground meat compared to havent played a down fillet mignon Mendenhall

Black@Gold Forever32
07-20-2008, 04:48 PM
In my opinion Mendenhall will be Joseph Addai, better off as a tandem than as a feature back. I think we took Mendenhall to be an excellent part of a tandem, not a feature guy hence why I thought it was a good pick. But to push Willie aside this season is a little far fetched in my mind. Willie still finished 4th in the league in yards, not exactly ground meat compared to havent played a down fillet mignon Mendenhall

Who is pushing Parker aside?........Even when Mendenhall becomes the starter there will still be a role for Willie Parker....You need two RBs these days.....Parker will still have a role with the team.....But he can't have another 300 carry season...He isn't built for that....He has done a nice job carrying the load but I rather limited his carries and keep his big play ability fresh....Mendenhall could be a featured back no problem but I see no need to kill him either....There is room for both backs this year and in the next couple of years....

I just expect a first round pick to start by next year....I wouldn't be shocked if Mendenhall starts by late season....Thats not pushing Parker aside.......Thats just having faith and expecting a first round pick to produce.....I'm still a Parker fan...He is still one of my favorite players...But I don't want to see he him get worn down.....

Stlrs4Life
07-20-2008, 05:32 PM
What Steelerdan said.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-20-2008, 10:16 PM
The Steelers saw an opportunity to get a young stud legitimate back to compliment Willie and that's what they got. None of us could have thought that he'd fall to us in the 1st round but he did and the front office jumped on it. We all knew that Willie couldn't do it alone, really no lone RB can do it in the league; everybody has help. there's just too many injuries and things that can happen for a legit contender to not have another option to carry the ball. Mendenhall will get his chances to make plays and Im sure he'll do a great job and we'll be a better team for having them both.

Koopa
07-21-2008, 01:48 AM
willie is a ****ing bum and only gets love cause the jersey has, don't look at where he finished in yards, it took him almost 50 more carries then anyone just to get there....... actually watch how he plays, he gets hit he goes back a yard, he can't find holes, sure the oline sucks, but pro bowl running backs are supposed to make the oline better by finding **** that ain't there, and willie has never been able to do that and he never will....... everytime we are not playing the browns willie shows why he went undrafted and didn't get playing time in a ****** college

we finally have a legit running back in mendenhall who produced on the biggest stage his team could get too against a legit defense, sure they lost, but the dude ran all over usc, he's gonna be a badass for us, and willie will be his perfect complement after this season

K Train
07-21-2008, 01:52 AM
he thrashed USC if i remember right... and they had a great defense last year, a very fast defense....im sure he cant wait to make keith rivers and the rest of the bengals defense look like a bunch of retards.

and willie cant use the oline as an excuse because they can run block

Troyisabeast_43
07-21-2008, 07:19 PM
One thing I like hearing is Mendenhall has not fumbled in three years of college ball, according to this ESPN page. I realize he really only carried the ball this past year on a regular basis, but I think that it's very impressive to not have a fumble in over 200 carries.

Iron City South
07-21-2008, 07:34 PM
Parker will be very good at giving Mendenhall a break now and then.

yinzer
07-22-2008, 09:27 AM
all i gotta say is, we'll all be buying mendenhall jerseys half way through the season.

strong D
07-22-2008, 08:12 PM
he thrashed USC if i remember right... and they had a great defense last year, a very fast defense....im sure he cant wait to make keith rivers and the rest of the bengals defense look like a bunch of retards.

and willie cant use the oline as an excuse because they can run block

:plus1: yes he did

LarryNJ
07-23-2008, 06:56 PM
If there's one position that a rookie can come in and start and be a star it's RB. I think he'll be the starter sooner than later. I'd say by the game after the bye.

steelcitysfinestXL
07-23-2008, 08:04 PM
WOW, i'll be different and go with the guy who's bandwagon ALL YINZ are jumping off! Im not gonna sit here and say Willie is the best back in the league. But he is a top tier back. If Mendenhall ends up being so much better than Parker that he unseats him this season, we're gonna have a LT/AP/LJ/Steven Jackson type back(Ill be fine with that)... cause IMO Parker is just a notch below those guys. But dont sit here and say dudes a bum when he ran for 1000+ yards in his first seasons as a starter. He has a SuperBowl and 2 Probowls under his belt in 3 season as a starter... yeah he had a down year last year. He still was a top tier back!!! I cant wait til he blows **** up this year and all yinz hop ack on the FWP bandwagon!!!

SteelerDan43
07-23-2008, 08:15 PM
It amazes me how you guys are ready to just throw Willie to the scrap heap because we have a "new toy"...

