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Thread: Mendenhall running on instinct

  1. #1
    Legend fordfixer's Avatar
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    Mendenhall running on instinct

    Mendenhall running on instinct
    Willie Parker and teammates ease off giving advice to the Steelers' No. 1 draft choice in order to let his ball-carrying instincts take over
    Wednesday, August 20, 2008
    By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08233/90 ... eelers.xml

    Willie Parker said he is done tutoring Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers' No. 1 pick this year. Parker said he has stopped giving the rookie running back advice about playing in the National Football League and won't do so again unless he is asked.

    But, before anyone accuses the two-time Pro Bowl running back of being selfish or feeling threatened about Mendenhall's development, consider the reason: Parker said he thinks Mendenhall is getting too much advice and just needs to go out and run the football, unencumbered and without thinking too much.

    "I told him I'm going to stay away from him a little bit because everybody is telling him too much right now," Parker said yesterday. "Then your mind gets clouded and he makes mistakes he normally wouldn't make. You don't want to tell him too much, so I told him I'm going to step back a little bit and have everybody else leave him alone and let him go out and play football."

    Coach Mike Tomlin issued a similar critique several weeks ago after the first goal-line drill of training camp, saying Mendenhall needed to think less and run more instinctively in short-yardage opportunities.

    Now, after two preseason games, Parker is saying the same thing, all with the direct purpose of letting Mendenhall's running style -- a combination of power, speed and wiggle -- freely start to blossom.

    The Steelers already have seen some flashes, including the easy manner in which Mendenhall scored on a 6-yard run against the Buffalo Bills -- his first touchdown of the preseason.

    "To have a feeling like that, that you haven't had in a while, gives you a little confidence," said Mendenhall, who rushed for 22 touchdowns in two seasons at Illinois. "It's something to move forward on."

    None of this is to suggest the Steelers are disappointed in the pace of Mendenhall's development or that he has not progressed quickly enough to somehow alter their plans for him when the regular season begins.

    Rather, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Mendenhall, the 21st overall pick in the draft, has been everything the team hoped and more.

    "He's violent running down there," Arians said. "He made the one guy miss and he ran over the safety. There's going to be one of those guys you have to take care of yourself, and he's starting to understand that and get yards."

    Then Arians added, "It's nice to not have to throw him into the fire. He can go bits and pieces until we have to [use him].

    "I have no problems using him in any phase right now, whether it's first-and-10, short-yardage, goal-line or third-down. But we're still two weeks away. He'll find his actual role."

    There are several possibilities.

    The most intriguing involves a same-backfield pairing with Parker, a two-back formation that Arians has said he would like to use. Another option would be to utilize Mendenhall, who is 6 feet, 225 pounds, in short-yardage situations.

    It is unlikely, however, that he will be used as a third-down back, a role that will be filled by newcomer Mewelde Moore, who was signed in free agency from the Minnesota Vikings.

    No matter the role, though, Mendenhall is beginning to excite his teammates.

    "His feet ... he has very, very quick feet," said fullback Carey Davis. "For a bigger guy, you wouldn't expect that from him. He's able to get in and out of holes and make cuts that some people may not see.

    "But maybe he's a little tentative, just because things are moving so fast when you're trying to learn things. When it's new to you, you kind of hesitate a little trying to make everything right."

    Little by little, Mendenhall said he is starting to understand.

    "It's been what you expected, but getting through it is a different story," he said. "You hear about how difficult it is, but it's different when you play out there. It's getting accustomed to everything and gaining experience."

    Some of it, he will have to do on his own.
    Gerry Dulac can be reached at gdulac@post-gazette.com.


    Hopefully his instincts tell him to get his pads lower, hit the hole, and run to the goal line


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  2. #2
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    Re: Mendenhall running on instinct

    Mendenhall is the least of our worries. He will be fine. We are loaded at RB this season.

    Reference the "pony backfield" I want to see Mendenhall and Russell together in that backfield and watch them pound opponents into submission.
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  3. #3

    Re: Mendenhall running on instinct

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Mendenhall is the least of our worries. He will be fine. We are loaded at RB this season.

    Reference the "pony backfield" I want to see Mendenhall and Russell together in that backfield and watch them pound opponents into submission.
    I have to agree. Mendenhall is a natural running back...he is the complete package. It will take him time...Pittsburgh is not Illinois. But, he is certainly the least of our worries right now.

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    Re: Mendenhall running on instinct

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Mendenhall is the least of our worries. He will be fine. We are loaded at RB this season.

    Reference the "pony backfield" I want to see Mendenhall and Russell together in that backfield and watch them pound opponents into submission.

    A good dose of a rested FWP against opposing D's that are winded late in the 4th quarter would be most excellent!!


  5. #5
    Hall of Famer AngryAsian's Avatar
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    Re: Mendenhall running on instinct

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozey74
    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Mendenhall is the least of our worries. He will be fine. We are loaded at RB this season.

    Reference the "pony backfield" I want to see Mendenhall and Russell together in that backfield and watch them pound opponents into submission.

    I good does of a rested FWP against opposing D's that are winded in the late 4th quarter would be most excellent!!

    This type of english gives us foreigners something to laugh at.

  6. #6

    Re: Mendenhall running on instinct

    Quote Originally Posted by asiansteel
    Quote Originally Posted by Ozey74
    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Mendenhall is the least of our worries. He will be fine. We are loaded at RB this season.

    Reference the "pony backfield" I want to see Mendenhall and Russell together in that backfield and watch them pound opponents into submission.

    I good does of a rested FWP against opposing D's that are winded in the late 4th quarter would be most excellent!!

    This type of english gives us foreigners something to laugh at.
    Normally, you can read through it and figure out what the poster meant, but I am still stumped.

  7. #7
    Hall of Famer AngryAsian's Avatar
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    Re: Mendenhall running on instinct

    Quote Originally Posted by proudpittsburgher
    Quote Originally Posted by asiansteel



    This type of english gives us foreigners something to laugh at.
    Normally, you can read through it and figure out what the poster meant, but I am still stumped.

    I'm a rookie in his fantasy league, so I have to get my digs in where I can get them.

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    Re: Mendenhall running on instinct

    what is even more interesting,-

    is mendenhall's abiltiy to grow!

    that article has him listed as such: "Another option would be to utilize Mendenhall, who is 6 feet, 225 pounds.."



    his weight seems to stay about the same- but every article i read, lists his height all over the place.

    originally i read an article that had him at 5'9''

    now he is 6'0''

    next week he is going to be pushing sweed, then spaeth- maybe even big money max- for the center position on the steelers pickup basketball team.


    on a serious note-

    when you watch him take a hand off, you can practically see him contemplating what to do- its when the play breaks down, or he gets beyond the hole- that you can really see his abilities...



  9. #9
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    Re: Mendenhall running on instinct

    What I meant was:

    A good dose of a rested FWP against opposing D's that are winded late in the 4th quarter would be most excellent!!



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  10. #10
    Hall of Famer Djfan's Avatar
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    Re: Mendenhall running on instinct

    I remember working only 40 hours. That's part time work where I come from.

    I agree with what I think you said. Give FWP some producers around him and he will shine brighter.
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