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Thread: Parker already taking Mendenhall under his wing

          
   
   
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    Parker already taking Mendenhall under his wing

    Parker already taking Mendenhall under his wing
    Friday, May 2, 2008
    By Teresa Varley
    Steelers.com

    The Steelers introduced number one draft pick Rashard Mendenhall to the media on Friday, the first day of the teams mini-camp.

    But well before the press conference Willie Parker met Mendenhall and he is looking forward to him joining the Steelers backfield.

    Hes going to come in here and make me better and Ill make him better, said Parker. Im going to take him under my wing like anybody else. Hes a good running back and I hope for the best.

    Hes going to push me and hes going to save me for the carries in the games. Either or, you pick it or choose it, its for the best.



    Mendenhall spoke shortly after leaving the field after the teams first practice of mini-camp. For him it was a learning experience, one made much easier thanks to Parker and the rest of the running backs.



    You are thinking and there are nerves and you have butterflies, thinking how am I going to pan out, said Mendenhall. To be out there and to be making cuts and catching the ball, I am starting to feel comfortable. This is what I do, to be out there and to be able to do it feels good.



    I was kind of nervous coming in, but the running back room and Willie have been nothing but professional since Ive been here just trying to help me as much as they can. The better I do, the better they are going to do and we are going to be as a team.



    Parker had the benefit of learning from Jerome Bettis when he came to the Steelers and now its his turn to become a mentor to a younger player.



    Ive been in the league a little bit, so I definitely can teach him, said Parker. Thats what Ive been doing. I embraced him as soon as he came in, trying to teach him the ropes and stuff.



    And what kind of lessons is Parker passing along to the young back?



    How to be a professional, said Mendenhall. He has been here for a few years. He is showing me how to work, what to do, how to carry yourself as a professional and as a man.



    Mendenhall is likely to get carries this season to give Parker a break, but there could be times when both of them are on the field at the same time.



    You need weapons and if you have the weapons then it makes sense to use both of the running backs at the same time, said Mendenhall. I think that would be cool to be out there with Willie at the same time.


    Its the first day of practice so as camp goes on I will begin to find my role and whether that is playing a lot or playing a little bit more of special teams, its just how things happen. Whatever they ask me to do, I am going to do. Like I said, the better he does the better I do and I am going to do whatever to make the team better. www.steelers.com

    ~ Man i can't wait to see these 2 in the same backfield! Is it Sept. Yet?

    "He's running around there, running his mouth, doing all that, but if you watch him on film and really look, where was Ray Lewis? He was nowhere to be found. I could have tackled the water boy and had as many tackles as him. He didn't do nothing today. He's all mouth. When you talk like that, that's what happens: You get hit in the mouth. He's over there crying now, thinking about what went wrong. You got your *** whipped, that's what." ~ Peazy

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    I saw Brian Baldinger at the Steelers mini camp on NFLN--he was doing an "insider" piece on us earlier tonight. He talked to Rashard, Willie, Hines, showed the weight room, etc. They all seemed to be gettin along just great! The whole thing didn't last long, but I enjoyed it

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    Just shows how professional Willie is. He's got to know Rashard will be the feature back and do it better then he did. No knock on FWP but Rashard comes out of college with more upside then he did. Can't wait to see our back field and entire offense in action this year.


    If you dont stand behind our troops.....Please feel free to stand in front of them!!!


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    when i read this last night, willie earned a lot of respect from me (not that my respect counts for anything lol), but he's being badass about this, hines bitched when we drafted holmes and reid saying he wasn't going to go out of his way to teach them, mainly cause he felt threatened, but willie here is going to mendenhall and teaching him......... i love it lol
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    Not taking anything away from Willie, but you are seeing the Bettis effect here. Good for Willie for passing on the same he received.

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    Chairman of the Board Iron City South's Avatar
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    You can already hear the fear in Parker's voice. He knows this guy will supplant him for the starting role in no time and Parker will be the one playing the role of "apprentice' and spelling Mendenhall.
    "The most interesting man on SA ... stay thirsty my friends"


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    Quote Originally Posted by ejsteeler View Post
    Not taking anything away from Willie, but you are seeing the Bettis effect here. Good for Willie for passing on the same he received.
    Parker's career will be a better one regardless of how he finally ends up when it's all said and done; because Bettis was there for the first 2 years to teach and mentor him. This is going to be a great year for the Steeler offense. With all the weapons Ben has now and the 2 headed monster in the backfield this could be a Steeler offense for the ages if everyone stays healthy and things work out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron City South View Post
    You can already hear the fear in Parker's voice. He knows this guy will supplant him for the starting role in no time and Parker will be the one playing the role of "apprentice' and spelling Mendenhall.
    Im sorry to say it, but i call BS.

