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Old 11-12-2009, 10:22 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Rashard Mendenhall's Already Better Than You May Think

Rashard Mendenhall's Already Better Than You May Think
http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2009/11/12/m...ou-make-think/
Posted Nov 12, 2009 8:50PM By JJ Cooper (RSS feed)

Filed Under: Steelers, AFC North

Rashard MendenhallJust a month and a half ago, Rashard Mendenhall looked to be a big bust. He missed almost his entire rookie season with a broken collarbone, then was benched for the Bengals game in September after Mike Tomlin said he lacked focus.

But in the past month and a half, Mendenhall has shown he is clearly the Steelers running back of the present and the future, but even Steelers fans may not realize just how good he's been.

In his first five starts, Mendenhall has two of the 20 best rushing games in modern Steelers history (going back to 1960). His 165 yards against the Chargers in his first career start was the 11th best game of the past 50 years -- better than any game Jerome Bettis had as a Steeler. Last week's 155 yards against the Broncos was the 18th best game of the modern era.

Mendenhall's big play ability has proven to be the best surprise. He's tied for third in the league runs of 20 yards or longer despite having only 100 carries. His 5.7 yards per carry average is second best in the league (behind Chris Johnson) and he's had a run of 10+ yards in every one of his five starts.

In case you're wondering, here's the top 20 Steelers rushing games since 1960 (thanks to Pro Football Reference's Play Index). Willie Parker has two of the top three, but this is also a good reminder that Barry Foster at his best was very, very good.

Rk Player Date Opp Att Yds Y/A TD
1 Willie Parker 2006-12-07 CLE 32 223 6.97 1
2 John Fuqua 1970-12-20 PHI 20 218 10.9 2
3 Willie Parker 2006-11-12 NOR 22 213 9.68 2
4 John Henry Johnson* 1964-10-10 CLE 30 200 6.67 3
5 Barry Foster 1992-09-13 NYJ 33 190 5.76 2
6 John Henry Johnson* 1960-12-11 PHI 19 182 9.58 1
7 Barry Foster 1994-09-18 IND 31 179 5.77 1
8 Franco Harris* 1977-11-20 DAL 29 179 6.17 2
9 Barry Foster 1992-11-22 IND 28 168 6 2
10 Dick Hoak 1968-10-20 NOR 16 166 10.38 1
11 Rashard Mendenhall 2009-10-04 SDG 29 165 5.69 2
12 Jerome Bettis 1997-10-12 IND 30 164 5.47 1
13 Jerome Bettis 2001-11-11 CLE 29 163 5.62 0
14 Rocky Bleier 1975-10-26 GNB 35 163 4.66 0
15 Willie Parker 2005-09-11 TEN 22 161 7.32 1
16 Franco Harris* 1975-11-02 CIN 27 157 5.81 0
17 Franco Harris* 1974-11-17 CLE 23 156 6.78 0
18 Rashard Mendenhall 2009-11-09 DEN 22 155 7.05 0
19 Jerome Bettis 2001-10-07 CIN 23 153 6.65 0
20 Franco Harris* 1979-10-07 CLE 19 153 8.05 2
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rashard Mendenhall's Already Better Than You May Think

hell if it was up to LAKELANDER, mendenhall would have already been cut, and redman with all his "suddeness and glide" , would be the starter....
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rashard Mendenhall's Already Better Than You May Think

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post

Rashard MendenhallJust a month and a half ago, Rashard Mendenhall looked to be a big bust. He missed almost his entire rookie season with a broken collarbone, then was benched for the Bengals game in September after Mike Tomlin said he lacked focus.
meh.

im one who believes that he actually suffered a broken scapula (an injury much more seen in car wreck victims as opposed to football players).

for those who dont know, the collar bone is the part of the shoulder (rib like bone) running from the front of the neck to the front of the arm.

the scapula (otherwise known as the shoulder blade) is the flat, plate like, bigger bone on the back from the neck to the arm.

while both are considered a "broken shoulder" cracking the blade is usually more severe.

its like breaking a femur as opposed to a lower leg bone. (both are called a "broken leg).

breaking a humerus isnt as funny as cracking a forearm (even though both are called a "broken arm").
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Rashard Mendenhall's Already Better Than You May Think

All I know is the guy is running to daylight and that's what matters most. He's for sure what we needed to get the run game going. I also think the line blocking better came at exactly the right time.
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rashard Mendenhall's Already Better Than You May Think

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All I know is the guy is running to daylight and that's what matters most. He's for sure what we needed to get the run game going. I also think the line blocking better came at exactly the right time.
The line is blocking better but he is also breaking some tackles after the first contact. He is getting those extra yards where Parker would go down. He is showing some burst out in the open. I think he is the real deal.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Rashard Mendenhall's Already Better Than You May Think

Yeah, he's starting to look more and more like the guy who gashed USC in the Rose Bowl and showed he was one of the only Illini players that deserved to be in that game.
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Rashard Mendenhall's Already Better Than You May Think

i tend to lean more towards the O-line as the reason the steelers are running better. BR's passing skills are better too so defenses do not crowd the box as much as they have in the past.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rashard Mendenhall's Already Better Than You May Think

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i tend to lean more towards the O-line as the reason the steelers are running better. BR's passing skills are better too so defenses do not crowd the box as much as they have in the past.
You make some good points, but Mendy deserves props for making the most of the opportunities the OL gives him. I believe the success of our running game as of late is a combo of the good play of the OL and Mendy's natural talent and hard work.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Rashard Mendenhall's Already Better Than You May Think

Anytime a guy can give ya 150 yards a game that is a good sign. Willie has 3 games on that list, Rashard already has 2 in less then half a season. Yep Mendenhall is a bust. Redman and Kuhn both would have 300 yards a game and we would be undefeated.
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rashard Mendenhall's Already Better Than You May Think

I remember a time when there were multiple "Mendenhall is a bust" threads.
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