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View Full Version : Rashard Mendenhall's Rookie Year


scsteeler
05-13-2009, 01:32 PM
Looking at his first year and all the post that Rashard Mendenhall will replace Parker and statements that the Steelers should be looking to trade FWP I was wondering could Mendenhall be another back with a lot of potential but one that is injury prone and never really have that breakout year everyone hoped he would?

Yes I am a big Fan of Parker, but I do want the best back in the backfield and right now Mendenhall is not that back until he shows he can produce for a solid year first, I am a little concerned about him being the #1 RB!

When FWP got hurt, Mendenhall when out for the year in his first game as the starter and is this also the reason we have so many RB/FB on the roster?

By the way I loved the fact we drafted Mendenhall but I still want to see him produce.

steelreserve
05-13-2009, 01:41 PM
This will be the year they give Mendenhall a chance to show whether he's got what it takes or not. With Parker in the last year of his contract, we have a decision to make about the future of our backfield ... and continuing to stick with the Parker-only offense is not going to give us any information to base that decision on.

Hopefully, we'll see more of a mix in the backfield, and Mendenhall's performance will help us decide what's the right thing to do about Parker, which is to not re-sign him.

pancake
05-13-2009, 02:01 PM
You need to have 2 solid backs and I think we have that now. I do wonder what the Steelers plan for Parker will be and what Parker wants as well...

LVSteelersfan
05-13-2009, 02:40 PM
Can you say pony backfield? I wish it were true but I don't trust that Arians will run the pony. Or the boney maroney even.

slippy
05-13-2009, 02:58 PM
mendenhall is a huge question mark. we don't know if he can even pick up the blitz yet.

steelreserve
05-13-2009, 04:22 PM
mendenhall is a huge question mark. we don't know if he can even pick up the bong yet.

Fixed for accuracy. Now that Gary Russell is gone, anyway.

Galax Steeler
05-14-2009, 03:49 AM
Looking at his first year and all the post that Rashard Mendenhall will replace Parker and statements that the Steelers should be looking to trade FWP I was wondering could Mendenhall be another back with a lot of potential but one that is injury prone and never really have that breakout year everyone hoped he would?

Yes I am a big Fan of Parker, but I do want the best back in the backfield and right now Mendenhall is not that back until he shows he can produce for a solid year first, I am a little concerned about him being the #1 RB!

When FWP got hurt, Mendenhall when out for the year in his first game as the starter and is this also the reason we have so many RB/FB on the roster?

By the way I loved the fact we drafted Mendenhall but I still want to see him produce.

Talk about durability in the backifield Parker has been hurt the last two years. So is he the someone we can depend on or should we go with Mendenhall. Mendenhall went toe to toe will Lewis and lost so he was not running away from contact when he got hurt. So I would like to see him win the starting job I like Willie alot but I would like to see a power runner in our system.

LambertLunatic
05-14-2009, 06:41 AM
and right now Mendenhall is not that back until he shows he can produce for a solid year first, I am a little concerned about him being the #1 RB!

mendenhall is a huge question mark. we don't know if he can even pick up the blitz yet.

Are these statements any different than what was said about Parker in '05, or even Jerome in '96?

GBMelBlount
05-14-2009, 07:25 AM
... and continuing to stick with the Parker-only offense is not going to give us any information to base that decision on.

Hopefully, we'll see more of a mix in the backfield, and Mendenhall's performance will help us decide what's the right thing to do about Parker, which is to not re-sign him.

Completely agree.

Also, as far as durability, some players have one injury and are healthy the rest of their careers. It's too early to tell w/ Mendy yet imo.

Rotorhead
05-14-2009, 07:26 AM
I just have to respond to Galax about Parker because you keep posting Parker is injury prone, his leg was broken at the end of the season, until then he was on his way to win the rushing title so . . . he was fine 2 years ago, last year he was injured so I would call it injuries for one year. Troy was the same, Ben had a bad year, etc. If he is healthy this year our running game will be back and hopefully Reshard will step up.

scsteeler
05-14-2009, 08:16 AM
I just have to respond to Galax about Parker because you keep posting Parker is injury prone, his leg was broken at the end of the season, until then he was on his way to win the rushing title so . . . he was fine 2 years ago, last year he was injured so I would call it injuries for one year. Troy was the same, Ben had a bad year, etc. If he is healthy this year our running game will be back and hopefully Reshard will step up.

I agree!!!! If Parker and Mendenhall are both healthy and perform like I think they can then we can have a very good RB tandem. I know Mendy is the future but I am not ready to give up on Parker right now.

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-14-2009, 09:45 AM
In 2008, I thought Jonathan Stewart and Rashard Mendenhall were the 2 best RB's in last years draft....that were suited to the NFL game.

Yes, I thought they would be better NFL players than Darren McFadden. I hope this year we start to see that from Mendenhall.

mmalone
05-14-2009, 10:19 AM
It will be a great thing to see Willie start healthy. Hopefully Rashard and Summers basically both rookies can explode. The steelers can get back to a solid running game and make the play action work nice and smooth. Then to see Summers take up the short yardage job and handle that nicely. wow... More first downs... look out.. with our defense and a healthy running game, it will be hard to beat the steelers.