    Mendenhall may, or may not be better than parker, but he needs a one thing which he can't get from being good.. Experiance. Everything is harder in NFL, and Mendenhall have never ever tryed it before. You certain, that at least the two first seasons, Mendenhall will be learning ALOT from parker, just like parker did from Bettis.
    However much you think you know about football, rest assured that Skip Bayless knows more!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron City South View Post
    You can already hear the fear in Parker's voice. He knows this guy will supplant him for the starting role in no time and Parker will be the one playing the role of "apprentice' and spelling Mendenhall.


    Whatever. They will complement each other.



    More on Willie and Rashad:

    Parker 'surprised' sharing spot as Steelers open minicamp
    May 2, 2008
    CBSSports.com wire reports


    PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers can't afford to have the wheels come off Willie Parker again.

    NFL teams rarely devote a first-round draft pick to a position of strength, but that is exactly what the Steelers did by choosing Rashard Mendenhall of Illinois with the No. 23 pick last weekend.

    Suddenly, Willie Parker -- the NFL's leading rusher until breaking his right leg on Dec. 20 -- finds himself competing for every carry and every snap. The Steelers didn't draft Mendenhall to sit him, and that means Parker must share a ball that rarely wound up in any other Pittsburgh back's hands last season.

    Parker and Mendenhall were on the field together for the first time Friday during the Steelers' mandatory three-day minicamp, and the Steelers' Pro Bowl running back acknowledged it was a bit of an adjustment sharing a position.

    "I mean, I was a little surprised" when Mendenhall was drafted, Parker said.

    Still, Parker said the move "might add some years to my career" and could prevent another late-season fade by the Steelers, who lost four of their final five last season.

    The Steelers had almost no running game during their 31-29 wild-card playoff loss to Jacksonville, a situation that likely wouldn't have occurred if they had possessed a second capable running back.

    Coach Mike Tomlin joked he planned to run Parker "until the wheels came off" and, when they did, the Steelers were one and done in the playoffs. Tomlin and director of football operations Kevin Colbert cited that in their decision to draft Mendenhall, who ran for 1,681 yards and 17 touchdowns at Illinois last season.

    "Yeah, I understand," Parker said. "They felt like we didn't have no running backs when I went out. ... Now, let's go get better, man. I'm not trying to be average, I want to be the best and whatever makes me better, I'm all for it."

    Parker, who wasn't drafted in 2004 yet has rushed for at least 1,202 yards in all three NFL seasons he has started, has had quite a workload for a player who got few carries in college at North Carolina.

    He carried 337 times in 2006 and 321 last season, despite missing most of the final two games -- the fourth and fifth most single-season attempts, respectively, in franchise history.

    With Mendenhall around, Parker probably won't get nearly as many carries, which might reduce his yardage, yet keep him fresher during a demanding season that includes games against the Jaguars, Giants, Colts, Patriots, Chargers, Cowboys and Browns.

    "You're going to feel it ... when you touch the ball like I did last year," Parker said. "My body took a toll last year."

    And not just because of the broken leg, which he said is fully healed.

    Mendenhall, who was presented with a Steelers No. 1 jersey during a photo opportunity Friday but will wear No. 34, said Parker welcomed him immediately. It is somewhat like the situation in 2004, when established star Jerome Bettis helped then-rookie Parker get through his first season.

    "Just how to be a professional," Mendenhall said when asked what Parker has shown him so far. "He's been here for a few years. How to work, what to do, how to carry yourself as a professional and as a man."

    Not that the 20-year-old Mendenhall ever felt like he wouldn't fit in, despite falling to the Steelers after being projected in many of the countless mock drafts to go in the middle of the first round.

    "I have a lot of confidence in myself," Mendenhall said. "I'm supposed to come in here and produce. That is what I am planning on doing."

    Or what he couldn't do at Illinois, at least not early in his career. He went there to play alongside brother and fellow running back Walter Mendenhall, yet was a part-time player until he became the Big Ten offensive player of the year last season.

    Mendenhall is disappointed that, since he left school, his older brother was effectively told he wasn't wanted back at Illinois and will transfer to Illinois State as a fifth-year senior.

    "Yeah, it upset me but, to tell you the truth, the way things were there, it didn't surprise me too much," Rashard Mendenhall said. "They were just never in our favor there."
    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service
    Last edited by Stlrs4Life; 05-03-2008 at 04:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIESELMAN View Post
    Just shows how professional Willie is. He's got to know Rashard will be the feature back and do it better then he did. No knock on FWP but Rashard comes out of college with more upside then he did. Can't wait to see our back field and entire offense in action this year.


    FWP is a stand-up and unselfish kinda guy,,,,,,Hell that's what this TEAM is all about and that's how you win championships,Man I love this team

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