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Galax Steeler
04-01-2009, 03:43 AM
When Super Bowl XLIII ended and the 2008 season was put to rest in grand style for the Steelers, the 2009 season officially began for Rashard Mendenhall.

A mere spectator on the sidelines not just during the Super Bowl but for most of the season after suffering a season-ending broken shoulder against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field in September, Mendenhall is happy to have a fresh start.

“As soon as the Super Bowl ended it was a relief,” said Mendenhall. “It was great to win and get the ring and celebrate, but then I was back on the same plane as my teammates, no longer on injured reserve. When the Super Bowl ended, my season started. I am trying to do everything I can to get ready. I am looking forward to next year.”

Mendenhall was back in Pittsburgh a short time after the game, working out at the team’s indoor facility on a regular basis, running, catching passes and improving his footwork. When the voluntary workouts began two weeks ago, he already had plenty of work in.

His shoulder is healed. He is feeling great. He used his rookie season to adjust not just to football, but to what comes with being an NFL player away from the game. With that behind him, he is ready for one thing – to focus on football.

“I am comfortable and ready to get started,” said Mendenhall. “I feel a lot more comfortable with all of the outside stuff. As far as on the field I probably will feel a little like a rookie still. The season was shortened for me so I didn’t get that kind of experience. You get accustomed a little bit to the games. But I got all of the off the field stuff taken care of so I can concentrate on football. As far as everything on the outside I am comfortable,”

While he was sidelined last season Mendenhall kept an eye on running backs Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore. He watched how they approached things, their moves on the field and what made them such a strong duo for the running game.

“I tried to pick up as much as I could from them,” said Mendenhall. “I watched film and got into the playbook, trying to pick up the game as much as I could, getting as many mental reps as I could.”

It wasn’t an easy road though. Mendenhall had high hopes for his rookie season and never envisioned spending the season on the sidelines.

“It’s tough and frustrating,” said Mendenhall. “Being a competitor you want to be with your teammates. You want to go out and compete. Being sidelined is a hard pill to swallow. It’s over now. I am relieved. I am at the same level as all of my teammates looking forward to the next time I put a helmet on.

“I just want to have success this season. Whatever my role is, I don’t know, but I just want to be successful in what they ask me to do.”

http://news.steelers.com/article/104312/

steelwall
04-01-2009, 04:35 AM
Here we go Mendy here we go!! Seriously could add a whole new level to our game if he comes back strong.

stlrtruck
04-01-2009, 06:26 AM
I like to see him bulldoze ray-ray on his next game against the ratbirds.

That would be poetic justice.

Dino 6 Rings
04-01-2009, 07:30 AM
I like the idea of having Parker, Mendenhall and Moore all in the backfield. Maybe next season we'll get a taste of the Pony Backfield and see how teams adjust to two starting backs on the field at the same time with our wide receivers and stud QB picking them apart.

How long til kickoff?

Vincent
04-01-2009, 07:30 AM
I like to see him bulldoze ray-ray on his next game against the ratbirds.

That would be poetic justice.

I'd rather see McHugh bulldoze McStabbin as RM bolts to the end zone.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/01/11/sports/football/11steelers.2.enlarge.jpg

Or better, another wiff as RM streaks past him. McStabbin is out of gas. :chuckle:

steelwall
04-01-2009, 07:55 AM
I like the idea of having Parker, Mendenhall and Moore all in the backfield. Maybe next season we'll get a taste of the Pony Backfield and see how teams adjust to two starting backs on the field at the same time with our wide receivers and stud QB picking them apart.

How long til kickoff?

Now seriously a heathly Mendy and Willie in the backfeild AND 2 super bowl MVP's on each side, and one of the best QB's AND tight end in the game..... :popcorn: what defense are you calling then???

HometownGal
04-01-2009, 07:56 AM
It is GREAT seeing Mendy working so hard in the offseason to get himself ready to roll and having such a fierce 'tude! :hatsoff: I really believe this kid is going to add a totally different dimension to the Steelers O and come up big! Can't wait to see him in action. :thumbsup::tt02:

Hammer67
04-01-2009, 08:15 AM
Mendy???

Anyway, I am reserving judgement until I see him do something in the Pros. I saw plenty of him in college and was impressed. But he just hasn't shown anything yet.

stlrtruck
04-01-2009, 08:22 AM
I'd rather see McHugh bulldoze McStabbin as RM bolts to the end zone.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/01/11/sports/football/11steelers.2.enlarge.jpg

Why can't we have the best of both worlds....RM bulldoze McStabbin and then bolt his way to the endzone.

