Since arriving in as Pittsburgh’s first round draft pick in 2008, Mendenhall has seen his share of criticism, and Steel Curtain Rising is no exception.
The enjoyable, and tantalizing thing about Mendenhall is that when he hits a hole decisively he can run with any of the top backs in the NFL. That’s a bold claim but skeptics need only remember his:
- first start vs. San Diego in 2009
- show stopping performance in the 2010 AFC Championship game
- performances vs. St. Louis and Cleveland last year, prior to injury
- But what does that say about the other two Steelers running backs?
The logic therefore was that the Steelers would suffer little in a running back by committee system.
- The pathetic results of the Steelers rushing game in weeks 1-3 would seem to wholeheartedly refute that argument.
- This scribe says “no.”
- Neither man was likely at 100% when the season started.
Even with Sunday’s stronger showing against the Eagles, Redman’s season rushing average is a measly 2.5 yards per carry.
- In 2010 Redman averaged 4.7 yards per carry
- In 2011 he clocked in at 4.4 yards per carry
Jonathan Dwyer poses a more complicated question, as his body of work is far more limited.
- But even this limited sample suggests that Dwyer’s performance of 2012 represents far much more of a floor than a ceiling.
But also rest assured that a healthy Redman and Dwyer can also deliver.