Black@Gold Forever32
07-23-2008, 10:01 PM
WOW, i'll be different and go with the guy who's bandwagon ALL YINZ are jumping off! Im not gonna sit here and say Willie is the best back in the league. But he is a top tier back. If Mendenhall ends up being so much better than Parker that he unseats him this season, we're gonna have a LT/AP/LJ/Steven Jackson type back(Ill be fine with that)... cause IMO Parker is just a notch below those guys. But dont sit here and say dudes a bum when he ran for 1000+ yards in his first seasons as a starter. He has a SuperBowl and 2 Probowls under his belt in 3 season as a starter... yeah he had a down year last year. He still was a top tier back!!! I cant wait til he blows shiat up this year and all yinz hop ack on the FWP bandwagon!!!

Hey bro there is only a couple people bashing Willie here...One of them is Koopa, and he hates everybody....:lol: I'm still a Parker fan and I'm fine with him starting since Mendenhall will lighten Parker's load this year......Its just my opinion that Rashard will start sooner rather then later....You don't draft a player in the first round to ride the bench for long.....I think 2009 we will see Rashard as the starting RB....But I won't be shocked if it happens late this season....especially if Mendenhall proves to be the better player....

I would say Willie has a case for being in the top 10 RBs in the NFL.....After his 06 season....I thought he was in the top 5...But that might have been Parker's career year....Maybe not?

But as an undrafted player to accomplish the things Willie has accomplished says alot and I will always be his fan...Plus I think he has a ton of heart and I enjoy the way he plays the game.....I just think Rashard will prove to be the better player.....Its not so much a knock on Willie but having a ton of faith in Mendenhall's talent....

SteelerSteve
07-24-2008, 04:45 PM
To put it simply, Parker has a speed advantage over Mendenhall, but thats it. Mendenhall WILL be our starting running back sometime this season.

steelcityrockers
07-24-2008, 05:32 PM
Parker
Pros:
Tremendous speed and acceleration
Runs hard for someone his size
Cons:
Has size limitations
Cannot move a pile effectively
Poor vision; fails to find the hole at times and will dance around
No moves
Below-Average receiving ability
Poor route runner
Not a good Pass-Blocker

SteelerSteve
07-24-2008, 10:37 PM
Parker
Pros:
Tremendous speed and acceleration
Runs hard for someone his size
Cons:
Has size limitations
Cannot move a pile effectively
Poor vision; fails to find the hole at times and will dance around
No moves
Below-Average receiving ability
Poor route runner
Not a good Pass-Blocker Thank you, and Mendenhall is a pretty quick guy himself. Plus he's over 220 pounds so size isn't much of a factor there and is just an overall more talented running back than parker.

STEEL CITY TANK
07-24-2008, 11:06 PM
Tomlin said today on Sports Beat that Mendenhall has to come in and do his part to earn up to be even considered a starter.

steelcityrockers
07-25-2008, 03:45 PM
Well, yeah no ****. He would have to earn it. He does have much more talent than Parker though, and he SHOULD parlay that into a starting gig soon.

SportsTalkCentral
07-25-2008, 08:46 PM
Locally people keep trying to start a running back uproar with the question. Will Mendenhall take Parkers starting spot? Willie Parker is my favorite Steeler on offense, so I hope it'll grow into a 1-2 punch with Parker at the 1 spot. Give me your thoughts on the question and what you think.:cope:

I think it'll be Willie Park that will maintain the starting role for the 2008 season. Parker is a very good power runner and also has the ability to get out in the open field and make some noise. Rashard Mendenhall won't do much power running and has most of his sucess getting out in the open field and using his speed. If Mendenhall ever gets a little bigger and stronger, I think he could definitely overtake Parker's starting role as Parker ages.

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He would have to earn it. He does have much more talent than Parker though, and he SHOULD parlay that into a starting gig soon.
Definitely. IMO, Rashard Mendenhall has more god-given talent than Willie Parker but Parker works much harder at improving his game. If and when Mendenhall obtains the lust to be better and gets the work ethic of Parker, I think Mendenhall could be a future Pro Bowler easily and maybe someday a Hall of Famer.

STEEL CITY TANK
07-25-2008, 11:58 PM
I think it'll be Willie Park that will maintain the starting role for the 2008 season. Parker is a very good power runner and also has the ability to get out in the open field and make some noise. Rashard Mendenhall won't do much power running and has most of his sucess getting out in the open field and using his speed. If Mendenhall ever gets a little bigger and stronger, I think he could definitely overtake Parker's starting role as Parker ages.

