Tag Archives: Rashard Mendenhall

Steelers should target Shonn Greene

The Steelers need help at the running back (RB) position in a bad way.  That is why the Steelers should target Shonn Greene in free agency (FA).

Steelers General Manager (GM), Kevin Colbert described last years running game:

"It was indicative of the talent at the position.”

Ouch, that is some harsh (but true) analysis of the Steelers running back situation.  In addition to that, the Steelers will not sign previous first round pick and unrestricted free agent (UFA) Rashard Mendenhall to an extension and both Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman are restricted free agents (RFA).

To summarize:

  • The Steelers will lose starting running, Rashard Mendenhall in free agency.  This was a bust of a 1st round pick.
  • Backup running backs, Dwyer and Redman could also be lost but they did sign their RFA tenders
  • The Steelers should try to sign Shonn Greene of the New York Jets.

The Steelers have a lot of needs to fill in the upcoming 2013 draft.  Running back should be addressed in both FA and the draft via a mid round pick (Marcus Lattimore anybody?).

Shonn Greene could be a typical "low key" Steelers free agency signing and could start from day 1.   Here are some Shonn Greene stats:

New York Jets Shonn Greene

Position: Running Back (RB)
Height: 5'11

Weight: 226

Age: 27

Experience: 3  years

College: Iowa

Rushing Receiving
Year G GS Att Yds TD Lng Y/A Rec Yds Y/R TD
2009 14 0 108 540 2 33 5.0
2010 15 2 185 766 2 23 4.1 16 120 7.5 0
2011 16 15 253 1054 6 31 4.2 30 211 7.0 0
2012 16 13 276 1063 8 36 3.9 19 151 7.9 0
Career 61 30 822 3423 18 36 4.2 65 482 7.4 0

Late Interception Seals 24-17 Steelers Win Over Bengals

CINCINNATI (KDKA/AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers were looking to shake off a last-second loss to the Baltimore Ravens last weekend as they headed into Cincinnati Sunday afternoon for a showdown with the Bengals.

It was a game of possible playoff implications as the Bengals (6-3) and the Steelers (7-3) met for the first time this season. They’ll play again Dec. 4 at Heinz Field.

While the Bengals rallied and tied up the game in the third quarter after falling behind the early, the Steelers never trailed and managed to hang on for a 24-17 victory.

Rashard Mendenhall ran for a pair of touchdowns in the win, and the Steelers – who came into the game with only two interceptions all season – intercepted rookie quarterback Andy Dalton twice in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Cornerback William Gay anticipated Dalton’s throw and stepped in front of Jerome Simpson for the clinching interception inside the Pittsburgh 20-yard line with 2:27 left to play.

After the game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talked about pulling out the win and heading into the bye week.

“I’ll take it; I wouldn’t necessarily say I was pleased – I’d be pleased if we were 10-0 but we’re not – we are what we are,” said Tomlin. “I haven’t ran across a bye that I didn’t like. I always get that question, that’s really funny to me – you know, you get it when you get it.”

Dalton handled most of what Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau threw at him. He had two more touchdown passes, giving him 14 overall — the most by a rookie quarterback in his first nine games since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

But in the end, a Steelers defense that’s finally getting healthy and forcing turnovers got to him.

Dalton was 15 of 30 for 170 yards and touchdown passes of 36 yards to fellow rookie A.J. Green and 1 yard to Jermaine Gresham.

Meanwhile, even though they lost to the Steelers, Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis said he felt as if his team measured up.

“We got work to do and we’re going to be in the same position regardless – we’d like to have had the win, we didn’t get it and we’ve got to go to work – but I don’t think this team needs to worry about now whether they can play with the so-called elite of the AFC cause they can and will,” he said.

keisel dalton 132687591 Late Interception Seals 24 17 Steelers Win Over Bengals

(Photo Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh got a needed win by putting together long, balanced drives while thousands of Steelers fans waved Terrible Towels in the first sellout crowd of the season at Paul Brown Stadium.

Click here for the game boxscore and stats!

The Bengals received the ball to start the game and took over on their own 20 yard line, but went nowhere as the Steelers defense forced a quick three-and-out.

Pittsburgh began their first possession of the game on their own 46 yard line.

