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Thread: Watch out for Steelers’ Russell

  1. #1
    Legend fordfixer's Avatar
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    Watch out for Steelers’ Russell

    Pittsburgh's acquisition of ex-Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall in the first round of April's NFL draft was part of the reason why the Steelers recently decided to part ways with fellow runner Najeh Davenport. Further, the offseason pickup of free agent Mewelde Moore made Davenport’s ability to return kicks somewhat obsolete; after all, Moore is also an adept returner and a viable backup option at halfback. Still, there was another reason why Pittsburgh decided to drop Davenport, who rushed for 763 yards and seven touchdowns for the club over the course of two seasons.

    That reason? Second-year running back Gary Russell, whom the Steelers didn't want to part with. Russell has a lack of experience, having garnered just 21 yards on seven carries during his pro career, but the Steelers were impressed during the 2007 preseason with two things: First, Russell's power; secondly, his willingness to learn. Moreover, they liked the way he finished runs, finished blocks, and generally improved during the course of last season.
    http://www.realfootball365.com/index.ph ... lers/11942
    Beyond his preseason performance from last summer, however, is the fact that Russell showed the ability to play very well at the highest level of college football; as a sophomore with the Minnesota Gophers, he rushed for 1,130 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. Even more impressive is that he split time with current Patriots running back Laurence Maroney while doing so, adding to the intrigue.

    So how did a guy like this not get drafted? Well, that’s the other side of the coin. Simply put, Russell flunked out of school after that great season he had with the Gophers.

    “It was me just being lazy, immature,” said the 21-year-old Russell.

    Adding to the negative side of things is the fact that the 5-foot-11, 225-pounder showed up at the combine overweight and only ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash. But the bottom line is that Pittsburgh has seen players with little fanfare turn into stars. Their starting running back, Willie Parker, serves as a prime example of that. And they believe that Russell can be developed into a top-notch back in Parker's mold.

    It’s hard to argue with the Steelers, who have proven over the years that they can find diamonds in the rough.

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  2. #2
    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    Re: Watch out for Steelers’ Russell

    Quote Originally Posted by fordfixer
    Pittsburgh's acquisition of ex-Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall in the first round of April's NFL draft was part of the reason why the Steelers recently decided to part ways with fellow runner Najeh Davenport. Further, the offseason pickup of free agent Mewelde Moore made Davenport’s ability to return kicks somewhat obsolete; after all, Moore is also an adept returner and a viable backup option at halfback. Still, there was another reason why Pittsburgh decided to drop Davenport, who rushed for 763 yards and seven touchdowns for the club over the course of two seasons.

    That reason? Second-year running back Gary Russell, whom the Steelers didn't want to part with. Russell has a lack of experience, having garnered just 21 yards on seven carries during his pro career, but the Steelers were impressed during the 2007 preseason with two things: First, Russell's power; secondly, his willingness to learn. Moreover, they liked the way he finished runs, finished blocks, and generally improved during the course of last season.

    He carried the ball a grand total of 7 times for 21 yards and they know these things how?

    http://www.realfootball365.com/index.ph ... lers/11942
    Beyond his preseason performance from last summer, however, is the fact that Russell showed the ability to play very well at the highest level of college football; as a sophomore with the Minnesota Gophers, he rushed for 1,130 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. Even more impressive is that he split time with current Patriots running back Laurence Maroney while doing so, adding to the intrigue.

    So how did a guy like this not get drafted? Well, that’s the other side of the coin. Simply put, Russell flunked out of school after that great season he had with the Gophers.

    “It was me just being lazy, immature,” said the 21-year-old Russell.

    Adding to the negative side of things is the fact that the 5-foot-11, 225-pounder showed up at the combine overweight and only ran a 4.7-second 40-yard dash. But the bottom line is that Pittsburgh has seen players with little fanfare turn into stars. Their starting running back, Willie Parker, serves as a prime example of that. And they believe that Russell can be developed into a top-notch back in Parker's mold.

    It’s hard to argue with the Steelers, who have proven over the years that they can find diamonds in the rough.
    Pappy


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    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

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    Re: Watch out for Steelers’ Russell

    Pap - to answer your question, I think they're basing that on preseason and practice.

    Honestly, I still think he's the reason the Steelers are looking at Kevin Jones. I think they like what they see enough to keep him on the roster but not enough to keep from looking elsewhere too.

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    Re: Watch out for Steelers’ Russell

    Quote Originally Posted by stlrz d
    Pap - to answer your question, I think they're basing that on preseason and practice.

    Honestly, I still think he's the reason the Steelers are looking at Kevin Jones. I think they like what they see enough to keep him on the roster but not enough to keep from looking elsewhere too.
    I realize that, but, I hate when writers write stuff likethis when there really isn't any conclusive proof to anything that I had high-lighted. What would be wrong with specifically stating why you believe he finishes runs, blocks, etc.?

    Just a pet peeve I guess....

