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Ravage!!!
08-25-2008, 07:56 PM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_584695.html

Mendenhall having trouble hanging onto ball

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin walked with his arm around the shoulder of rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall as the team filed into the visiting locker room Saturday night at the Metrodome.

Tomlin didn't divulge what he said to the first-round pick. Although, it's pretty clear that the conversation went something like this: Keep your head up and keep that ball tucked to your body as if your roster spot depended on it.

Not that Mendenhall is in any danger of being cut.

But whether he gives the Steelers a 1-2 punch at running back that the team has lacked since 2005 depends largely on his ability to hang onto the ball.

Mendenhall showcased the running ability Saturday that made him the 23rd overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft. The 5-foot-10, 224-pounder rushed for 79 yards in the Steelers' 12-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings and averaged 5.3 yards per carry.

Unfortunately for the Steelers, Mendenhall also struggled with something that plagued him early in his career at Illinois.

Mendenhall lost a pair of fumbles, including one late in the fourth quarter that almost cost the Steelers a chance of winning the game.

"It's something we were concerned about. It's something we made him aware of," Tomlin said of Mendenhall hanging onto the ball. "It's part of being a ball toter in the National Football League. He's got the skill set to be successful. But the prerequisite is ball security, and he's got to shore up that element of his game."

Mendenhall said the fumbles weren't a result of the way he carries the ball. He added that he needs to be more mindful of protecting it at this level.

"I think it's just the NFL game," Mendenhall said. "Guys are bigger, faster, they're going after the ball. So, you've just got to watch the tape, see what happened and re-assess it and move forth from there."

Mendenhall did rip off runs of 21, 18 and 16 yards, and he said he's starting to play more instinctively as his comfort level with the offense grows.

The Steelers are hoping to pair Mendenhall with starter Willie Parker and give them a running back tandem comparable to the one they saw Saturday night in Minnesota.

Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor combined for more almost 2,200 rushing yards last season. The Vikings, meanwhile, led the NFL in rushing.

When asked if the Steelers have a duo in Parker and Mendenhall that can be comparable to Peterson and Taylor, Tomlin said, "We believe we do, but ball security starts that."

Peerless
08-25-2008, 08:01 PM
I think this shows that the NFL is the real deal.

The players are bigger, faster, and stronger. The speed of the game is much faster than college.

Mendenhall will have problems adjusting, but if Tiki Barber can hold onto the ball, I'm sure Mendehall can do the same thing.

Fins4Life
08-25-2008, 08:57 PM
I think fans in general expect way too much from first round players. Whether a guy gets drafted in the 1st round or the 4th ect they will have to adjust. Even the players that come from big time schools dont see anything like what they see in the NFL. I think its great though how passionate fans are about this game, but sometimes it clouds our judgement especially when it comes to our own team.

I think he will be fine...he has all the tools, and hes on a pretty good team. Midway through the season I think this issue will be long gone. Hopefully for him I'm right.

saltybuggah
08-26-2008, 07:14 AM
this is one of the last things that Mendenhall wanted following him into the nfl...

if he's on the field running the rock teams are going to be trying to strip it from him on every play knowing his tendencies...

we'll see how the regular season pans out for him and fumbling, who knows it could be a non issue but then again it could be something that follows thru his entire career

garzjoe
08-26-2008, 07:40 AM
I think fans in general expect way too much from first round players. Whether a guy gets drafted in the 1st round or the 4th ect they will have to adjust. Even the players that come from big time schools dont see anything like what they see in the NFL. I think its great though how passionate fans are about this game, but sometimes it clouds our judgement especially when it comes to our own team.

I think he will be fine...he has all the tools, and hes on a pretty good team. Midway through the season I think this issue will be long gone. Hopefully for him I'm right.

Good points…I remember watching the replay of the Cowboys/Broncos pre-season game with the Cowboys broadcast crew the other day. Daryl “Moose” Johnson is part of the crew and talked briefly on how he never fumbled in College and when he came into the NFL he fumbled like 5-6 times his Rookie year. Point is that most if not all players will have some adjusting to do in the NFL. Mendenhall is a great talent (I know a lot on this board wanted us to draft him), if he works on it he can eliminate or at the very least limit the number of fumbles he has.

Thx,
Joe

Ohio Broncos
08-26-2008, 08:05 AM
I think this shows that the NFL is the real deal.

The players are bigger, faster, and stronger. The speed of the game is much faster than college.