Rowghani
05-14-2009, 11:02 AM
Hopefully Urbik can work his way into the starting line and open up some holes for both of them.

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-14-2009, 01:47 PM
It will be a great thing to see Willie start healthy. Hopefully Rashard and Summers basically both rookies can explode. The steelers can get back to a solid running game and make the play action work nice and smooth. Then to see Summers take up the short yardage job and handle that nicely. wow... More first downs... look out.. with our defense and a healthy running game, it will be hard to beat the steelers.

What about Mewelde Moore?? I will be extremely surprised if on gameday the Steelers dress Parker, Mendenhall, Moore and Summers.

slashsteel
05-14-2009, 05:04 PM
I almost got a headache reading this thread.

It amazes me that some of yinz want to replace Fast Willie with a back that missed more time last year than Parker in his whole career.

No reason that the two can't coexist in the burgh for years to come.

I don't even think Mendy's cap number will increase significantly for at least a few more years.

+ I don't think Willie will be looking to break the bank, regardless of what he does this year.

He idolized Bettis, I think he will take a page out of the Bus' book and resign for a cap friendly deal.


Bottom line is the Steelers know what they have in Parker, they don't know what they have in Mendy. And I am not so sure from a durability standpoint that a year will change this mindset.

Now on to Frank the Tank. One poster is hopeful he will "explode" onto the scene.


I don't think we will see that.

A more realistic outcome would be that he becomes a effective short yardage / goal line back.

If that comes to pass he will be worth the pick. If he learns how to block effectively that will be a bonus.

To want or expect anything more than that might be just wishful thinking at this point.

I don't think he will ever be a feature back.

If you mean by explosive is that he becomes a bulldozing back in a limited role. Then I am hopeful that can happen.

I am a optimist and a realist all rolled into one, I just prefer not to stretch the rubber band man.

Davison_K
05-14-2009, 05:20 PM
What about Mewelde Moore?? I will be extremely surprised if on gameday the Steelers dress Parker, Mendenhall, Moore and Summers.

IMO It depends on what the Steelers' do with the Davis situation. I remember hearing on NFL Network a couple days after the draft (if not the day of) that Summers is able to play both the RB and FB positions. If this is true, it makes Davis expendable. They have their short yardage back as well as someone they can use as a FB. 2 positions for 1 spot. As for the other 3 it will be interesting to see how Arians decides to keep them happy with playing time and touches. :noidea:

steelreserve
05-14-2009, 06:18 PM
What about Mewelde Moore?? I will be extremely surprised if on gameday the Steelers dress Parker, Mendenhall, Moore and Summers.

The key to this working is that either Summers or McHugh can play FB, thereby eliminating the need for suckface Davis. If it's Summers, maybe we don't even use a traditional fullback, so much as the kind of weird hybrid HB/FB position like the 49ers do with Michael Robinson.

pancake
05-14-2009, 06:40 PM
What about Mewelde Moore?? I will be extremely surprised if on gameday the Steelers dress Parker, Mendenhall, Moore and Summers.

I won't be surprised at all. Looks like a good stable of RB's...

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-14-2009, 10:05 PM
I won't be surprised at all. Looks like a good stable of RB's...

Yeah, but no FB. The Steelers RB coach said pretty firmly that they consider Summers a HB that could play FB. But the 2 FB's on his roster are Carey Davis and Ryan Powdrell. One of those 2 guys is gonna make the 53man roster.

So, on gameday I can see that Parker, Mendenhall and Moore will dress at HB and Ryan Powdrell will be the FB. Frank Summers is gonna be in sweatpants unless somebody gets hurt, IMO.

Galax Steeler
05-15-2009, 03:46 AM
I just have to respond to Galax about Parker because you keep posting Parker is injury prone, his leg was broken at the end of the season, until then he was on his way to win the rushing title so . . . he was fine 2 years ago, last year he was injured so I would call it injuries for one year. Troy was the same, Ben had a bad year, etc. If he is healthy this year our running game will be back and hopefully Reshard will step up.

I am not saying to give up on Parker when you compare them they both have had some injuries. I am saying that Parker is not running the ball like he used to. If he can't get around the corner he is done. I am saying that I would like to see someone who can run between the tackles or have the moves to break a big one and I think Mendenhall will bring that power running game to Pittsburgh.

The Definiti0n
05-15-2009, 06:03 AM
Everybody seems to want a powerback in our system. How many rings did we win with Bettis gaining 3 yards and a cloud of dust? I remember Cowher saying if we block all 11 guys with Bettis we gains 12 yards. If we block all 11 with Parker we score a TD.

