This doesn't surprise me. Mendenhall is a tough runner...but he is tough after building a little steam...he breaks alot of open field tackles. When Mendenhall gets to the second level...he is probably the best on the team at losing that last tackler. Is he a goaline back? Ehhh...he's better than Parker, and Davenport.
Now, Russell is an entirely different player. He is tough as nails...and as I said before our toughest power runner. He will be our short yardage back unless Mendenhall can get alot better. Russell was known for his ability to get those 3-4 tough yards. He compared favorably to his teammate Barber in that respect. His running style is very Clarettesque is his vision, ability to follow the flow of blockers, to find open space and then to explode through a hole. In that respect he is VERY impressive. In all honesty, he is the best power runner we have had since we had a young Bettis. He makes this squad and just might find a niche to get some PT.