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View Full Version : Mendenhall seeks second chance



Blazedby92
10-02-2009, 03:29 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4525049


PITTSBURGH -- The running back was confused about his assignments and didn't appear to know his playbook, so he found himself on the bench. No carries, no yardage, no recognition.

Happens all the time in Pop Warner football, and high school ball, too. College football? Not so often. The NFL? C'mon, you've got to be kidding.

Rashard Mendenhall is the embarrassed exception.

One week after tearing off a 39-yard run against Chicago that demonstrated some of the ability that caused the Pittsburgh Steelers to make him a first-round draft pick last year, he didn't carry once against Cincinnati.



You learn in the NFL that the minor things are major, so you have to stay on top of everything. I just look forward to getting an opportunity to get to play and show the fans and my teammates what I can do.


-- Rashard Mendenhall

Coach Mike Tomlin denied him the ball, effectively saying that if Mendenhall played like he practiced, he didn't want to see what might happen in a game that counted.

Now, with Pittsburgh (1-2) facing a pivotal game Sunday against the San Diego Chargers (2-1), the Steelers want to see if Mendenhall is getting the message before they give him the ball. Even if Willie Parker's big toe injury might leave them with no other option other than Mendenhall and third-down back Mewelde Moore.

"We're here now, that's in the past, it's another week," Mendenhall said.

What Mendenhall must be concerned about is whether the Steelers are willing to put his bad week into the past so quickly, since he has repeatedly disappointed them.

A year ago this week, he irritated them by bragging to a friend with Baltimore that he expected a big game against the Ravens. Baltimore's defense was motivated by the comments, and linebacker Ray Lewis put him out for the season with a fractured shoulder.

The Steelers didn't see much of Mendenhall after that as he only occasionally stopped by their practice complex during his rehabilitation. He said he spent some time going to museums and doing the things football players don't normally do during the season. Especially Steelers players, injured or not.

It didn't help when he had an ineffective training camp this summer, again failing to flash the strong cutting ability, durability and power he displayed in college at Illinois.

"It's a learning experience," Mendenhall said. "You learn in the NFL that the minor things are major, so you have to stay on top of everything. I just look forward to getting an opportunity to get to play and show the fans and my teammates what I can do."

The Steelers are waiting to see it, too. Parker, a three-time 1,200-yard runner, is unsigned past this season and the job was expected to go to Mendenhall if Parker didn't return.

Tomlin said that if a player such as Hines Ward is momentarily confused and doesn't run the correct pass route, a coach simply moves on. But that coach can't be as forgiving if a young player such as Mendenhall or wide receiver Limas Sweed makes such a mistake.

A week after Mendenhall was stuck to the bench except on special teams plays, Sweed may find himself there this week. Sweed dropped a pass in the end zone Sunday during the 23-20 loss in Cincinnati, much like he dropped what would have been a key reception during the AFC championship game against Baltimore in January.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Twice was enough for Tomlin, who hinted Sweed won't see the ball again until the Steelers are convinced he won't drop it.

Mendenhall's change for redemption may arrive a little sooner.

"Young guys ... have to make coaches comfortable with their ability to execute details of their assignment," Tomlin said. "They need to make the other guys in the huddle very comfortable with their ability to execute."

Interestingly, Parker tried to deflect some of the heat, saying he was so hard on Mendenhall last week it might have been distracting.

"That's probably the reason he was making the mistakes," Parker said. "Coach holds each and every one of us to a high standard and expects us all to perform like professionals in practice."

The Steelers need to see more in games, too. So far, Mendenhall has gained only 107 yards in seven games during his short career. This season, the normally reliable Steelers running game is 27th in the NFL.

"It's frustrating, you want to take advantage of opportunities," Mendenhall said. "You want to prove to the team and the organization what you can do and I wasn't able to do that last week, so I'm looking forward to this week."

JoeFlaccoSaysHi
10-02-2009, 03:39 PM
Mendenhall better grow up. No excuse for slacking off and not knowing the playbook.

LatrobePA
10-02-2009, 03:49 PM
Mendenhall better grow up. No excuse for slacking off and not knowing the playbook.

Yes sir....

DanRooney
10-02-2009, 03:57 PM
Better he doesn't know that god-awful playbook Arians shuffled together playing the Madden 06 demo.

