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Monday, March 28, 2011

Running backs and shelf life

Mike Tomlin in the Post-Gazette said that he's not all that concerned about the heavy work load that Rashard Mendenhall had in 2010.

Mendenhall finished fourth in the NFL in carries last season with 324. Add in his playoff total and that number jumps to 385.

That's usually the danger zone for NFL running backs.

But, as Tomlin said, you draft running backs to hand them the ball.

And let's face it, the ball isn't heavy.

Tomlin famously said in his first season with the Steelers that he would run Willie Parker until his wheels came off.

That's exactly what happened. But Parker didn't have the pedigree of Mendenhall.

When you take a running back in the first round of the draft, you expect him to be a workhorse.


Anonymous said...

Pretty good reason to never take a running back in the first round ever again.

Anonymous said...

I agree that they should be workhorses. BUT, there's also the issue of keeping Mendenhall fresh for the entire season, for when we will need him in the playoffs. That's when redman factor comes in. He HAS to be given a bigger workload. Nothing comparable to what rashard gets, but 1-5 carries a game (compared to when mendehall gets 20+) won't cut it

Henry said...

Yeah, Mendy thinks he's a slave too as they won't give him health insurances because he's in the Danger Zone!

Anyone watch Archer on FX?

Mark said...

The ball isn't heavy, but the multiple 300 lb players jumping on his back 20+ times a game are.

I agree with giving the other running backs (particularly Redman) more than 1-5 carries a game. Ideally, the opposing team should still be worried if it will be a run or pass play when the other running backs are in the game.

Anonymous said...

I agree with giving "redzone" as many carries as they are willing to give him. Everytime he grabs the rock I think he breaks three tackles. Talk about wearing the other team down. Also speaking of breaking tackles I liked that guy Taiwan Jones. I think we should take a flyer on him if we could get him in the 4th or 5th round. I know he has an injury history but he looks fantastic when healthy. He has a second gear that other players just can't keep up with.

Mrs. Isaac Redman

PSUnGA said...

I wish they use Redman more. He compliments Mendenhall very well. Not that I want Mendenhall with less carries, I just would like him to remain healthy at the end of the season/down the road in a couple of years.

I think the days of your workhorse running back are over in the NFL. If it was me i would use a tandem of 2 RBs. If you have them...use them.

Dale Lolley said...

Isn't this fun with the moderator on? Thanks to one guy? You know who you are and thanks to your IP address, so do I.

Anyway, I think Redman will get more carries moving forward. I think that was the plan at times last season, but it didn't always work out.

PSUnGA said...

Glad one moron could mess up everything.

I remember when Bettis and Staley both ran for about 800 yards each one season. The NFL has changed more to a passing game...guess i just like plain old smash mouth football.

Patrick said...

too bad about this moderation Dale, but I'm almost surprised it took this long

Dale Lolley said...

I didn't want to do it - it's more work for me. But since an individual or two can't be adults …

marc said...

it would be great sharing the carriers a bit more. not so much from extending mendy's career, but from wearing him down come playoff time.

it's also a bonus that the RB's can catch out of the backfield. helps keep the defense off balance as far as who they are going to need to cover.

Anonymous said...

What about Dwyer? Does he have a future with us? No one seems to talk about him or even acknowledge that we have him on the team still. I know he had trouble picking up blocks as a rookie, but another year in the system and he might turn into a gem. I'd rather see him take Mewelde's spot for potential upside.

joe said...

i agree with marc about running mendy down before the playoffs, but he looked good in the playoffs this year while he is still young.
bettis was shot by the playoffs after running his wheels off all season.
next season redman isn't the young guy anymore, so tomlin can give him more carries. i really want to see what he can do, he looked real good in limited playing time this season.
one bad apple spoils the bunch for those of us who enjoy the blog :(

Dale Lolley said...

Dwyer will get an opportunity. The coaching staff wasn't too happy with him last summer, but he showed enough to stick around.
This will be a big year for him.