Mendenhall will have problems adjusting, but if Tiki Barber can hold onto the ball, I'm sure Mendehall can do the same thing.


Maybe it's just a matter of holding the ball differently (like Tiki Barber did).

I really don't think it's a problem unless he starts fumbling in the regular season.

I think he'll be okay. He's way too talented not to adjust.

in.the.game
08-26-2008, 08:54 AM
shoot! have you guys seen this friggin dude?? he's looks like a peterbuilt...

short yardage and goal line... use two hands big guy, you'll be alright!

jcdavey
08-26-2008, 09:17 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_584695.html

Mendenhall having trouble hanging onto ball

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin walked with his arm around the shoulder of rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall as the team filed into the visiting locker room Saturday night at the Metrodome.

Tomlin didn't divulge what he said to the first-round pick. Although, it's pretty clear that the conversation went something like this: Keep your head up and keep that ball tucked to your body as if your roster spot depended on it.

Not that Mendenhall is in any danger of being cut.

But whether he gives the Steelers a 1-2 punch at running back that the team has lacked since 2005 depends largely on his ability to hang onto the ball.

Mendenhall showcased the running ability Saturday that made him the 23rd overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft. The 5-foot-10, 224-pounder rushed for 79 yards in the Steelers' 12-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings and averaged 5.3 yards per carry.

Unfortunately for the Steelers, Mendenhall also struggled with something that plagued him early in his career at Illinois.

Mendenhall lost a pair of fumbles, including one late in the fourth quarter that almost cost the Steelers a chance of winning the game.

"It's something we were concerned about. It's something we made him aware of," Tomlin said of Mendenhall hanging onto the ball. "It's part of being a ball toter in the National Football League. He's got the skill set to be successful. But the prerequisite is ball security, and he's got to shore up that element of his game."

Mendenhall said the fumbles weren't a result of the way he carries the ball. He added that he needs to be more mindful of protecting it at this level.

"I think it's just the NFL game," Mendenhall said. "Guys are bigger, faster, they're going after the ball. So, you've just got to watch the tape, see what happened and re-assess it and move forth from there."

Mendenhall did rip off runs of 21, 18 and 16 yards, and he said he's starting to play more instinctively as his comfort level with the offense grows.

The Steelers are hoping to pair Mendenhall with starter Willie Parker and give them a running back tandem comparable to the one they saw Saturday night in Minnesota.

Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor combined for more almost 2,200 rushing yards last season. The Vikings, meanwhile, led the NFL in rushing.

When asked if the Steelers have a duo in Parker and Mendenhall that can be comparable to Peterson and Taylor, Tomlin said, "We believe we do, but ball security starts that."LT couldn't hold onto the ball early in his nfl career either, tiki barber was even worse

this is completely expected for rbs

Flatlander Fan
08-26-2008, 10:04 AM
Yeah, I don't see it as a big deal. It's part of the adjustment he's got to go through.

Can you imagine, though, the outcry on these boards if he was doing this as a Bronco? Folks'd be ready to run both Shanny and him up the flagpole.

silkamilkamonic
08-26-2008, 12:11 PM
Other than the 2 fumbles that might be a concern, and might not be, this dude has looked damn good in preseason. He already plays at the speed of the NFL game, and IMHO he will unseat Parker as the starter before midseason if he can take care of his fumbles.

Ravage!!!
08-26-2008, 12:16 PM
Other than the 2 fumbles that might be a concern, and might not be, this dude has looked damn good in preseason. He already plays at the speed of the NFL game, and IMHO he will unseat Parker as the starter before midseason if he can take care of his fumbles.

I'll make that bet :cheers: (barring injuries)

LarryDean
08-26-2008, 12:36 PM
I'll make that bet :cheers: (barring injuries)

Same here only way I see that happening is Parker has lag from last years injury that we are unaware of ....

2 things Yes it takes time to adjust to the NFL ...

It also takes time learning the RB position in general...

Mendenhall had very little xp coming out of college ...

His legs are as fresh as they can get and his fundamental skills I'm sure are very raw at this level..

2005 48 218 4.5 18 0 13 82 6.3 16 2 0 0
2006 78 640 8.2 86 5 12 164 13.7 76 1 0 0
2007 262 1681 6.4 79 17 34 318 9.4 55

silkamilkamonic
08-26-2008, 12:41 PM
RB is one of the easiest positions in the NFL to come in and make an impact right away.