Rashard Mendenhall and Limas Sweed continue to disappoint Steeler Nation as well as their coaches. Let’s start with
the 2008 1st round pick standout from Illinois, Rashard Mendenhall. Last season, Mendenhall’s rookie season was cut short when Baltimore Ravens, Ray Lewis laid a crushing hit on the rookie, fracturing his should and ending his season in the process. This year, Mendenhall has seen very limited playing time with Willie Parker as the primary back and Mewelde Moore seeing the majority of 3rd down duties. To top matters off, Mendenhall was basically benched by head coach Mike Tomlin because he wasn’t satisfied with the running back’s preparation going into Sunday’s division showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals. It was reported that Tomlin requires his players to take a written test leading up to each game to determine how well each player knows their assignments. Likewise, it’s an indicator of how well each player prepares for an upcoming game. Shame on Mendenhall. He should be embarrassed to let his more veteran teammates down. What type of work ethic does this show about Mendenhall? With the amount of money that 1st round picks are making, and knowing he’s probably the future running back of the Pittsburgh Steelers, you would think he would make more of a conscience effort to help his team win.
Now for the 2008 2nd round pick from Texas, Limas Sweed. Also a great athlete and standout during his college days,
the 6-4 220 pound receiver has a great combination of size and speed and a rare ability to beat defenses and get open down the field. So, what’s the problem you may ask? The guy can’t catch the ball. He reminds me of Nate Washington in the early part of his career but worse. He dropped a touchdown pass during the AFC Championship Game (AFCCG) which would have clinched the game. Now, he drops a touchdown pass that inevitably costs the Steelers the game in their second straight loss of the year against the Bengals. In Sweed’s defense, his drop wasn’t the primary reason for the Steelers losing against the Bengals (it was actually poor defense and coaching) but still. When is this guy going to learn to hold onto the ball? Coach Mike Tomlin threatened him this week by saying that he better catch the next pass thrown his way or he’ll be demoted to the 5th wide receiver. What a disappointment he has been this year. It was thought that Sweed would fill in nicely as the number 3 wide receiver with the departure of Nate Washington. With Sweed’s combination of size and speed, fans were hoping to see that “big target” that Big Ben has been wishing for. Instead, we see a guy that was already replaced by rookie Mike Wallace as the number 3 wide receiver. Regardless if Sweed keeps his number 4 wide receiver spot, he won’t see many passes thrown his way at all this season unless he regains that number 3 spot.
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