05' 1202
06' 1494
07' 1316

He broke his leg the second to last game in 07 and was dinged up this past year.
I recall Bettis being dinged up quite a few times 2001 2002 . Not to mention the one he faked in 2000 lol. I love The Bus but everyone gets dinged up even legends. Lets not right Willie off because he really only had on injury plagued year.

Pi Kapp Steeler
05-15-2009, 07:17 AM
A big concern I have is holding on to parker for to long if we do resign him. He is turning 30 this year i believe and he might lose his speed as he gets over the hill. Definately don't want a 30+ scat back holding the running game by himself. Thats where Mendy comes in, if he can prove him self as worthy I wouldnt mind seeing 50-50 carries in the future, which would eventually lead to mendenall getting the majority of the carries when willie start losing his step. Yet again it all depends how much willie will ask for at the end of his contract, im mean his got 2 superbowl rings already he might just go highest bidder.

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-15-2009, 07:18 AM
I think Mendenhall will bring that power running game to Pittsburgh.

If you saw Mendenhall play at Illinois, you would notice his running style to be a bit like a slower Ladanian Tomlinson or a bit quicker Eggerin James. He isnt a "power back" as some hope but rather a guy that has quick feet, is well built and finishes runs going forward.

Mendenhall is less of a powerful of a RB than Marshawn Lynch, so I wouldnt get my hopes up that he is the next LeRon Mclain.

Davison_K
05-15-2009, 01:14 PM
Frank Summers is gonna be in sweatpants unless somebody gets hurt, IMO.

I disagree. They drafted Summers to be their goal line/short yardage back. Unless he is unable to do so, I do not feel like he won't get any playing time. They cut Russel who was the short yardage back last season, so with their current roster, I doubt they have someone who they feel will get it in the end zone in these situations. Mendenhall didn't impress anyone, if I remember correctly, as a possible goal line back during training camp last year. Which is why we went into the season with FWP as the short yardage back.

Mendenhall is not the guy for short yardage. Unless he has changed something about his style. IMO the Tomlin and co. realize how important short yardage is to a football game, and will not go into the season with FWP or any other back (other than Summers) currently on the roster as the short yardage back.

If Summers doesn't live up to the title, then I agree he will probably be in sweats, but otherwise I feel like he will be our short yardage back this upcoming season.

The Duke
05-15-2009, 04:54 PM
I disagree. They drafted Summers to be their goal line/short yardage back. Unless he is unable to do so, I do not feel like he won't get any playing time. They cut Russel who was the short yardage back last season, so with their current roster, I doubt they have someone who they feel will get it in the end zone in these situations. Mendenhall didn't impress anyone, if I remember correctly, as a possible goal line back during training camp last year. Which is why we went into the season with FWP as the short yardage back.

Mendenhall is not the guy for short yardage. Unless he has changed something about his style. IMO the Tomlin and co. realize how important short yardage is to a football game, and will not go into the season with FWP or any other back (other than Summers) currently on the roster as the short yardage back.

If Summers doesn't live up to the title, then I agree he will probably be in sweats, but otherwise I feel like he will be our short yardage back this upcoming season.

thing is....it's highly unlikely hey dress 4 runningbacks AND a fullback on gameday. Last year russell was the short yardage guy, but there were still only 3 backs dressed cause mendenhall was on IR

the best we can hope for is summers plays fullback. but I see those chances low....

next year though, when/if willie is gone summers will definitely be the goalline back

steelreserve
05-15-2009, 05:18 PM
If you saw Mendenhall play at Illinois, you would notice his running style to be a bit like a slower Ladanian Tomlinson or a bit quicker Eggerin James. He isnt a "power back" as some hope but rather a guy that has quick feet, is well built and finishes runs going forward.

Hey, as long as he doesn't finish runs by dancing around behind the line of scrimmage and half-ducking, half-flopping sideways at the pile, he'll be an improvement over the past few years.

"Yes, I am a Parker hater. Wanna fight about it?"

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-15-2009, 10:01 PM
Hey, as long as he doesn't finish runs by dancing around behind the line of scrimmage and half-ducking, half-flopping sideways at the pile, he'll be an improvement over the past few years.

"Yes, I am a Parker hater. Wanna fight about it?"

Parker is a guy that works best behind a lead blocker, so he can read the block and hit the hole. When he has that, he finishes runs well. I just think he isnt best suited to a single back offense and dont expect to see him get a new contract in 2010 from the Steelers.

As for fighting......any time... any place. .:bash: BTW, never bring fists to a hammer
fight. :wink:

Psyychoward86
05-15-2009, 10:38 PM
A big concern I have is holding on to parker for to long if we do resign him. He is turning 30 this year i believe and he might lose his speed as he gets over the hill. Definately don't want a 30+ scat back holding the running game by himself.

30+ year old scatbacks? Warrick Dunn comes to mind. Players like that show us that as long as you've got the heart of a lion and unbending faith in yourself, you can do it. Granted, he wasnt the only one in the backfield, but how often have you seen a 34 year old, 185lb runningback as the starter? And do well for that matter? Chew on that, give FWP a bit more time, and let's let the story unfold first.