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BlackGold4vr
07-28-2008, 01:01 AM
Steelers' first-round draft pick Rashard Mendenhall met with the Pittsburgh media at the opening of training camp Sunday. Here's what the rookie running back had to say:

RASHARD MENDENHALL
Q: How much have they talked to you about contributing to the offense? And how much do you expect to contribute?

A: Being picked high you expect to contribute, but thatís what training camp is for, to get in here and start to learn my role and play into my role. As training camp goes on, Iíll start to feel what thatís going to be.

Q: How important was it for you to get the contract signed?

A: Itís real important. You donít want any distractions, and you donít want to be a distraction as well. To have that squared away and not have to worry about it, I can come here and do what Iím supposed to do.

Q: How important is it for you to get your pads on?

A: Iím looking forward to it, all up until getting hit. Thatís never fun. But just to get out here and put on the helmet and shoulder pads and play football.

Q: You havenít shown anybody your power aspect yet. Are you eager to do that?

A: Yeah, but just all aspects of the game. Being in full pads is not the same as being in shorts. You want to be able to show you can play and block as well.

Q: How much have you returned kicks and are you comfortable?

A: I did it all through high school and was real comfortable doing that. As soon as I got back there in OTAs I felt real comfortable doing it.

Q: Ready for the run test today?

A: Definitely. Iíve been doing a lot of running back at home, so Iíll be ready for it.

Q: Coach said your playing time will depend on how you pick up the offense. How comfortable with it are you?

A: I donít think thatíd be too much of a problem. Itís a huge playbook but we went over a lot of it at OTAs. They installed day by day and Iíve been doing pretty well with it up until this point. I was pretty confident of it toward the middle-end of OTAs, so I feel pretty good about the playbook.

Q: How can a backfield with both you and Willie Parker in it work out?

A: I think that would work out real well. I think it would be great to be there with him, a Pro Bowl caliber running back. I think itíd be great. Heís been nothing but great, so I look forward to it.

Q: What has Willie passed on to you?

A: Since Iíve been here heís been nothing but professional. He tries to help me as much as he can in wherever I need it. He shows me things he thinks I should know as far as how to carry myself as a professional on and off the field.

Q: Whatís your approach to power running? How do you set people up and how do you get through them? How do you run through people?

A: To tell you the truth, I donít consider myself strictly a power runner. The way I run is all based off reaction. Whatever I feel like is right at the time, thatís what I do. A lot of times when youíre in a box all you can do is go through somebody. It depends on the situation. If itís between you and somebody else, you donít want it to be you so you explode into him.

Q: Is it just want to?

A: Yeah. Itís a lot of different things, but itís all reaction at the end of the day.

Q: What do you expect from the fans and media?

A: Iíve been hearing thereíll be a lot of fans. Iím kind of looking forward to it. They say itís kind of crazy, come the first couple days and throughout camp. Itís going to be tough as well, being training camp, football 24-7. Itís going to be rough. Thereís no shade out there. That doesnít help anything. This is football. Thatís what youíre here for.

Q: Spend any of that money yet?

A: A little bit. Not too much.

Q: How do you think the actual speed of the game will compare to what you perceive the speed of the game, as far as being different?

A: Once you jump from college to the NFL and OTAs, it picks up. When you put on pads it picks up again. They say the preseason picks up, then the season picks up. Itís a steady increase.

Q: What are your expectations?

A: I plan on having success. Iím not exactly sure how many yards, but in my role.


This guy is going to give the Steelers running game the power dimension that we have been missing. The O-line will still need to play better but having a back that can break tackles will result in converting more of those 3rd and shorts. That will equal more points and better clock management with this years offense. Can't wait to watch it unfold! :helmet:

STEEL CITY TANK
07-28-2008, 05:47 AM
I'm so eager for the season to start!!!!!!!!! :cope:

PsychoWard
07-28-2008, 09:53 AM
very good read!! can't wait to go to training camp to see him in action!

steelcityrockers
07-28-2008, 12:36 PM
Everyone keeps saying that he is a Power runner, he isn't just that. If you go back and watch some games he has excellent vision and cutback ability as well as some very nice moves in the open field.

steelcitysfinestXL
07-28-2008, 12:48 PM
Everyone keeps saying that he is a Power runner, he isn't just that. If you go back and watch some games he has excellent vision and cutback ability as well as some very nice moves in the open field.