    Pappy


    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
    2.46) Stephon Tuitt - DE
    3.97) Dri Archer - RB
    4.118 ) Martavis Bryant - WR
    5.157) Shaquille Richardson - CB
    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
    6.192) Jordan Zumwalt - ILB
    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
    7.230) Rob Blanchflower - TE

    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

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    Re: Watch out for Steelers’ Russell

    Quote Originally Posted by papillon
    Quote Originally Posted by stlrz d
    Pap - to answer your question, I think they're basing that on preseason and practice.

    Honestly, I still think he's the reason the Steelers are looking at Kevin Jones. I think they like what they see enough to keep him on the roster but not enough to keep from looking elsewhere too.
    I realize that, but, I hate when writers write stuff likethis when there really isn't any conclusive proof to anything that I had high-lighted. What would be wrong with specifically stating why you believe he finishes runs, blocks, etc.?

    Just a pet peeve I guess....

    Pappy
    I gotcha!

  6. #6

    Re: Watch out for Steelers’ Russell

    Ehhh Pappy don't take a squat on Russell. You know the guy has mad skillz. Honestly, that writer is really just regurgitating what we have been saying for awhile now. The fact is...he is 225 pounds of powerful potential but thats all he will be until he gets some PT. Like I have said previously...from what I have seen of him in college and some of his preseason...the guy is probably the Steeler best power runner. While Mendenhall is THE all around back...he isn't the pure sledge hammer like Russell. Russell has been favorably compared to his former teammate Barber in his ability to pick up the tough yards. I would not be shocked at all to see Russell in on some short yardage situations this season. But, honestly he will have to shine and I mean shine to get any real PT this season barring major injury.

  7. #7
    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    Re: Watch out for Steelers’ Russell

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    Ehhh Pappy don't take a squat on Russell. You know the guy has mad skillz. Honestly, that writer is really just regurgitating what we have been saying for awhile now. The fact is...he is 225 pounds of powerful potential but thats all he will be until he gets some PT. Like I have said previously...from what I have seen of him in college and some of his preseason...the guy is probably the Steeler best power runner. While Mendenhall is THE all around back...he isn't the pure sledge hammer like Russell. Russell has been favorably compared to his former teammate Barber in his ability to pick up the tough yards. I would not be shocked at all to see Russell in on some short yardage situations this season. But, honestly he will have to shine and I mean shine to get any real PT this season barring major injury.
    I Don't doubt any of that, but, why in the hell did we have so much trouble in the damn red zone last year? If runs downhill and finishes runs he should have been in the game for more than 7 carries. I want him to be successful and everything you believe he can be, but, the writer has him the second coming of Jerome Bettis and he had 7 damn carries. That is all...rant over...Here have a little of this. :P

    Pappy


    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
    2.46) Stephon Tuitt - DE
    3.97) Dri Archer - RB
    4.118 ) Martavis Bryant - WR
    5.157) Shaquille Richardson - CB
    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
    6.192) Jordan Zumwalt - ILB
    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
    7.230) Rob Blanchflower - TE

    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

  8. #8
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    Re: Watch out for Steelers’ Russell

    Very soon, Mendenhall and Russell will be punishing opposing defenses and beating them into submission late in games. Our own two-headed monster.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  9. #9

    Re: Watch out for Steelers’ Russell

    Quote Originally Posted by papillon
    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    Ehhh Pappy don't take a squat on Russell. You know the guy has mad skillz. Honestly, that writer is really just regurgitating what we have been saying for awhile now. The fact is...he is 225 pounds of powerful potential but thats all he will be until he gets some PT. Like I have said previously...from what I have seen of him in college and some of his preseason...the guy is probably the Steeler best power runner. While Mendenhall is THE all around back...he isn't the pure sledge hammer like Russell. Russell has been favorably compared to his former teammate Barber in his ability to pick up the tough yards. I would not be shocked at all to see Russell in on some short yardage situations this season. But, honestly he will have to shine and I mean shine to get any real PT this season barring major injury.
    I Don't doubt any of that, but, why in the hell did we have so much trouble in the damn red zone last year? If runs downhill and finishes runs he should have been in the game for more than 7 carries. I want him to be successful and everything you believe he can be, but, the writer has him the second coming of Jerome Bettis and he had 7 damn carries. That is all...rant over...Here have a little of this. :P

    Pappy
    Why didn't our first round LB get more PT? I can't say...but I don't take that as a failure. What people need to keep in mind is Russell had been out of football for a year. To ask why an undrafted rookie RB didn't get more PT is an exercise in futility because we don't know enough about Tomlin to come to a reasonable conclusion. Maybe he just doesn't like to see rookies get alot of PT. Maybe Russell though full of potential just wasn't ready. I'm not sure...but it doesn't concern me.

  10. #10

    Re: Watch out for Steelers’ Russell

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Very soon, Mendenhall and Russell will be punishing opposing defenses and beating them into submission late in games. Our own two-headed monster.
    Yep...I believe that will be in Russells third season unless Parker isn't ready to go or he gets hurt again.

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