You got it wrong, Willie is not a power runner, yeah he's a fast runner but he doesn't break many tackles nor does he move the pile but he's a high caliber running back. Mendenhall is WAY more of a power runner, I see Mendenhall turning into Fred Taylor.

JensK
07-26-2008, 07:27 AM
You all seem to forget a thing. willie got this little thing called experiance, which will be much needed in this season. You want all the experiance you can get when you have the hardest schedule in the league. Mendelhall will prolly take willies starting spot within a year or two, but for now, i don't see why we shouldnt keep willie as our starter. At least keep it a little like the jaguars. Their rb system seem to work fairly well (>.>)

SteelD43
07-26-2008, 10:34 PM
one-two punch for atleast two seasons...then Mendenhall takes over.

steelcityrockers
07-27-2008, 09:47 AM
Why two seasons? If Mendenhall shows something and they could get good value, I would trade Willie.

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You got it wrong, Willie is not a power runner, yeah he's a fast runner but he doesn't break many tackles nor does he move the pile but he's a high caliber running back. Mendenhall is WAY more of a power runner, I see Mendenhall turning into Fred Taylor.

Willie is a Power Runner. I can say that because he runs very hard and I have never seen him use any speed moves.

SteelersfaninPhilly
07-27-2008, 10:45 AM
If the O-line crumbles. It will not matter who the starter is.

abejota88
07-27-2008, 03:37 PM
Maybe i am a bit naive.... but.... who cares who´s gonna be the starter?.... they will both be playing... they will both get a bunch of snaps...hell even Moore and Russell may be getting some snaps...

We got ourselves two great HBs this year and we should get the best of them both this year... honestly i coulcn`t care less about who gets the starting position, i just want to see them both on the field this year and work their asses off for the team.

I`m even looking forward to see some of that pony backfield...

I am guessing, if Mendenhall proves to be the player we all expect hiom to be, and if FWP has fully recovered, they will both show up to be THE most feared backfield on NFL.

BlitzburghRockCity
08-04-2008, 10:36 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08217/901721-66.stm?cmpid=HBEHTML

Monday, August 04, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana / Post-Gazette
Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is stopped short during the goal-line drills yesterday at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.

The first week of his first NFL training camp ended with a thud for Rashard Mendenhall.

The glitzy, high-profile rookie, the first running back drafted in the first round by the Steelers in 19 years, received his welcome-to-the-NFL moment yesterday afternoon before family and friends.

There were several moments, actually. The first two came when the first-team Steelers defense stuffed Mendenhall on the initial live goal-line drill of training camp, with the offense snapping the ball just inside the 2. The third came when he was stopped short again on the seventh and final play.

And the last, before the team was given the rest of the night off on Family Day, came when coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media on the field shortly after the defense held the offense out of the end zone on five of seven plays.

"He better run harder than he ran today at the goal line," Tomlin said of Mendenhall.

Mere rookie mistakes?

"They better be," Tomlin quickly snapped back. "I'm sure they were. He has to run harder, not over-analyze, understand what that drill's about, it's about hitting downhill, and hopefully next time out he'll be better."

One goal-line drill does not a career make and Mendenhall, who scored a University of Illinois record 17 touchdowns last season to go with his record 1,681 yards rushing, will get many more chances.

"It was a learning experience," Mendenhall said afterward. "I think I was more concerned with running the play instead of getting into the end zone. I was trying to read the blocks and get in there, but there's so much going on and coming so fast you just have to get in there.

"Everybody out here's a beast, they're so athletic and everybody's a competitor."

Topped by the team's Pro Bowl linebacker and team MVP.

"Just look at James Harrison," Mendenhall said, his eyes opening wider. "I don't think you find too many college guys looking like that!"

Mendenhall will get another chance, Tomlin said, when he stages another goal-line drill this week, when "we'll probably spin the dial a little bit" with some other candidates. Among those will be Willie Parker and maybe even fullback Carey Davis.

The Steelers keep searching for a short-yardage power back. They have not had one since Jerome Bettis played that role in 2004 and 2005, when he scored a combined 22 touchdowns in those two regular seasons.

They tried Najeh Davenport last year without success mostly because he was 6 feet 1 and ran more upright and thus was more easily found and brought down by the defense. Parker also has been tried but not embraced by the staff.

"I'm looking forward to it," Parker said of his chance to run at the goal line this week. "I only had two touchdowns last year, so I really have to take heed of my opportunity there."