Facing a 3rd-and-10 from the Cincy 16 yard line, Ben Roethlisberger got flushed out of the pocket and found Jerricho Cotchery wide open in the endzone to put the Steelers up 7-0. The touchdown capped an eight-play, 54-yard drive.

Roethlisberger was 21 of 33 for 245 yards with one touchdown and an interception. He was sacked five times, matching his season high.

After forcing another three-and-out, the Steelers marched down the field and added to their lead.

The drive was in danger of stalling out at the Bengals’ 20 yard line, but Roethlisberger found Heath Miller for a 15-yard pass to move the chains. On the next play, Mendenhall broke a tackle and dove into the endzone to put Pittsburgh up 14-0.

The Bengals finally moved the ball on their third possession of the opening quarter and cut the lead in half.

Dalton went deep downfield and found A.J. Green for a 36-yard touchdown into double-coverage with 14 seconds to play in the first quarter. The Bengals’ scoring drive covered 79 yards in just seven plays.

On the Steelers next drive, Miller bobbled a pass from Roethlisberger and saw it fall into the arms of Cincinnati’s Leon Hall.

Click here for a Steelers-Bengals photo gallery!

However, the Steelers defense came up with a big stop to force the Bengals to settle for a 43-yard field goal by Mike Nugent to cut the lead to 14-10.

After trading possessions without putting points on the board, the Steelers orchestrated a 16-play, 67-yard drive which ended in a 39-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham to give Pittsburgh a 17-10 lead.

lewis allen simpson 132685976 Late Interception Seals 24 17 Steelers Win Over Bengals

(Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh would take that lead into halftime and got the ball back to open the second half. However, they were forced to punt it away after just three plays.

Cincinnati wasted no time tying the game either. Dalton hooked up with Jermain Gresham for a 1-yard touchdown pass to cap off an 11-play, 67-yard drive with 8:38 to play in the third quarter.

But on the ensuing drive, the Steelers regained the lead.

Mendenhall broke a tackle on a run up the middle and stretched for the goal line to put Pittsburgh up 24-17. The 9-yard touchdown run capped an 11-play, 81-yard drive.

Next week, the Steelers have a bye week. After that, they will head to Kansas City for a game against the Chiefs at 8:20 p.m. on Nov. 27.

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(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Filed under: Football, Sports, Steelers Tagged: Andy Dalton, Ben Roethlisberger, Cincinnati Bengals, Football, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rashard Mendenhall, Recap, Week 10

Harrison Sounds Off

Read the complete article of James Harrison sounding off against .. well, everyone.

Calling Roger Goodell the devil... check

Calling out teammates... check

Calling out the New England Cheatriots... check

Calling out Brian Cushing... check

Calling out league policy... check

Harrison should have a "shut up" clause in his contract for real.  The guy is a great player and he's even better at channeling his anger to the playing field.  But come on now Harrison, just stay away from the microphone.  Your not a good talker and you can easily be taken out of context.  The result of this is now the Pittsburgh Steelers will have a greater target on their back this year.

Read the complete article from Men's Journal here.

 

Willie Parker visiting the Redskins

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the former Pittsburgh Steelers tailback is scheduled to visit with the Washington Redskins on Monday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers decided to not resign Willie Parker and letting him test the free agency market. Parker has struggled with injuries the past 3 seasons including a broken leg and turf toe injuries.

During the 2009-2010 season, Parker lost his starting RB position to up-and-comer Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers 1st round pick from Illinois.

Steelers vs Ravens: Overtime rewind

  • The Steelers won the coin toss and chose to receive to start overtime
  • Mendenhall on two carries gets the first down.
  • Dennis Dixon throws the ball deep to Mike Wallace but out of bounds
  • Steelers punt the ball out of bounds to the Ravens
  • The Ravens go three and out and punt to the Steelers
  • Dennis Dixon throws an interception on 3rd down and the Ravens return the ball 20 yards.  Ravens are already in field goal range and are about ready to kick a field goal to win the game in overtime.
  • On 3rd down, Ray Rice runs for a 1st down.  The Ravens have only a 32 yard field goal to win the game.
  • Ray Rice runs the ball again for another first down
  • The Ravens kick a field goal to win the game.