LatrobePA
10-02-2009, 04:02 PM
Better he doesn't know that god-awful playbook Arians shuffled together playing the Madden 06 demo.

LOL, garbage!

scott0326
10-02-2009, 04:15 PM
Better he doesn't know that god-awful playbook Arians shuffled together playing the Madden 06 demo.

lol, Well played.


Mendenhall will certainly have a chance this week with Willie parker doubtful to play.

yinzer
10-02-2009, 06:06 PM
Willie isn't playing. I'm calling it. Mendy gets 100.

Big T
10-02-2009, 06:11 PM
For sure...Im really excited to see what Mendy can do if he gets the starting nod.

SteelerEyeZ
10-02-2009, 06:21 PM
My thoughts: Willie has def lost a step. I will say that the zone blocking is not helping by any means espically when he wants to bounce outside. But sometimes when I watch him i feel like he isnt even picking the right holes to bust through (def saw this against the bears). I know this might sound dumb but as an optmetry student i wanna say "how is your eye sight because your not seeing the right holes"

Mendy is def a more physcial (saying due to size not by what he has shown) back but sometimes he highsteps when he should just be flat out running. He looks like he would run over people by his physical nature but i hope against the lightingbugs he shows this.

75Steeler
10-02-2009, 09:59 PM
I think he knows now Tomlin isn't playing around and will bench his A** if need be. It is called professional football for a reason, professionals are supposed to be playing it. Maybe riding the pine taught him a lesson? I hope so.

:cope:

andyg1984
10-03-2009, 12:25 AM
i will just come out and say it .. the 2008 draft was a waste .. could have traded away every single pick and been just fine ...

scott0326
10-03-2009, 12:42 AM
i will just come out and say it .. the 2008 draft was a waste .. could have traded away every single pick and been just fine ...

I don't get how you can say its a waste all ready. Yeah Sweed has been bad. Mendenhall has been injured and now it seems isn't taking everything seriously. But I still have faith in them both and they could both still turn it around, especially Mendenhall.

andyg1984
10-03-2009, 01:14 AM
the timing of the value (if it ever comes) is what sucks and what we missed in the draft .. that was one of the best RB classes in recent memory and we lose an entire year of production from a guy we picked early (RM needs to outrush other backs in that class by a couple thousand yards over the remainder of his contract to break even) .. everyone talks about the potential sweed has .. don't get me wrong there have been times when I have been high on sweed, but are we seriously watching this guys 2006 you tube highlights and thinking that will translate soon? Bruce Davis and Tony Hills ... I need not elaborate ....

Sure, mendy may show up eventually.. but the reason he is getting numbers this week is because of FWP being injured .. Can he outrush Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Steve Slaton, Kevin Smith, Hightower or Tashard Choice ? All those guys were picked after him .. throw Owen Schmidt in there because he would beat up rashard and take his lunch $ ..

WR's who get 70 or so yards through 19 games and drop touchdown passes grow on trees .. he may have a problem with something that starts with a v, but it is not his vision ...

So, now the statement "the 2008 draft was a waste" does not sound so ridiculous .. if we were to have traded away for future picks I am 100% certain that we could have come away better in the short and long run .. maybe if cowher was still around we would not have a ****** run game too .. ouch I threw it in there .. 2007, timmons at 15 overall??... I want Beason's autograph !

scott0326
10-03-2009, 01:42 AM
the timing of the value (if it ever comes) is what sucks and what we missed in the draft .. that was one of the best RB classes in recent memory and we lose an entire year of production from a guy we picked early (RM needs to outrush other backs in that class by a couple thousand yards over the remainder of his contract to break even) .. everyone talks about the potential sweed has .. don't get me wrong there have been times when I have been high on sweed, but are we seriously watching this guys 2006 you tube highlights and thinking that will translate soon? Bruce Davis and Tony Hills ... I need not elaborate ....

Sure, mendy may show up eventually.. but the reason he is getting numbers this week is because of FWP being injured .. Can he outrush Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Steve Slaton, Kevin Smith, Hightower or Tashard Choice ? All those guys were picked after him .. throw Owen Schmidt in there because he would beat up rashard and take his lunch $ ..

WR's who get 70 or so yards through 19 games and drop touchdown passes grow on trees .. he may have a problem with something that starts with a v, but it is not his vision ...

