View Full Version : Mendenhall Holding on tight...*Update* and still fumbling

08-26-2008, 11:48 AM

By Teresa Varley
Running back Rashard Mendenhall is learning what could be a costly lesson this week.

After fumbling twice against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday night, his teammates are making sure that the rookie gets plenty of practice holding on tight to the ball.

Mendenhall has to carry a football around with him all week, with the only time he is allowed to put it down being when he is eating lunch.

If a teammate knocks the ball out of his hands, Mendenhall has to pay them $100. If they knock it out, get the ball and return it to the running backs meeting room then its $500 Mendenhall has to pay out.

“It’s what I was told to do so I have to carry it out,” said Mendenhall. “If they knock it down I have to pay them. If they knock it down and get it from me and take it to Willie (Parker) it’s a real problem. I have to pay a lot.”

http://io2.steelers.com/MediaContent/2008/08/25/10/08_Mendenhall_FumbleSign_94132.jpgHines Ward and Willie Parker are the ones who came up with the idea and got things rolling Monday, including writing the rules on the white board in the locker room (photo on left) and giving Mendenhall a football with his name written on it.

“We are trying to keep turnovers down so any extra motivation,” said Ward. “I was watching a program the other day and the running back had a fumbling problem and they made him walk around on campus. I thought what better way to give guys incentive and make him conscious of holding that ball to help him out. You don’t want to take away from his running ability and being so conscious that he is not worried about it. But at the same time when he is running, his style of running, you want to make sure he protects the ball. It’s really to benefit him and help him out as much as possible.”

As of lunchtime on Monday Mendenhall had the ball knocked free by defensive backs Tyrone Carter and Travis Williams.

“He has to hold on to the ball,” said running back Willie Parker. “A few people made him fumble already.

“It’s a team thing, just to let you know that the team cares about you. If you are hurting the team we want to console you. Right now we are consoling him in a different kind of way.”

Mendenhall fumbled in the first quarter against the Vikings and they recovered and six plays later Adrian Peterson scored on a one-yard run. He fumbled again in the fourth quarter with the Steelers driving and down 10-9, but the defense was able to stop the Vikings and put the ball back in the offense’s hands for a game-winning field goal drive.

“Peer pressure is the ultimate motivator,” said head coach Mike Tomlin. “The reality of it is he has to hold on to the football by whatever means that gets done. I saw him walking around the building holding on to the football. As long as he doesn’t fumble it he is fine.”

Mendenhall knows it’s not characteristic of him to fumble and realizes the mistakes that he has made and is working on correcting it.

“It’s frustrating for me to let everybody else down,” he said. “Me personally I know myself and I know what happened. I know what I have to work on. It’s a learning experience. I need to move forward.”

And for this week, he will be moving forward with a football in hand.

Its good to see this, hopefully he gets alot out of this lesson :yellowthumb: :greengrin: :helmet:

08-26-2008, 11:50 AM
:rofl: that is good...hope it helps!!!!

08-26-2008, 11:51 AM
I love it. What I love even more, is how the team is doing together, themselves. It shows a unity that can get us far. :yellowthumb:

08-26-2008, 11:54 AM
:clap: Great idea, I hope it works....
Someone should have done this with Parker last year. He had his moments too.

To bad that to these guys, $100 is like a $1. to you and me. :D

08-26-2008, 12:25 PM
I saw some excerpts from Tomlin's news conference and he was all for the idea, you could see that little evil smile coming across when he talked about it. Bottom line though, you can't have those types of things happen in a game, last year FWP had his share of fumbleitis and the last thing we need is 2 backs who can't hold onto the ball.

K Train
08-26-2008, 12:48 PM
i like the idea but i ****ing hate whos behind it, ward has had some costly fumbles over the years and willie....well i wont go there. next thing troy will teach someone a lesson the next time they get hurt and cry like a bitch for not training liek a pro athlete

08-26-2008, 01:23 PM
Whatever it takes... I personally feel something needs to be worked into everyone's contract that involves having a deduction should they turn the ball over :D

08-26-2008, 01:40 PM
I like the team unity and Parker and Hines stepping up in the leaadership roles and addressing it with the rookie. Its a very positive sign

08-26-2008, 01:47 PM
I dislike that its Ward who came up with the idea, but i love the whole concept. As someone said, the best thing is, that it was a team decision, and not a coach disicion. Shows that we have an actual "team" not just a bunch of people who'll do what the coach tell them too, and nothing else.