Score: Ravens 20 Steelers 17

Steelers vs Ravens: 4th quarter rewind

  • c has really struggled so far in the 4th quarter
  • The Steelers punt coverage unit almost gave up a touchdown.  According to the reply, it looks like several blocks in the back occurred.
  • Lawrence Timmons blitzed up the middle and caused a Flacco fumble
  • Steelers have very good field position
  • Rashard Mendenhall has run very, very hard in this game.  He has shown a great burst of speed, power, and a nice spin move.  Very impressive considering the Ravens run defense.
  • With 7 minutes left, Dennis Dixon scores a touchdown on a QB draw.  Dennis Dixon was in the shotgun formation and make a reverse to Mike Wallace.  Dixon ran the ball to the right side and received a very nice block from Mewelde Moore that led him to the end zone.  Very nice call by Bruce Arians.
  • Ray Rice called for tripping on 2nd down.  The Steelers accepted and made it 2nd and 19.  The Steelers then held on 3rd down by stopping Ray Rice on a screen pass.
  • Ravens just converted a huge 4th down by Ray Rice.  For some reason James Farrior was 1:1 with Ray Rice and it was a complete mismatch.  Ray Rice caught the pass and ran it 60 yards to the Steelers 10 yard line.  Several Steelers missed tackles.  Lawrence Timmons tackled one of his own players who was in great position to make a tackle.
  • The Steelers hold on 3rd and goal.  The Ravens kick a field goal and tie the score 17-17 with 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter.
  • Dennis Dixon almost threw an interception on 2nd down.  Consequently, the Steelers run the ball on 3rd down.  A 3 and out for the Steelers
  • Steelers punt the ball and the Ravens almost return it for ANOTHER TOUCHDOWN.  Will MIKE TOMLIN OR THE ST COACH EVER FIX THE SPECIAL TEAMS.  This is getting a bit ridiculous.
  • A 24-yard pass interference call on Ike Taylor with 1 minute remaining in the game.
  • The Steelers caused a last second fumble. The Ravens field goal unit and rushed a last second field goal which comes up about 2 yards short.

Score: 17-17

Steelers vs Ravens: 1st quarter rewind

  • William Gay got torched several times on the Ravens' first drive
  • Willis McGahee scored the opening touchdown for the Ravens
  • Bruce Arians is being overly conservative with Dennis Dixon
  • Timmons caught out of position on a long Ray Rice run
  • Ziggy Hood getting a good pass rush
  • Steelers having success running the ball with Rashard Mendenhall

Score: Ravens 7 Steelers 0W

Mendenhall yet to convince Steeler Nation

During last week's game against the previously undefeated Minnesota Vikings, Mendenhall faced his toughest

Rashard Mendenhall

Rashard Mendenhall

competition yet; a stout top-5 run defense anchored by the Williams' and himself (meaning Mendenhall).  Mendenhall wasn't the same decisive back that we've seen in previous weeks.

Additionally, Mendenhall fumbled the ball for the second week in a row.  However, this time it almost cost the Steelers the victory.  Mendenhall went airborne, diving from nearly the 5 yard line to attempt to reach the goal line.  Not only did Mendenhall come up short of the goal line, he turned the ball over to the Minnesota Vikings.

Note to Mendenhall, we will NOT reach the goal line by leaving your feet at the 5 yard line.

Another note to Mendenhall..normally leaving your feet outside of the 1-inch line results in a fumble.  Don't take it from me, watch the dozens of film available that confirms when running backs, wide receivers and especially quarterbacks leave their feet, they fumble.

In Mendenhall's defense, he didn't have a whole lot of opportunity to impress.  The Steelers aborted the run way too early and allowed Minnesota to dominate the time of possession which almost caused the Steelers to lose.  Chalk up more bad playing to our offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians.  In a game such as this one, Mendenhall should have had at least 20 carries which would have controlled the clock a bit more and would have allowed Mendenhall to come very close to 100 rushing yards on the day.

Mendenhall to start against Vikings

Rashard Mendenhall, the second year 1st round pick from Illinois is set to start against the undefeated Minnesota Vikings.  This is the first time in Mendenhall's career that he is set to start when both he and Parker are healthy.  According to head coach Mike Tomlin, Mendenhall has officially passed Willie Parker on the depth chart by indicating that Mendenahll has the "hot hand".