One back who may be perfect for the job is Gary Russell. He made the team as an undrafted rookie last season and was barely used in 2007. But he seems to know what he's doing near the goal line. He scored once on two tries yesterday, albeit against the second-team defense.

"He doesn't over-analyze, man," Tomlin said. "He gets his pads down and he finishes downhill. That's one of his distinguishing characteristics; he has value in that regard."

Russell (5-11, 215) won't concede the short-yardage job to the glamour rookie back.

He did reveal his secret for scoring from in-close, when the entire defense is packed in to stop him.

"Once you see a hole, you have to hit it," he said.

I watched most of those goal line drills yesterday. He's definitely over thinking right now but that's to be expected from someone just coming into the league and trying to learn the plays and find his way in the league. He'll get more comfortable and by the time camp is over he'll be hitting the line with more authority. It just takes some getting used too; and Im sure some "encouragement" from Tomlin won't hurt either...LOL

25MVPKing
08-04-2008, 01:52 PM
"Just look at James Harrison," Mendenhall said, his eyes opening wider. "I don't think you find too many college guys looking like that!"

Best line of the article. lmao.

I don't think he'll take the top spot this year, but I hope to see a lot of Mendenhall. It would be nice to have a nice 1-2 with FWP as the Rhodes/Addai of 2 years ago. Of course FWP is much better than Dominic Rhodes and Mendenhall has more potential than Addai (and that's saying a lot), so you never know. I'll just happily take 2 1,000-yard rushers. Course that doesn't leave much yardage for Holmes & Ward, but that's life I guess.

steelcitysfinestXL
08-04-2008, 01:52 PM
I watched most of those goal line drills yesterday. He's definitely over thinking right now but that's to be expected from someone just coming into the league and trying to learn the plays and find his way in the league. He'll get more comfortable and by the time camp is over he'll be hitting the line with more authority. It just takes some getting used too; and Im sure some "encouragement" from Tomlin won't hurt either...LOL

Being publically called out by your new coach better be encouragement enough for this man! I know he isnt a typical power runner. But to this point i think willie and Gary should be doing the goaline stuff until rashard can grasp the concept of goaline drill! To me this is a bit disappointing, i dont care how early in camp it is!

K Train
08-04-2008, 03:23 PM
disappointing? are you kidding? we have a ****ing incredible front seven and even ike got in on an tackle and hes not only one of the best corners in run support hes THE best corner for run support...if your disappointed your underestimating how good our defense is

steelcitysfinestXL
08-04-2008, 03:39 PM
Not underestimating by any means K. Im fully aware of what are d is capable of. Point being, we need to be able to get these third and shorts/ goallines in the converted. Its a good thing our o gets to line up against a elite D though out camp. Im disappointed the first team couldnt get one out of four tries. Thats kinda sad no matter who you play. We're talking about inside the 2 yard line. That shouldnt happen IMO!

25MVPKing
08-04-2008, 04:15 PM
we have a ****ing incredible front seven

Well said; that was certainly one of my thoughts with regards to the backs' inability to get in.

I just hope it speaks more to our D, than to our OL needing work.

K Train
08-04-2008, 04:21 PM
our oline can run block...thats not really an issue

SteelerSteve
08-04-2008, 05:43 PM
Thats always been our biggest strength. Teams cant run against us period! Its very rare to see a RB have a great game against us. Mendenhall is no exception

steelcityrockers
08-04-2008, 06:12 PM
our oline can run block...thats not really an issue

They can, but they do not always get a push. I remember many, many times last year where there was no movement and Willie got swallowed in the back field. Whether that stems from Willie's deficiencies or not, the line did not help.

SteelerSteve
08-04-2008, 06:19 PM
In my view as long as the Steelers offense scores consistently and they get good blocking, Recievers get open, RB's play well and defense shut teams down we have a real chance to be special. :greengrin: Dont ask me why I made this post but I've been up for the past 30 hrs.

Black@Gold Forever32
08-04-2008, 07:01 PM
One drill is far to early to have any concerns...This isn't the first time I read in Steelers camp that the first team offense couldn't punch it in during the goal line drill...It happened in years past even when Jerome was on the team....Rashard will be fine...Can't wait to see him play and if he doesn't punch it in for six against the Eagles...I still won't be worried....

terrible.towel43
08-04-2008, 07:01 PM
Mendy wont become first string this season. Next season though at some point I think that is definately possible.

GoBenGo
08-05-2008, 10:53 AM
i like the kid...i like the energy and excitement his acquisition gives us...a talented heir-apparent...
...a much needed push for fwp...fwp is a good back and can still grow,imho,..but currently he lacks that low range four wheel drive...