So, now the statement "the 2008 draft was a waste" does not sound so ridiculous .. if we were to have traded away for future picks I am 100% certain that we could have come away better in the short and long run .. maybe if cowher was still around we would not have a ****** run game too .. ouch I threw it in there .. 2007, timmons at 15 overall??... I want Beason's autograph !

Well I can agree with you there, we clearly could of gotten a better player, but at the time, Mendenhall looked like a solid pick. However, at the time, I was actually hoping we would get Ray Rice and it pains me to seem having a solid year with the Ratbirds..

But my points are.
1. Mendenhall and Sweed looked like good picks at the time, I think its crazy to say we could of traded the picks for other future picks. Neither the Steelers nor the fans knew Sweed and Mendenhall would provide so little in this first year+.

2. I'm not saying we couldn't of drafted someone better, but this is what we have and I still think they have a shot to turn it around. Mendenhall I think has a chance to prove himself this sunday if FWP is out. I'm not saying if he has a good game all will be forgiven or anything, but this could be a big step forward for him. Because of that, Im not ready to consider this

Oh and about Beason/Timmons. Beason has clearly been the better player so far and I would most definitely trade Timmons for him, but its hard to argue against that draft. Timmons and Woodley are two major parts of this defense. Oh and we also got Supelveda in that draft and although he is a punter, he's been solid when healthy for sure. So basically, it would be nice to have Beason over Timmons, but I have no complaints from the 07 draft.

Captcoolhand
10-03-2009, 09:30 AM
Mendenhall seeks second chance

Dude! You've been off for nearly a year with the playbook! :wtf:

Playing ball or not, there's no reason you shouldn't know that book front to back, inside and out. If you think riding the pine 1 week is a wake up call you're a sad excuse for a Pro player in the NFL.

Someone should have thrown out your Xbox last year, made you pull out that playbook for the Steelers from all those walkthrough magazines for Madden, then knocked some sense into you that this is your career and not just another game in life.

andyg1984
10-03-2009, 09:31 AM
the '08 RB class was so deep and EVERYONE KNEW IT.. there was no need to use a high pick on a one year guy who played in a spread offense .. i was hoping we would snag either Chris Johnson, Matt Forte or Kevin Smith because I went to UCF and watched these guys play in CUSA for so long and knew they were studs (also why I wanted us to get Joe Burnett this year) .. the sweed pick I will agree with you - at the time it did not make much sense to pass on him, but that does not discredit the hypothetical of what we could have had ...

As for 07, timmons was obviously a reach (another one year starter) .. Patrick f^in Willis was taken a few spots earlier and Beason was after ... Going into that draft I wanted Beason and bet $ that we were going to trade back to get him and scoop Ryan Kalil with the extra pick we would pick up ... i was obviously upset that i lost the bet, but even more disappointed that I have to watch both those guys play at such a high level ...

Now, I understand that Colbert is involved making the decisions, but we won the super bowl with BC's team and until further notice Tomlin cannot evaluate talent like Cowher can imo

yinzer
10-03-2009, 09:43 AM
My thoughts: Willie has def lost a step. I will say that the zone blocking is not helping by any means espically when he wants to bounce outside. But sometimes when I watch him i feel like he isnt even picking the right holes to bust through (def saw this against the bears). I know this might sound dumb but as an optmetry student i wanna say "how is your eye sight because your not seeing the right holes"

Mendy is def a more physcial (saying due to size not by what he has shown) back but sometimes he highsteps when he should just be flat out running. He looks like he would run over people by his physical nature but i hope against the lightingbugs he shows this.

go back and re-watch the tits and cubs games. we man-blocked the majority of those games. arians can only work with the "talent" he has. you can't polish a turd (O LINE) no matter how good the polish is.

andyg1984
10-03-2009, 11:26 AM
Dude! You've been off for nearly a year with the playbook! :wtf:

Playing ball or not, there's no reason you shouldn't know that book front to back, inside and out. If you think riding the pine 1 week is a wake up call you're a sad excuse for a Pro player in the NFL.

Someone should have thrown out your Xbox last year, made you pull out that playbook for the Steelers from all those walkthrough magazines for Madden, then knocked some sense into you that this is your career and not just another game in life.

yeah, that is what has me fired up about mendenhall .. it is not a talent thing