According to Colbert.....
According to Colbert.....
as he should.
it would not be wise for Mendy to come back too early and risk re-injuring himself and being out for the whole season instead of just for the first 6 weeks.
They have to sign an experienced back. They can't go into 2012 with what they have.
1.15 WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
2.46 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
3.97c ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford
4.118 CB Philip Gaines, Rice
5.157 OT James Hurst, North Carolina
5.173c RB Jerrick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
6.192 CB Walt Aikens, Liberty
6.215c DE Deandre Coleman, California
7.230 NT Zack Kerr, Delaware
I'm not horribly worried about our run game if Batch improves on what he started last training camp and Rainey shows in TC this year that he's what we hope him to be, that ridiculously shifty change of pace back. Redman, Dwyer, Batch and Rainey looks just fine to me until Mendy can return healthy, especially with the changes on the offensive line and a offensive coordinator that isn't going to be mindless on the ground.
Is Today The Last Birthday That Rashard Mendenhall Will Celebrate As A Steeler?
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 by Dave Bryan
Today Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall celebrates his 25th birthday and you have to wonder if it is the last one that he will have as a member of the black and gold.
Mendenhall, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, more than likely will start the 2012 season on the PUP list as he continues to rehab the torn ACL he suffered in the regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns. Should that indeed come to fruition it means that he is guaranteed to miss at least the first six games, and likely even more. A return to the 53 man roster is more than likely to take place anywhere between week 9 and 13.
Even when Mendenhall returns, there could be a chance that he does not have a starting job to reclaim depending on how Isaac Redman performs during his absence. Regardless, the Steelers are likely to ease him back into action upon his return.
The former first round draft pick will be a restricted free agent following the season and you can bet that the Steelers will not use the franchise tag on him, even though he is surely likely to still have less than 1,000 regular season carries under his belt. That is not a lot of wear and tear on a feature back after five seasons.
You have to think that the next contract that Mendenhall receives will likely be his last though and I fully expect him to at least test free agency before taking any type of deal that the Steelers may offer him. Keep in mind that Antonio Brown will more than likely be the main focus of the Steelers next off-season, and so too could be Mike Wallace if a long-term deal is not reached prior to the start of this season.
While Redman too will be a free agent at seasons' end, he will be of the restricted variety and easily retained with tender. What level that tender will be is dependent on the type of season that he has this year.
Will Mendenhall hit a big payday in free agency though? Judging by the activity this past off-season, likely not. It also will not help the Illinois product being likely viewed by many organizations as damaged goods because of his knee injury either. Will a team still be willing to pay him though more than what the Steelers likely will offer? I think so, mostly because of his low mileage I discussed earlier.
Whether or not Mendenhall returns to the Steelers in 2013 depends all on the attention he gets in free agency. I am not willing to 100% say he could not return on a one or two year deal for near the minimum, but I really do not like odds this far out of it happening.
Happy birthday, Rashard, and make sure that wish is a good one when you blow out those candles. I would wish for a warm reception in free agency next off-season if I were you.
Fans May Miss Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back Rashard Mendenhall More than They Think
Submitted by Syndicated sources on June 21, 2012
When the season opens in 2012, there is a great possibility that two starters from the 2011 campaign will be on the PUP list for the Steelers, running back Rashard Mendenhall and nose tackle Casey Hampton. Ironically, this was to be (and is) a huge season for both players as the Steelers weigh their contract options moving into 2013.This is especially true for Mendenhall, who in the last regular season game against the Cleveland Browns, tore his right ACL on the final play of the first quarter. That injury capped a somewhat disappointing 2011 season in which he ran for 928 yards and nine touchdowns. Fortunately, for the Steelers, they appear to have depth at the running back position and do not have to rush Mendenhall in his recovery.
Even General Manager Kevin Colbert expects Mendenhall (and Hampton) to return in 2012. “My guess is they’ll open the season on the PUP,” said Colbert, “You’ve got to remember both of those injuries happen late in the year.” If this is the case, neither player will be eligible to return until after the Steelers’ sixth game (Week 8 of the NFL season).
With Mendenhall on the mend, the Steelers will rely on Isaac Redman to carry the load. While he is solid and a powerful back (not to mention a fan favorite), he does not have the pedigree of Mendenhall and may not be able to be the player fans are expecting. In fact, fans may miss Mendenhall more than they expect.
One quick glance at his enigmatic career shows some strong numbers, especially when one considers the uneven offensive line play and an offensive coordinator that refused to commit to the run. Between the 2009 and 2010 seasons, he rushed for 2,381 yards and 20 touchdowns, and also added some flash as an outlet receiver.
In many ways, it is a shame that he is injured going into 2012, as he has a skill set that mirrors what offensive coordinator Todd Haley looks for in a all-purpose back, with the size, speed and hands to develop into a solid weapon for the offense. More importantly, the former first round selection would have had one last full season to show whether he is the long-term answer in the backfield, something that remains a question mark today.
The Steelers, Rashard Mendenhall, The PUP List, And Some Positives
Jun 20th, 2012 by DomSteelers
When Rashard Mendenhall went down on the field last New Year’s Day in Cleveland my first thought was: “Dang, the Steelers’ best all-around Back is going to miss the postseason.” Then when I saw the replay of when Mendenhall went down, my next thought was: “Dang, he might miss most of the 2012 regular season as well. Crying shame because it will be his contract year.” As much as I hoped it would not be so, my forecast was eventually proven correct because according to G.M. Kevin Colbert, it now appears like Rashard’s knee injury will force him to begin the 2012 season on the Physically Unable to Perform List (PUP). If placed on the PUP List, Mendenhall will miss the team’s first 6 games of the season (7 Weeks), and be eligible to return in Week 8. As unfortunate as Mendenhall’s absence sounds to some of us, there are some reasons why the Steelers and Rashard might actually benefit from his placement on PUP List to begin the season. With that in mind, I have decided to break down some positives which both parties might take away from the situation in the event Mendenhall is “Physically Unable to Perform” until Week 8 in 2012.