And how about just for s&g's he destroys rays shoulder into a thousand pieces!

lilyoder6
04-01-2009, 08:27 AM
i hope BA is creating some offense packages for all of these guys.. it's going to be fun to watch

LVSteelersfan
04-01-2009, 11:40 AM
i hope BA is creating some offense packages for all of these guys.. it's going to be fun to watch

Hope is the main phrase there. BA better get his head out next year with his playcalling. Too many nailbiters last year because we sucked in the red zone. We should have won going away in so many games including the Super Bowl. I love the idea of the pony but we never ONCE saw it last year although Moore and Parker would have been perfect for it. Instead we constantly saw that two or three TE formation or that bunch formation with no RB in the backfield at all. Couldn't understand it then and hope it goes away next year. BA SUCKS despite the fact we won a Super Bowl. We won IN SPITE of him, not because of him.

revefsreleets
04-01-2009, 11:46 AM
Ah, it's so nice to have the "Arians sucks!" and "Fire Arians!" posts start up again. I missed them...

scsteeler
04-01-2009, 12:15 PM
Hope is the main phrase there. BA better get his head out next year with his playcalling. Too many nailbiters last year because we sucked in the red zone. We should have won going away in so many games including the Super Bowl. I love the idea of the pony but we never ONCE saw it last year although Moore and Parker would have been perfect for it. Instead we constantly saw that two or three TE formation or that bunch formation with no RB in the backfield at all. Couldn't understand it then and hope it goes away next year. BA SUCKS despite the fact we won a Super Bowl. We won IN SPITE of him, not because of him.


I think Bruce A. did a good job calling games last year. I know, I know some will say what games where you watching. My thing is the OC calls the plays but it is up to the Offense to execute it. With that being said I think our offense will be much better and the team will even better than last year overall.

steelerdave1969
04-01-2009, 12:50 PM
I like the idea of having Parker, Mendenhall and Moore all in the backfield. Maybe next season we'll get a taste of the Pony Backfield and see how teams adjust to two starting backs on the field at the same time with our wide receivers and stud QB picking them apart.

How long til kickoff?

Mr. Dino, that would be an awesome thing to see the other teams squirming over wouldnt it? Man having Parker to the left and having Mewelde to the right and having Mendenhall right in front of them 2... what do you expect? Anything could come out of that formation, I know this would take away a TE or a WR, but what would the defense's be thinking?... I bet first of all they would be signalling for a timeout!!
:thumbsup:

steelerdave1969
04-01-2009, 12:53 PM
I think Bruce A. did a good job calling games last year. I know, I know some will say what games where you watching. My thing is the OC calls the plays but it is up to the Offense to execute it. With that being said I think our offense will be much better and the team will even better than last year overall.

I kind of agree, because he knew that he had to keep 2 and 3 TE's in to help the offensive line probably had something to do with that as well. I hope our offensive line plays better in '09 or we just might make it Back2Back super bowls.. :tt02:

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-01-2009, 04:17 PM
Maybe next season we'll get a taste of the Pony Backfield ?

I think the Pony Backfield was all smoke. Could have done it with Parker and Moore, but never even attempted it.

lilyoder6
04-01-2009, 05:35 PM
I think the Pony Backfield was all smoke. Could have done it with Parker and Moore, but never even attempted it.

i would rather see a pony backfield with a speed runner and a power runner instead of 2 speed/finese guys

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-01-2009, 06:11 PM
i would rather see a pony backfield with a speed runner and a power runner instead of 2 speed/finese guys

So.........what are you saying?? Willie Parker and Gary Russell were a pony backfield combination that you would have liked to see???

paw-n-maul-u
04-01-2009, 07:23 PM
I don't understand why we never try out a Dixon/Ben/Mendenhall wildcat backfield ... with holmes sweed and ward/heath

that would be a nightmare

Holmes on an end around, could direct snap to him ... or run an option with dixon ...
or straight to ben and pass .. straight to ben and draw to mendenhall or dixon ...

dixon on a fake draw and then a bootleg pass ... the possibilities are endless
you could have 1600 play configurations with those 5ish on the field

ShutDown24
04-01-2009, 07:42 PM
I don't understand why we never try out a Dixon/Ben/Mendenhall wildcat backfield ... with holmes sweed and ward/heath

that would be a nightmare

Holmes on an end around, could direct snap to him ... or run an option with dixon ...
or straight to ben and pass .. straight to ben and draw to mendenhall or dixon ...

dixon on a fake draw and then a bootleg pass ... the possibilities are endless
you could have 1600 play configurations with those 5ish on the field

If Dixon is listed as the third string quarterback he can't touch the field at any position without the consequence. The consequence would be that our first string quarterback (Ben) isn't allowed to re-enter the game until the fourth quarter. It is a stupid rule, but a rule nonetheless. That is why they never tried anything with Dixon last year.