:plus1:after the first OTA they interviewed Arians (i believe) and asked him what he thought about Mendenhall. His reply included the statement... "You hardly loose any speed switching from Willie to Rashard!" Yes he does run with authority but the thing that his college coaches said best about him was a comparison to a Gail Sayers (spelling) or LT tpye of back!!! Great vision to make cuts and accelerate very quickly. I think its a lil interesting too how willing he is to give the return game a try!!!

BlackGold4vr
07-28-2008, 12:55 PM
Everyone keeps saying that he is a Power runner, he isn't just that. If you go back and watch some games he has excellent vision and cutback ability as well as some very nice moves in the open field.


I think that we all realize that he is NOT a one dimensional RB. But you can hardly contain the excitement that he does possess a power element to his game that we have been lacking. Willie Parker has not shown with consistency the ability to gain the 3rd and 1's and 2's up the middle. When Jerome Bettis was wearing the black&gold that was his turf. Since Jerome left we haven't really had a back that you could call a "mudder" someone who gets the tough yards. I am happy that Rashard also possesses the ability to cut back or break outside and outrun people, but I am most excited that he can run with power inside and break tackles when he needs to.

Do you remember what Bill Cowhers record was going into the 4th quarter with a lead? He had that record because the Steelers had a power running game that allowed the team to control the clock and finish out games by keeping the ball away from the other teams. That is what our team has been lacking, the ability to run when people are expecting you to run. I think Rashard can help bring some of that back. :tt02:

steelcitysfinestXL
07-28-2008, 01:08 PM
Im just thinking back to the days when we had to very capaple 1000 yard rbs on the team.
JB/Duece (even though he never worked out)- we were 15-1 with a loss @home in the AFCC
Willie/JB- SBXL CHAMPS
VS.
Willie/Dookie- 8-8
Willie/Dookie- 10-6 1st round playoff loss

TampaSteelGirl
07-28-2008, 02:12 PM
i'm so excited for this season to start and he's one of the reasons. I can't wait!!! :tt02:

abejota88
07-28-2008, 10:38 PM
This backfield will kick asses... i love FWP running... but now i`m not so scared to loose him to an injury.... come on... his got this kid who seems that will be a great player, Moore, and Russel backing him up.

SteelerSteve
07-28-2008, 11:43 PM
Imagine how bad *** it will be for him to show up and have an Adrian Peterson type impact? lol I dont know how it will all unfold, but with willie and Mendenhall in the back field teams will have to worry about our running game, and then we hit em with the play action and BAM! TD :lol:

steelcitysfinestXL
07-29-2008, 12:41 PM
Imagine how bad *** it will be for him to show up and have an Adrian Peterson type impact? lol I dont know how it will all unfold, but with willie and Mendenhall in the back field teams will have to worry about our running game, and then we hit em with the play action and BAM! TD :lol:
True that!! I also think that very fact is the reason our o line is gonna be ok. Ben isnt a "manage the game QB". He is a Weapon almost to the caliber of Peyton and Brady. Combined that with Ward,Holmes,Miller a healthy Willie being spelled by Mende and MeMo our Oline should be bailed out by some serious talent at theall skill positions. If we were a "one-trick pony" who depended solely on the run or pass, then we may have been in trouble behind this line!

SteelerSteve
07-29-2008, 07:44 PM
True that!! I also think that very fact is the reason our o line is gonna be ok. Ben isnt a "manage the game QB". He is a Weapon almost to the caliber of Peyton and Brady. Combined that with Ward,Holmes,Miller a healthy Willie being spelled by Mende and MeMo our Oline should be bailed out by some serious talent at theall skill positions. If we were a "one-trick pony" who depended solely on the run or pass, then we may have been in trouble behind this line!
At least he's not a "manager" qb by bengal fans definitions, He's an awesome game manager who gets first downs when we need them. More or less like a Brady type game manager than a Dilfer game manager, I dont really know how to explain it so I'll just go ahead and say it, Ben is an elite QB that gives us the chance to win any game, even behind a ****** line :lol: