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Oviedo
06-09-2009, 11:29 AM
This should be a good season for him. Many forget he was only 20 when drafted and now at 21 has a year under his belt. His best is ahead of him


It's all about comfort for Mendenhall
Monday, June 8, 2009
By Teresa Varley
Steelers.com

Practice in early June is a far cry from what is going to come about in September when the football season starts, but for Rashard Mendenhall it’s the perfect opportunity to prepare for what lies ahead.

Mendenhall is using each and every minute of the OTA’s to his full advantage to get back in the swing of things. He missed most of his rookie season after suffering a season-ending broken shoulder against the Baltimore Ravens in September and never had the opportunity to gain the experience he hoped for.

“It’s good to get back out here, get experience on field again and get comfortable going into camp,” said Mendenhall. “I am just trying to get the experience I missed last year, all of the different plays, running situations. You need that so when it happens in game time you have seen it before.”

From the time the Super Bowl ended Mendenhall has been preparing for the 2009 season. He didn’t wait for OTA’s, didn’t wait for his teammates to join in. He got right to work, both studying the playbook and working out at the team’s practice facility.

“You have that level of comfort so when you put on pads you are comfortable, you know the playbook,” said Mendenhall. “You don’t have to second guess anything. You can just play.”

And play is something he can’t wait to do. Mendenhall showed a few flashes early on, but that was it. His season was cut way too short and now he is making up for lost time and lack of repetitions.

“Being back out here and being more comfortable is what it’s about,” said Mendenhall. “Having been through a year you know what to expect and you are better at reacting.”

“Now you are not thinking as much. You are able to react and you are comfortable. You don’t second guess yourself. You are moving a lot quicker.”

There is one thing, though, that OTA’s can’t prepare him for. They are non-contact practices so until training camp rolls around his shoulder won’t get a true test as he won’t be hit until then. He knows though with each and every day he is getting closer to not even thinking about those hits.


“That’s a while from now,” said Mendenhall. “Up until then every day you try to get as good as you can. I have been in the weight room trying to work at it so when the time comes you don’t have to worry about it.”

phillyesq
06-09-2009, 12:06 PM
I'm a sucker for reading this offseason puff pieces. Nice to hear that he is working hard and has a good attitude.

stlrz d
06-09-2009, 12:11 PM
He was running well against the Ravens before he was injured. 9 for 30 may not seem like a lot, but that's averaging just over 3 yards a carry against a very tough run D.

Man I would love to see him get some revenge on Ray-Ray.

SteelHead
06-09-2009, 12:22 PM
If there is one part of our team I am most excited about , it's Mendenhall. I fully expect him to supplant Willie as the starter at some point during the season. His emergence along with at least minimal improvement in run blocking will be the single biggest factor in us repeating. Our D will be there , tough , nasty and just plain awesome. Ben will be Ben , doing what he needs to when he needs to. Add a rejuvenated running game into the mix and your looking at a very dynamic team. Imagine the possibilities if teams are actually concerned with our run game again.

Oviedo
06-09-2009, 12:32 PM
If there is one part of our team I am most excited about , it's Mendenhall. I fully expect him to supplant Willie as the starter at some point during the season. His emergence along with at least minimal improvement in run blocking will be the single biggest factor in us repeating. Our D will be there , tough , nasty and just plain awesome. Ben will be Ben , doing what he needs to when he needs to. Add a rejuvenated running game into the mix and your looking at a very dynamic team. Imagine the possibilities if teams are actually concerned with our run game again.

Blocking is a big part of the running game so I hope a returning OL with greater continuity can get better in this area. Too often last year opponents ran run blitzes that destroyed the blocking schemes that were called and blew up running plays for losses. The OL needs to react better to those.

SteelerNation1
06-09-2009, 12:33 PM
If Mendy and sweed can give us anything in 2009, it'll be like an extra 2 high round draft picks. I can't wait to see what he can do.

SteelHead
06-09-2009, 12:42 PM
If there is one part of our team I am most excited about , it's Mendenhall. I fully expect him to supplant Willie as the starter at some point during the season. His emergence along with at least minimal improvement in run blocking will be the single biggest factor in us repeating. Our D will be there , tough , nasty and just plain awesome. Ben will be Ben , doing what he needs to when he needs to. Add a rejuvenated running game into the mix and your looking at a very dynamic team. Imagine the possibilities if teams are actually concerned with our run game again.

Blocking is a big part of the running game so I hope a returning OL with greater continuity can get better in this area. Too often last year opponents ran run blitzes that destroyed the blocking schemes that were called and blew up running plays for losses. The OL needs to react better to those.


No doubt about it , the line must at least show some improvement but I'm not gonna hold my breath and expect a night and day change. I also believe Mendy is going to be able to "do more with less" if you will. I love Willie , I really do. His story is great and he is a dynamic runner when the blocking is just right. However in just a few games last year you could obviously see the difference in Mendy and Parker. Rashard has much better body control and instincts , better pass catcher etc.

I firmly believe it will be a big year for Mendenhall.

Snatch98
06-09-2009, 01:33 PM
I don't know about most of you guys but I've always been under the impression that he's a good dude since we drafted him. Every interview I've ever seen or read he always come across as very articulate and grounded. I have high hopes for Rashard and he's even easier to like because Tomlin drafted him. I find myself loving Tomlin more and more everyday because each day I'm reading another great breakdown of a situation or a priceless quote. Tomlin has also grabbed on to Pittsburgh with his entire family and embraced the culture. I had a smile from ear to ear last night when I jumped on this board and saw the picture of him with his son at the Pens game in a Crosby Jersey standing and swinging the towel.

The Rooney's routinely hit home runs and Tomlin is a grand slam. Every draft he has under his belt seems to be producing class individuals. Ziggy Hood seems to be another one. It's great to be a Steeler fan and it's easy to see why we're hated so outside of the Nation.

WE GET SH.IT DONE....

*puts away the pom, poms*

papillon
06-09-2009, 01:40 PM
*puts away the pom, poms*

These? http://www.thesteelersforum.com/yabbfiles/Smilies/boobs.gif...Ooops, those are TA-TAs, I mean this http://www.tapirback.com/tapirgal/gifts/friends/extinct-animals/dodo-bird-plastic-f1353.jpg
Ooops, that's a Do-do...

this is what I meant http://stillernation.com/phpbb/images/smilies/cheerleader.gif

:P

Pappy

Snatch98
06-09-2009, 02:14 PM
*puts away the pom, poms*

These? http://www.thesteelersforum.com/yabbfiles/Smilies/boobs.gif...Ooops, those are TA-TAs, I mean this http://www.tapirback.com/tapirgal/gifts/friends/extinct-animals/dodo-bird-plastic-f1353.jpg
Ooops, that's a Do-do...

this is what I meant http://stillernation.com/phpbb/images/smilies/cheerleader.gif

:P

Pappy

lol

RuthlessBurgher
06-09-2009, 03:20 PM
You forgot about the blue footed booby. :Boobs

http://theadventuretravelcompany.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/blue-footed-booby2.jpg

Snatch98
06-09-2009, 03:41 PM
You forgot about the blue footed booby. :Boobs

http://theadventuretravelcompany.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/blue-footed-booby2.jpg


lol oh man...the blue footed booby is OUT OF CONTROL! He's a dancing machine!

Jooser
06-09-2009, 04:08 PM
ah, we shoulda drafted Steve Slaton.... :stirpot

Snatch98
06-09-2009, 06:15 PM
ah, we shoulda drafted Steve Slaton.... :stirpot


He was a steal all things considered. However I do expect Mendenhall to be that and more. The difference is Mendenhall has the body to shed tackles and the elusiveness to avoid em. He's in my opinion a prototypical running back and he's a high character guy.

mshifko
06-10-2009, 11:46 AM
If there is one part of our team I am most excited about , it's Mendenhall. I fully expect him to supplant Willie as the starter at some point during the season. His emergence along with at least minimal improvement in run blocking will be the single biggest factor in us repeating. Our D will be there , tough , nasty and just plain awesome. Ben will be Ben , doing what he needs to when he needs to. Add a rejuvenated running game into the mix and your looking at a very dynamic team. Imagine the possibilities if teams are actually concerned with our run game again.
yep...mendy is going to be a staple in the steelers backfield for many years to come

Oviedo
06-10-2009, 12:30 PM
If there is one part of our team I am most excited about , it's Mendenhall. I fully expect him to supplant Willie as the starter at some point during the season. His emergence along with at least minimal improvement in run blocking will be the single biggest factor in us repeating. Our D will be there , tough , nasty and just plain awesome. Ben will be Ben , doing what he needs to when he needs to. Add a rejuvenated running game into the mix and your looking at a very dynamic team. Imagine the possibilities if teams are actually concerned with our run game again.
yep...mendy is going to be a staple in the steelers backfield for many years to come

For 5 years anyway which is the life of an NFL RB. I'd love to see FWP and Mendy as a two headed monster this year and then Mendy and Summers starting next year. You need two solid RBs to have an effectiuve running game in the NFL as we say with the Giants and the Jacobs/Ward duo.