Rashard is going to be a beast. I can't wait until he gets his first real shot. He was looking like a stud until Ray-Ray got his fat ass in the way.

paw-n-maul-u
04-01-2009, 08:58 PM
If Dixon is listed as the third string quarterback he can't touch the field at any position without the consequence. The consequence would be that our first string quarterback (Ben) isn't allowed to re-enter the game until the fourth quarter. It is a stupid rule, but a rule nonetheless. That is why they never tried anything with Dixon last year.

Rashard is going to be a beast. I can't wait until he gets his first real shot. He was looking like a stud until Ray-Ray got his fat ass in the way.

touche'. I didn't expect dixon to anything last year. And not much of anything this year except maybe if there is a trick play hanging around here or there.

HOWEVER, as of right now dixon is the only other legit QB on our roster. Batch and Leftwhich are not steelers right now. they are unrestricted FA's

Sure, there is a chance one of them will be back. but if the season started today, Dixon would be our #2. And honestly. I'm fine with that.

A lot worse QB's have been thrown into a lot worse situations and done fine, or atleast done what was asked.

I would have no problem heading into this season with Dixon as the #2 QB and a vet #3 that is fine with holding a clipboard, not dressing out, and having a chance at jewelry at the end of the season.

If ben went down for more than three games, I would advocate bringing in the best FA option at that time ... ala leftwhich culpepper last year. but I would rather save the money and keep developing dixon ...

Last year we never really had the luxury of taking ben out early in games ... minus the pats and a bengals game or soemthing. But this next year I think we are going to crush a lot of our oppenents and I see someone like dixon getting a lot of fourth quarter reps.

Shaub yielded what? like a second rounder? I think showcasing dixon a little in the preseason and surely in real game time next year could yield us some decent value two years down the road. I think it is safe to say that dixon would be more or less on pat white status this year( second-third RD) had he not been injured. I mean he made people look straight sillllllly. He even had a huge run this past preseason that was pretty nice. I'm excited to see what hes got and hope he gets a chance

heres my vote to keep dixon #2 QB and get real freaky naughty with some trick plays

devilsdancefloor
04-01-2009, 09:01 PM
I think the Pony Backfield was all smoke. Could have done it with Parker and Moore, but never even attempted it.

sadly i think you are correct i was foaming at the mouth when BA mentioned it! Hell forget the pony WISHBONE baby! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

paw-n-maul-u
04-01-2009, 09:15 PM
Too much ranting on dixon, got a little carried away, back to mendenhall.

I just see him coming in this year ... and more or less halfway through the season, people are going to start to realize that, wow, mendenhall should be getting the 15-20 carries ... parker around 10 or so ... and Moore getting 5-10 touches wether or third downs or returns or what have you.

2010 Backfield:

Mendenhall
Moore
Russell (althought I really feel he is going to get booted here soon. russell has done little to ease my goal line back pains) He has had a couple nice TD's, but I also saw him walk into the endzone on one or two ... nothing that can't be replaced with a late round pick to at the very least push him for a spot.

PeckerWood
04-01-2009, 11:16 PM
I think the offensive line will be a lot better in run blocking, they have a lot of video of themselves to learn from against the best the NFL could throw at them last year.

Mendenhall tears it up with some good runs and some catches for 1st downs..

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-01-2009, 11:20 PM
I predict that the Wildcat formation will be dead by 2010. Its just a rehash of the old single wing offense.

Fads come and go. I think the wildcat wont even last as long as "the wave", "the run n' shoot", disco or breakdancing.

Mendenhall will be a solid rb, the only question is how is he going to be used??

Galax Steeler
04-02-2009, 03:35 AM
I predict that the Wildcat formation will be dead by 2010. Its just a rehash of the old single wing offense.

Fads come and go. I think the wildcat wont even last as long as "the wave", "the run n' shoot", disco or breakdancing.

Mendenhall will be a solid rb, the only question is how is he going to be used??

I have to agree I don't think the Steelers will run the wildcat this year. I think they will concentrate more on getting the running game back to where it needs to be.

Fire Haley
04-02-2009, 06:59 AM
“I tried to pick up as much as I could from them”

I hope he learned how to catch the ball from Moore, not Willie.

lilyoder6
04-02-2009, 08:34 AM
So.........what are you saying?? Willie Parker and Gary Russell were a pony backfield combination that you would have liked to see???

i would of liked to see a system like that.. but mendy looks like a better power runner..