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Rashard Mendenhall’s future in Pittsburgh doesn’t look too bright

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When Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert promised changes to the team in his season-ending press conference, many people pointed to the running back spot as an area likely to look different next season.

Injuries and inconsistency helped the Steelers to their fewest rushing yards since 2003, which was also a year that ended without a playoff spot for Pittsburgh. Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall all had turns in the starting lineup and none of them proved up to the task of holding the job for more than a few games at a time. Mendenhall is a free agent after the season and team president Art Rooney II’s comments to the team website don’t paint a picture of a 2013 featuring Mendenhall in the lineup.

“The season Rashard had was not what we would have hoped for,” Rooney said. “Obviously, we knew he was coming back from an injury so there were some unknowns there. So, without getting into the real specifics with Rashard, it’s fair to say that we are going to need a better performance out of the running back position if we’re going to be successful, Whether it’s Rashard or Jonathan or Isaac or somebody else, we have to be better at that position, as well as others, but certainly at that position. In this offseason that’s something we’ve got to look at and decide how we get better and who we get better with.”

The website goes on to say that Mendenhall “seemed to cross the Rubicon” by not showing up for the team’s game against the Chargers this season, a decision that earned him a one-game suspension from the team. The team’s going to find someone to be the lead dog in the backfield next season, but it looks like a safe bet that said person’s name will not be Mendenhall.

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26 Responses to “Rashard Mendenhall’s future in Pittsburgh doesn’t look too bright”
  1. loveorhatethejets says: Jan 25, 2013 5:56 PM

    Come to the jets we will welcome you with open arms

  2. andrewproughcfe says: Jan 25, 2013 6:06 PM

    Funny. I thought he crossed the Rubicon by failing to protect the football in key situations, like the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. And by failing to gain yardage on too many 3rd-and-short plays to remember. And by racking up a lot of his yardage during garbage time against the NFL’s weaker defenses.

    I didn’t know that a Steeler could do all that and still not “cross the Rubicon” until he actually fails to show up for a game. Mr. Rooney, you need to run a tighter ship than that. Game performance should count for something – Chuck Noll never would have let a guy like Mendenhall sniff the starting lineup or even make the team out of training camp in the 70’s.

  3. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 25, 2013 6:15 PM

    Chuck Noll is not the coach and today’s players and contracts are way different than before.. That being said they are more tolerant for a reason and he has been given enough rope to hang himself which he has done…bye bye.

  4. cometkazie says: Jan 25, 2013 6:23 PM

    Seems as if the Steelers have become that clunky old car that has given me good service but it’s old, slow, and keeps breaking down.

    Time to trade it in.

  5. Deb says: Jan 25, 2013 6:30 PM

    I realize Colbert doesn’t have the same ties to Alabama that Ozzie does, but wish he’d take a page from Ozzie’s book and give Saban’s players more scrutiny. Bama’s Eddie Lacy would be a great replacement for Mendenhall.

  6. dcapettini says: Jan 25, 2013 6:33 PM

    Rooney isn’t going to have much success with running backs until the O-line is shored up and healthy. They were much better at pass blocking than run blocking this year.

  7. blackngold4life says: Jan 25, 2013 6:45 PM

    Mendy is still the best out of the 3..he just needs yo get his head right during the Off season

  8. fc187 says: Jan 25, 2013 6:52 PM

    I wonder how many lunk heads who troll this site will understand the “Crossing the Rubion” reference.

  9. blackngold4life says: Jan 25, 2013 6:53 PM

    Exactly what Ive been sayin! How many RBs like Lacy will fall in the Steelers lap!? But sadly they wont draft him OR any other player from Alabama..

  10. tomthebombtracy says: Jan 25, 2013 6:58 PM

    I know 1,000 yard seasons aint what they used to be but Mendenhall had about 3,500 yards in 3.5 seasons…having lost most of the first after Ray Lewis ended his rookie year early and this past year with the rehab of the ACL.

    Someone (Bruce Arians?) might be a bargain here….and the guy can catch the ball, too.

    Steelers have a lot of needs in the draft and no cap room for FA so if they can get Mendy cheap, maybe they should seriously consider. The other guys, Dywer and Redman, are slower going than a season of Wagon Train reruns.