This has been an incredible turn of events for Mendenhall.  Less than a month ago, Tomlin didn't play Mendenhall one snap against the Cincinnati Bengals because he didn't feel comfortable that Mendenhall knew his assignments and lacked game time preparation throughout the week.  Now, Mendenhall has impressed coaches, teammates, and fans alike with his running style that's been averaging over 5 yards a carry.  Mendenhall has showed a great, and decisive burst through the hole, speed, hands (in the passing game), and the ability to break tackles.  He's been one of the pleasant surprises this year along with Mike Wallace.

Mendenhall will have a difficult task this week against a very strong Vikings defensive front.  Many critics of Mendenhall say that his success is due to the weak run defenses of the San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions, and Cleveland Browns.   This week, Mendenhall has the opportunity to silence those critics.

Fantasy Focus: Steelers vs Browns

This week kicks off another entry of our fantasy football prediction blog.  Steelers face off against the 1-4 Cleveland

Heath Miller

Heath Miller

Browns today at 1pm at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA.  The Steelers have the opportunity to win its 3rd straight game against a struggling Cleveland Browns team.  Last week, the Browns somehow pulled out a 6-3 victory against the Buffalo Bills which was one of the most painful games I had to watch in a long time.  Starting Browns quarterback, Derek Anderson went a miserable 2-17 in passing, but somehow the Browns were victorious.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a 28-20 win against the Detroit Lions.  The Steelers offense looked impressive again with Rashard Mendenhall averaging over 5 yards a carry and Ben Roethlisberger distributing the ball nicely to a wide range of his weapons including Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward, Heath Miller and rookie, Mike Wallace.

Purchase Pittsburgh Steelers Gear at the Planet Steelers Shop

Not so impressive was the Steelers defense.  Again, the defense allowed an inferior team to come back in the first quarter until a streak of sacks by LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison ended the game.  From the defensivie perspective, the good news is that all-pro safety, Troy Polamalu is returning to action for the first time since the season opener against the Tennessee Titans.  The bad news is standout defensive end, Aaron Smith, who is critical to the Steelers 3-4 is out for the rest of the season with a torn rotator cuff.

And now for our Predictions:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger - Big Ben is off to one of his best starts in his already very successful career from a statistical perspective.  Roethlisberger is 1st in the league in completion percentage and second in total yards only behind Peyton Manning. Roethlisberger is being considered a league Most Valuable Player (MVP) by most and I expect his numbers to only get better especially against a struggling Browns team.  Big Ben is a strong pickup this week amongst fantasy owners.

Heath Miller - Miller is on pace for his first Pro Bowl appearance and has been exceptional for the Steelers passing game so far this season.  Miller is second on the team with 29 receptions and 235 yards. He also leads the receiving corps with 3 TD's.  Expect about 60 yards receiving and another touchdown for Heath Miller this week.

Hines Ward - Ward is the Steelers leading receiver thus far this season with 33 receptions and 440 yards receiving.  With Holmes wrist injury continuing to be a nagging problem, Ward will see more balls thrown his way.  However, it's concerning to fantasy owners that Ward only has 1 touchdown so far this season.  With all things considering Ward is still a good play this week against the Browns.

Rashard Mendenhall - Mendenall has looked real impressive the past couple of weeks with Willie Parker being out due to a turf toe injury.  In two games, Mendenhall is averaging over 5 yards a carry and has 3 touchdowns.  Against the league's worst running defense Mendenhall is expected to start and will see the majority of all carries with Fast Willie being the change of pace back as he recovers from his injury.

Ben Roethlisberger Jersey
Hines Ward Jersey
Rashard Mendenhall Jersey
Heath Miller Jersey
Santonio Holmes Jersey

Cleveland Browns

Joshua Cribbs - Unfortunately for the Browns, based on their play thus far this season, Cribbs is the only guy I would consider as a fantasy owner this week.  With Braylon Edwards being traded to the Jets, Cribbs should see some increased action as a 3rd WR.  Aside from that, Cribbs is well known to be an extremely dangerous kick-off returner and has had prior success against the Steelers special teams unit.

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