08-26-2008, 02:18 PM
I like that it's Ward. We have no perfect players and it is just this kind of veteran leadership that can propel a team.

08-26-2008, 02:33 PM
I love this idea. Teams should do it to all their players who have turnover problems. I hope it works and Rashard learns to hold on to the ball!!!!!!! But seriously, Willie could have used a little of this last year.

Silverback 92
08-26-2008, 02:51 PM
I dont care who came up with what as long as the result is good no more fumbles

08-26-2008, 04:09 PM
It came from the movie "The Program". The freshman running back kept fumbling so the coach made him carry it around campus.One of the best scenes is when he falls asleep in class and they knock the ball out, all the football players in the class go diving for it.classic.

08-26-2008, 04:15 PM
did you ever see the movie The Program? It's an early 90's movie. Omar Epps is the running back that has fumbleitis. ward got this idea from that movie.

08-26-2008, 04:50 PM
we should be thankful he fumbled now in preseason instead of during the regular season... He'll be better because of this, and hopefully it'll help him fumble less.

I was at training camp two weeks ago, Mendenhall looked good, big, strong, and quick. He's gonna be a force to reckon with.

08-26-2008, 05:30 PM
Hey if this doesn't work then up the amount to 1000.00 & 5000.00 ..that'll definitely make him think twice about fumbling. :reddevil:

08-27-2008, 01:13 PM
I love it. What I love even more, is how the team is doing together, themselves. It shows a unity that can get us far. :yellowthumb:

i agree! I love this!! Breaking in that rookie right!! :yellowthumb::clap:

Dean Denton
08-27-2008, 02:27 PM
I just miss Dick Hoak in a situation like this. This would be an easy fix for him. Lets hope this gets corrected right away.

08-28-2008, 09:12 PM
Mendenhall is having a good night but he just fumbled and man Tomlin was NOT happy. Guess that whole thing this week hasn't quite worked yet. Better start raising the price tag to 500.00.

08-28-2008, 09:17 PM
That was a very clever idea

08-28-2008, 09:37 PM
Didn't work!

08-28-2008, 09:46 PM
Looks like he's going to lose his rookie paycheck before his first year is up with all these fumbles!! I"m sure his arse is grass when this game is over! He's gotta hold on to the ball...this isn't college football!!!

08-28-2008, 09:55 PM
it's in his head now and that's not a good thing. He's back to running tentative and running up instead of lowering his shoulder like he was starting to do last week alittle more.

08-28-2008, 10:16 PM
He's got to get his confidence back but i'm sure he knows his butt is Tomlins after the game!!!:eek1:

08-28-2008, 10:51 PM
Those fumbles last week really got to his confidence. I was hoping this week was going to be different. He is a good running back, but he really needs to get the fumbling issues under control.

08-28-2008, 11:14 PM
Trade em!!

08-29-2008, 04:08 AM
Damn I hate being right....if he doesn't shake this ****, it looks like we have Tim Worley II on our hands.

I knew Willie was the better man.

K Train
08-29-2008, 05:00 AM
willie is a clown. mendenhall will be fine, we dont need to freak out

08-29-2008, 05:36 AM
willie is a clown. mendenhall will be fine, we dont need to freak out

Willie is a guy who had everything to prove and he did. Mendenhall is a guy coming in with all the expectations in the world, and I think it's gettig to his head, just like it did with Worley. If Willie is not one thing, its a headcase.

08-29-2008, 07:16 AM
Damn...I was hoping that was over..and that ball was never gonna come out again..but a week later :scratch: ....

08-29-2008, 08:05 AM
he fumbled again in the panthers game not good

08-29-2008, 09:27 AM
Coach T mentioned in his post-game news conference that it is growing pains of a Rookie RB, but will lose confidence in Mendenhall if he continue to lay the ball on the field. Hopefully those extra carries in the game helps get some of his confidence back, because he is a BEAST that will explode out of the backfield once he gets past this hick-up.

Also "The BUS" had a talk with Rashard during halftime, hopefully he gave him some good pointers :helmet: