Thursday, October 08, 2009

Team still distanced from Mendenhall

Listening to my tape over the past week, I've picked up on something that may give a little insight into how Rashard Mendenhall is perceived by his teammates.

When talking about the second-year running back, the only player who uses Mendenhall's first name is Willie Parker - a guy who would know him reasonably well from sitting through meetings with him.

Everyone else calls him Mendenhall.

Mendenhall didn't spend much time around the team after his injury last season - at least not until the playoffs. I only saw him on one road trip.

That's not really as big a deal as it was made out to be last season. He did his rehab. He got healthy. And some coaches don't like a lot of injured players around anyway because they really can't help the team - particularly a rookie.

But it's obvious Mendenhall isn't "one of the boys."

He's quiet and in fact, comes off as a little shy.

But another 165-yard game or two and you can bet the teammates will be talking differently about him.

29 comments:

Steelers Depot said...

I'm not really surprised being as he spent so much time away from the team. Until his performance last week, he really has yet to contribute other than a huge gain versus Chicago. On Sunday night he had that, "Oh Lord do not let me mess up", look in his eyes. He ran great versus the banged up Chargers 3-4 defense and the offensive line showed why the Steelers went 9-0 last year against teams that played the 3-4 front. He had a superb pancake on a blitz pickup as well. This week we will see how he handles the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award and the extra media attention that came along with it. Hopefully it will be better than after the Bears game. Also interesting will be how both he and the offensive line do against the 4-3. I like how he really trusted the blocks, ran skinny and broke a few tackles against the Chargers. Also he needs to go to the Tiki Barber School of Securing the Football as well. Even looking at his college tape, he likes to hold it low. Also I do not think that spin move is going anywhere, he has had it for years. I love to see that violent down-hill running. More please, more!

Anonymous said...

I heard Ben call him something that sounded like "Rosh" a few times on some NFL Films miked-up footage.

The spin and the way he carries the ball (Ben also kept telling him to carry it high and not fumble) terrify me.

He did look great the other night. San Diego, but still...

MJ said...

Did the media say the same thing about Timmons when he first came into the league? Quiet and standoffish. None of that matters if they perform on the field.

Tim said...

I hate the quiet type. Seriously, can anyone name even ONE good running back that was the quiet, and even shy type? I don't think so. Now, let's forget about all this and start focusing on the Detroit Lions.

Steelers Depot said...

Barry Sanders was pretty quiet.

MJ said...

Ricky Williams was kind of good early in his career, and he did interviews with his helmet on.

Patrick said...

Hey Dale,

I heard that the Steelers will be working out a WR from the AFL, but not for 2 weeks from now. Doesn't seem like a really big deal, but do they do these types of workouts often during the season?

Darren said...

Sanders, Payton, Sayers... Don't hear much out of Tomlinson. Franco never really said much. Plus a ton more RB's that were quiet.

Anonymous said...

...Shaun Alexander, etc. What does being quiet have to do with anything?

Dale Lolley said...

I just think his teammates aren't sure about him and that's part of it. He's not been one of the boys. Then, they hear about him doing dance classes in the offseason and stuff like that. They may think he's a little aloof.
And yes, they work guys out all the time. They don't want to have somebody get hurt and have no idea who's out there.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the LA area and I've heard all the same comments about Kobe Bryant early in his careeer. Some people are just like that and most people overlook it if the talent produces championships....let's hope!

keevin said...

as long as he focuses on football, I dont give a crap if he jokes around and is friendly in the loccer room. this is 'professional' football

Anonymous said...

he's quiet and he dances.....oh my god, does he like show tunes too.

Thanks Dale, glad we elevated the discussion.

Maybe we'd be better off if he went to a strip club and beat the crap out of someone.

He is only one thing...he is very young. Parker had Bettis to nurture him along. Mendy is having to go it alone, Parker just hasn't been terribly supportive. (reason # 10 I think he needs to move on)

Farmer Fran

marc said...

every team has outspoken and/or quiet individuals. no big deal. keep in mind, he's potentially taking a spot from "one of the guys" in parker. could be some animosity there anyways.

the big question is whether or not our o-line can follow up on last weeks performance.

Anonymous said...

Mendy's going to get kordelled by this town.

Anonymous said...

Classic case of media not having anything to write about, so just make something up because the other players use his last name.

BREAKING NEWS Ike Taylor refers to people by their numbers. He must not like them either. Give me a break with this nonsense.

Mike said...

Anyone who thinks that quiet soft-spoken football players are bad needs to look at #43.

Anonymous said...

Mike..
LMAO! Awesome point
Zeke

Anonymous said...

Isn't James Harrison also considered a quiet and aloof person?

Patrick said...

ok guys, I think we all get the point.

This is Dale, doing what we enjoy most and pointing out something that we wouldn't know otherwise. He didn't mean Mendenhall (opps I called him by only his last name) is a bad teammate or player, he was merely pointing out that despite a huge game, he still isn't completely infiltrated into the team's locker room environment.

Anonymous said...

thanks for setting us all straight Patricia

Patrick said...

no problem sweet heart.

thanks for the love

Dale Lolley said...

Jeez. All I was doing was pointing out something I noticed. Wasn't saying it was a good or bad thing. In fact, my last thought was that if he breaks off another 165-yard game, the teammates will welcome him with open arms.
You guys need to chill a little bit.
It's just very rare that guys on this team call somebody else on the team by his last name. Usually, it's a nickname or his first name. Hardly ever the last.

Viz-Burgh said...

Dale, I've seen you make the argument about coaches not wanting injured players around before & I still disagree. Look at all the guys who went on IR last season. You saw them on the sidelines at nearly every game & they were reportedly at the facility all the time with the team.

Then you take that even further - here's a guy who's a 1st round draft pick, signed to a 5 year deal, who still had a lot to learn about this offense & playing in the NFL when he got hurt. So he's going to foreseeably be around for 4 more years after he gets healthy. Why wouldn't you want him in the meetings & at practice, learning all he can without being on the field so that when he's healthy he'll be more ready to contribute?

While it's true that getting healthy & doing his rehab were what were required of him, his job is being a Pittsburgh Steeler & preparing to be the best player he can be. I don't think missing all those opportunities last season fit that job description. And it certainly didn't help him get close to his teammates.

Philip said...

Listen Lolley you better ship up or shape out with your reports on quiet running backs!

Srsly tho...the Mendy train is just starting to roll. Hop on board now CHOO CHOO

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, Mendy is an overall terrible 22 year old man because he did what was required of him after he went on IR and didn't hang around the team all the time like he was not required to do...what a joke. Who cares if hes quiet or reserved, that dosn't make him any less able to do his job. People like Viz-Burgh above that assume to know exactly what Mendy did last year while injured because they read a few reports from the media are stupid. You were not there every day with him last year and didn't see what he did to help his career along by doing things like attending meetings and learning the playbook. You have no idea...unless your Mike Tomlin in disguise...He messed up on his preperations for one game and didn't get any PT because of it. That is the only thing bad I have ever heard about this kid, and thats pretty weak. Getting close to his teamates is not a requirement of his job. I am sure if he is here long term, he will find his nitch in the locker room...this isn't a high school lunch table situation here I don't think, lol.

Viz-Burgh said...

Every report was that he was never around the team last season until playoff time. Didn't come to games, didn't attend practices, meetings, etc. Did his rehab & went home. So unless you're saying that every single media report is lying & he actually did those things, my question remains. But please, look at one 165 yard game & ignore everything else about the kid.

People earlier in this thread were on Willie Parker for not mentoring Mendenhall. How's he supposed to do that when the kid never showed up & doesn't seem to WANT that help?

You wanna ignore facts & every report that's been posted or published? Fine. But be clear that your OPINION is that the reports aren't true. Meanwhile, the reporters who are on the beat daily are reporting FACTUALLY that he wasn't around last year.

But don't let that stop you from saying that unless Tomlin says it, it can't be so. Tell you what. Show me ONE report that says he WAS around last year. Just one.

I'll be waiting....

Until then I'll say that in the ultimate team game this kid hasn't tried to be part of the team. maybe that's changed since then. maybe he's grown up some. But the big difference on this team is the closeness of the locker room & the family atmosphere (according to vets who've played other places). If you think a guy who pays no attention to that won't stand out, you're crazy.

Dale Lolley said...

A certain degree of Mendenhall not being around was him not knowing how to deal with an injury. He'd never really be injured before. I'm sure he was depressed about it.
As far as Parker mentoring him, Willie has done a good job of that from what I've seen. Anybody who says differently hasn't been paying attention or is seeing what they want to see.

Anonymous said...

Schenley Park anyone?