    I hope he gets another shot.

  11. voiceofsweetness says: Jan 25, 2013 7:02 PM

    Eddie Lacy would seem a great fit for Steeler nation.

  12. bartlettruss says: Jan 25, 2013 7:22 PM

    They’re saying plainly that not showing up for that game was the last straw. The Steelers don’t put up with bad running or mutiny and Mendenhall represents both. They may wait to see if someone will trade for him before they release him, but he’s gone.

  13. ravenator says: Jan 25, 2013 8:15 PM

    What a bust. Looks like your front office missed on Rice

  14. tdubdizzle says: Jan 25, 2013 8:39 PM

    I hope the Raiders sign him as there back up. Mendenhall didnt stand a chance once Dwyer and Redman started playing pretty well.

  15. Deb says: Jan 25, 2013 9:57 PM

    @blackngold4life …

    I don’t think Pittsburgh is blackballing Bama players because we’ve had a few on the roster in recent years. We picked up Bama receiver/special teamer Marquis Maze as an undrafted free agent last season, but he didn’t make the team. Standout special teamer Anthony Madison was a Bama player as was longtime starting corner Deshea Townsend.

    Personnel departments tend to develop relationships with different schools, and in addition to being a Bama alum, Ozzie worked with Saban in Cleveland. So did Belichick, who’s picked up a few Bama players, and Falcons GM Dimitroff, who worked that deal with the Browns to move up for Julio Jones. They may be a little more aware of the Bama talent than Pittsburgh’s scouts.

  16. chuxtah says: Jan 25, 2013 11:36 PM

    There’s the chance to replace Felix Jones in Dallas. Probably not going to happen. Jerry is too dumb to put that together. Would be an awesome 1-2 punch.

  17. deebo92 says: Jan 26, 2013 1:07 AM

    I mean as a Steelers fan, I could have written this. No disrespect, but if you look at the wall there is writing on it.

  18. eleventyeight says: Jan 26, 2013 2:13 AM

    And Mendenhall is a top-notch RB when healthy and with a decent O-line. He’s had some hard times his first few years but will emerge as a good player in time. I wish it was as a Steeler, but it doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen…

  19. sdiegosteel says: Jan 26, 2013 3:31 AM

    The two need to part ways, but Mendenhall certainly can play. In the right system, he can get back to being a 1200 yard guy.

  20. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 26, 2013 4:55 AM

    What a bust. Looks like your front office missed on Rice

    27 25 Not really Rice isn’t sporting anything but a chump tee shirt so until he gets a ring big deal.

    Can you say obsessed

    Can you say owned

    Can you say by an old man

    Yikes,yikes and cheers little troll

  21. pooinyourface says: Jan 26, 2013 5:19 AM

    well somebody goes to Planet Fitness

  22. cometkazie says: Jan 26, 2013 10:08 AM

    Deb, BB also picked up some LSU players that were under the radar.

    I have assumed his good relationship with Saban was a reason there. He actually believed what Nick was telling him.

  23. jacktheraven says: Jan 26, 2013 11:52 AM

    Hey Steeler fans. I’m going to give a little respect. Iron sharpens Iron. Pundits who think The Ravens should be scared of 49er’s D, are mistaken. The Ravens are sharpened by The Steelers. Thanks, see you next year.

  24. blackngold4life says: Jan 26, 2013 12:10 PM

    Lol @ Ray Rice..who cares he wont be a Ratbird when his contract runs out..they already have his replacement..ENJOY THOSE AFCC shirts!

  25. bobzilla1001 says: Jan 26, 2013 1:47 PM

    The Steelers will never put importance on the running game until they consistently use a fullback to block for the feature back.
    A running back in Pittsburgh is merely window dressing for an organization that has fallen in love with Roethlisberger’s arm while averaging just 20 points per game.
    Mendenhall is a quality back, who carried the offense against the Eagles this season. He also was instrumental in the win against the Jets in 2010 AFC title game.
    Mendenhall has fumbled just 11 times in over 1,000 career carries. Not bad for a guy you casuals have labled as “a fumbler.”

  26. jacktheraven says: Jan 26, 2013 4:34 PM

    @blackngold – You’ll look foolish if the Ravens win.

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