5. Roster Spot Open
If Mendenhall is forced/elects to sit, a roster spot which was supposed to be occupied by him will in turn open up and be ready to be filled by a hungry young player or a savvy veteran competing to be a Steeler in 2012. Who will eventually fill the spot, and at what position will be an interesting thing to watch as Training Camp and the preseason wind down in the coming months. Will it be another Running Back like Baron Batch, John Clay, or Jonathan Dwyer? What about another Offensive Lineman like Chris Scott, Trai Essex, or one of the Undrafted Rookies like Ryan Lee? Possibly an Outside Linebacker like the Undrafted Adrian Robinson or Brandon Lindsey? A backup Safety like a Myron Rolle or Da’mon Cromartie-Smith? Whatever the case may be, somebody will come out a winner in this situation, and likely be given at least 7 Weeks of time to spend on the Steelers’ roster and develop their skill sets, provide depth, or both with Mendenhall sidelined.
4. More Time to Rehab
I do not feel that I need to explain this one too much, but here is my thinking. Because his knee injury happened late in the regular season, Mendenhall’s recovery window is a bit smaller than say somebody like Jamaal Charles who sustained a knee injury during the first quarter or so of 2011. At least to me, seven extra Weeks to rehab and condition for Mendenhall will be a huge plus as opposed to him being forced to begin the preseason and regular season on the active roster and not ready to contribute. Any time to rehab any injury without forcing a player back on the field is an absolute luxury, and both the Steelers and Mendenhall will likely be glad to take advantage of such an opportunity where both parties win.
3. Motivated Mendenhall
As I alluded to before, Mendenhall will be entering the final year of his contract this season. If Mendenhall is forced to sit out almost half of the regular season because of his injury, it is almost certain that he will be running for a new deal once he is able to return. With likely three guys ahead of him on the depth chart by the time he would come back (Isaac Redman, Chris Rainey, Batch/Clay/Dwyer), Mendenhall will need to be hungry and ready to up his game to a new level if his body allows him to do it. Even if Mendenhall is relegated to a backup role in the event that one or some combination of the aforementioned guys do a stellar job, he will still be looking to run harder for a new contract with the Steelers or another club in 2013.
2. Possible Insurance
This one sort of piggy-backs off of numbers 3 & 4, but Mendenhall might be able to provide a big boost to this talented but extremely inexperienced rushing attack if his knee is good to go at midseason. I hate to be a “Negative Nancy,” but consider the following: Maybe Redman underwhelms early in the year and cannot get on track as a 20+ Carry per game guy, and the “RB by Comittee” Pittsburgh will employ this season with unproven players such as Chris Rainey, Baron Batch, Jonathan Dwyer, John Clay, etc. will turn out sub-par performances in Weeks 1-7 of the regular season. If this series of unfortunate events happens, the veteran Mendenhall could be ready to step in and help the Offense and shoulder some of the load in the running game. Mendenhall has far and away more Touches over the last three seasons at the professional level than any of these younger guys, and could prove to be a valuable asset if injuries or poor play occur.
1. Fresh Legs
In the event that Mendenhall is given an extended vacation to rehabilitate his knee, it will almost assuredly give Rashard something he has needed over the course of the last few seasons: rest. During the 2009-2011 seasons, Mendenhall received 860 total Touches (794 Carries, 66 Catches) and was Pittsburgh’s go-to threat in the running game over said span. At a rate of 280 Touches per season, it was not like Mendenhall was receiving Adrian Peterson numbers of balls coming his way. Regardless, Rashard received a substantial amount of work and took quite a pounding behind an inexperienced, and at times less than talented Offensive Line overall.
If allowed to come back in Week 8, Mendenhall could return to the lineup as fresh as he likely has been since his 2nd year in the League when he missed almost three quarters of his Rookie campaign due to a shoulder injury. At midseason, Mendenhall would be able to provide a secondary option in the backfield in addition to Redman, who is expected to tote the rock more than anybody on the roster this year, and help to take the pressure off of a guy like Isaac who has not received more than 110 Carries and 128 Touches overall in a year over his three year career. Working Rashard back slowly but surely if he can perform up to par will be of the utmost importance. Yet if he is able to come back, getting a guy like Mendenhall 7-10 combined Touches per game on the ground and through the air near the end of the season would be huge for a team like the Steelers which will likely be playing January and hopefully beyond football again this season.
I understand that this is a “glass-half-full” post, and we will not know the status of Mendenhall until he is ready to play in games and added to the active roster. Nevertheless, it cannot hurt this Offense to have another weapon at its disposal, and adding one at midseason like Mendenhall if he is placed on the PUP List is an added bonus for Pittsburgh as they move forward. I earnestly hope that Rashard can come back healthy and that Pittsburgh can find a way to use him in an effective manner along with the other Backs which will compete for playing time and roster spots this season. Who knows? Maybe there could be some positives to a situation where Mendenhall sits for a bit and eventually comes back? And hey, maybe there will be no positives. But as I stated before, all we can do is wait and watch.