RuthlessBurgher
06-10-2009, 12:34 PM
If there is one part of our team I am most excited about , it's Mendenhall. I fully expect him to supplant Willie as the starter at some point during the season. His emergence along with at least minimal improvement in run blocking will be the single biggest factor in us repeating. Our D will be there , tough , nasty and just plain awesome. Ben will be Ben , doing what he needs to when he needs to. Add a rejuvenated running game into the mix and your looking at a very dynamic team. Imagine the possibilities if teams are actually concerned with our run game again.
yep...mendy is going to be a staple in the steelers backfield for many years to come

For 5 years anyway which is the life of an NFL RB. I'd love to see FWP and Mendy as a two headed monster this year and then Mendy and Summers starting next year. You need two solid RBs to have an effectiuve running game in the NFL as we say with the Giants and the Jacobs/Ward duo.

RB's tend to hit a wall when they approach the age of 30...since Rocket Rashard was only 20 years old when he drafted him, he should have more than just a 5 year shelf life.

NW Steeler
06-10-2009, 01:25 PM
I'd like to see Mendy do a re-creation of the Bettis-Urlacher collision from 2005 on ol' Ray Ray. Now that would be SWEET!! Put some cleat marks right on his chest...for a game-clinching TD to boot!

And one more thing.....

:ratsuck

RuthlessBurgher
06-10-2009, 01:40 PM
I'd like to see Mendy do a re-creation of the Bettis-Urlacher collision from 2005 on ol' Ray Ray. Now that would be SWEET!! Put some cleat marks right on his chest...for a game-clinching TD to boot!

And one more thing.....

:ratsuck

Rashard could do that to Keith Bulluck in the opener as well (you know, one play after Harrison lays LenDale White out with a slobberknocker that causes a fumble, of course!) :D

Jooser
06-10-2009, 02:11 PM
ah, we shoulda drafted Steve Slaton.... :stirpot


He was a steal all things considered. However I do expect Mendenhall to be that and more. The difference is Mendenhall has the body to shed tackles and the elusiveness to avoid em. He's in my opinion a prototypical running back and he's a high character guy.

I know, I really like Mendy too. I just like to yank the anti-WVU chains every once in a while!

NorthCoast
06-14-2009, 09:13 PM
If there is one part of our team I am most excited about , it's Mendenhall. I fully expect him to supplant Willie as the starter at some point during the season. His emergence along with at least minimal improvement in run blocking will be the single biggest factor in us repeating. Our D will be there , tough , nasty and just plain awesome. Ben will be Ben , doing what he needs to when he needs to. Add a rejuvenated running game into the mix and your looking at a very dynamic team. Imagine the possibilities if teams are actually concerned with our run game again.

Blocking is a big part of the running game so I hope a returning OL with greater continuity can get better in this area. Too often last year opponents ran run blitzes that destroyed the blocking schemes that were called and blew up running plays for losses. The OL needs to react better to those.

For as good as FWP is, he seems to struggle to find holes to blow through at times during games. Yes, the OL did not help much, but he had plenty of carries with (-) yards and I say this is because he either did not find the hole or he failed to make the first tackler miss. Bettis used to preach that....its on the RB to make that first tackler miss.




No doubt about it , the line must at least show some improvement but I'm not gonna hold my breath and expect a night and day change. I also believe Mendy is going to be able to "do more with less" if you will. I love Willie , I really do. His story is great and he is a dynamic runner when the blocking is just right. However in just a few games last year you could obviously see the difference in Mendy and Parker. Rashard has much better body control and instincts , better pass catcher etc.

I firmly believe it will be a big year for Mendenhall.

Oracle
06-15-2009, 04:03 AM
Something else to keep in mind...

mendy should be a much better blocker on blitz pick ups than wilie, considering his natural size and strength, smarts, and good vision. also when he slips that LB and peels off into the flat he should be very dangerous on the quick dump pass. i predict this will help ben tremendously.