- If Mendenhall’s move is surprising, it is also revealing.
- They didn’t know what to make of Mendenhall.
The question for serious observers was simple – were Mendenhall’s flashes of greatness indicative of true talent waiting to be tapped or were they blips of peak performance courtesy of the upper end of the law of averages?
- Mendenhall’s own actions made it harder to answer that question.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had their share of bad luck in drafting running backs in early rounds that come with baggage – Greg Hawthorne and Walter Abercrombie are two other first rounders that come to mind. Tim Worley of the 1989 draft class blew is signing bonus up his nose. Second rounder Sidney Thornton was such a basket case that he moved ever the stoic Chuck Noll to say “Sidney Thornton’s problems are great and they are many.”
- Mendenhall, it would seem, would be another in a long-line of disappointments.
- There would be other games like that for Mendenhall, most notably the AFC Championship game vs. New York.
Its true. No one will ever confuse Mendenhall’s time in Pittsburgh with the golden age of Steelers run blocking. His offensive coordinator Bruce Arians regarded fullback as the FCC regards the f-word.
But fans always suspected there was something else afoot. How else to explain why the same player who could get himself up off of the deck on his own goal line, and run the length of the field to save a touchdown in '09, while simply no-showing for a game 3 season's later? Steelers Nation always suspected 2 and 2 wasn't equally 4. And now that’s been confirmed.
- Rashard Mendenhall simply doesn’t enjoy playing football that much.
- Mendenhall’s decision does suggest that he began his career with perhaps some latent ambivalence, and this could also explain the erratic highs and lows that characterized his performance.
Steel Curtain Rising wish Rashard Mendenhall luck as he begins “Life’s Work.”