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    Default Mendenhall hitting his stride

    Mendenhall hitting his stride

    By Jim Wexell

    SteelCityInsider.net
    Posted Sep 29, 2010




    Rashard Mendenhall (AP photo)


    PITTSBURGH – Mike Tomlin might’ve been happy to see the Steelers’ next opponent, the Baltimore Ravens, allow 144 yards rushing to Peyton Hillis last Sunday.
    But he wasn’t.

    “The fact that Cleveland had success a week ago doesn’t bode well for us,” said the Steelers’ coach. “It just doesn’t.”

    Rashard Mendenhall, who’s had his shoulder blade broken trying to run against the Ravens, felt the same way.

    “Yeah,” said Mendenhall. “You know defenses like that. They’re going to bounce back.”

    That’s the thinking, but it’s not an historical fact. Last year, after Cedric Benson rushed for 120 yards against the Ravens in Week 5, Adrian Peterson ran for 143 against them in Week 6. The Ravens also allowed back-to-back 100-yard rushers in 2005.

    Does that give Mendenhall any comfort?

    “I really don’t pay attention to that,” he said. “Every Sunday’s a new Sunday. I’m not looking forward or expecting anything like that, I’m just preparing.”

    The serious-minded Mendenhall understands the ferocity of this rivalry. He felt it as a rookie when Ray Lewis broke his scapula. He felt it last year when the Ravens held him to 36 yards on 17 carries in the Steelers’ 23-20 win in Game 15.

    But Mendenhall did find success in last season’s first meeting between the two teams. He rushed for 95 yards in 24 carries when Dennis Dixon filled in for Ben Roethlisberger in a Steelers loss at Baltimore. It was the best performance by a Steelers back against the Ravens since Jerome Bettis rushed for 118 yards in 2004.

    The Steelers, for whatever reason, felt confident they could run the ball against the Ravens last year, even though Dixon didn’t threaten the Ravens much with his arm.

    “That was the only way to attack them,” said tackle Willie Colon. “You didn’t want to get into a passing match with them because they can be confusing. We felt we had to go right at them, and we felt good about it.”

    The Steelers rushed for 153 yards as a team, but the Ravens won in overtime. It was the second Ravens win out of the last seven meetings between the teams, and Ben Roethlisberger missed both games.

    Roethlisberger, or course, will miss Sunday’s game, but Mendenhall is running better than ever. In three games this season he’s rushed for 332 yards at a 5.2 per-carry clip. It’s the best three-game output of Mendenhall’s brief NFL career.

    “He’s kind of showing glimpses of what he did in college,” said the Ravens’ Lewis. “Pittsburgh’s been looking for that back since they lost the Bus years ago. He’s a complete back now, and they’re really getting him involved in that package.”

    “You get more confident and comfortable with experience,” Mendenhall explained. “You kind of know what to expect and how to go about it.”

    Mendenhall also expects the Ravens to tighten up after Hillis became only the seventh back in the last 72 games to rush for 100 yards against them.

    But in two of those seven instances, the Ravens served it right back up the following week. The Steelers hope the third time’s their charm.

    http://cle.scout.com/2/1007331.html

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    sjdrewk
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    Default Re: Mendenhall hitting his stride

    I just bought my first Mendenhall jersey so personally, if I buy a jersey of said player, that means I think he is a solid Steeler.....but I also bought a Santokio jersey so I guess buying a Steeler jersey really doesn't indicate a thing. lol

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    Default Re: Mendenhall hitting his stride

    Quote Originally Posted by sjdrewk View Post
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    I just bought my first Mendenhall jersey so personally, if I buy a jersey of said player, that means I think he is a solid Steeler.....but I also bought a Santokio jersey so I guess buying a Steeler jersey really doesn't indicate a thing. lol

    oh no, does this mean Mendy will soon be wake n baking?


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    Quote Originally Posted by sjdrewk View Post
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    I just bought my first Mendenhall jersey so personally, if I buy a jersey of said player, that means I think he is a solid Steeler.....but I also bought a Santokio jersey so I guess buying a Steeler jersey really doesn't indicate a thing. lol
    You can't really ***** about him as a Steeler on the field. I don't blame you for that purchase.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall hitting his stride

    Ravens rank 23rd in rushing defense

    Aaron Wilson
    SEPTEMBER 29, 2010


    OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- John Harbaugh challenged the notion that the Baltimore Ravens are suddenly vulnerable against the run after giving up 144 rushing yards to bruising Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis.

    “I would love for our opponents to think we can’t stop the run,” Harbaugh said on his weekly radio show. “Opponents listening, Ravens can’t stop the run. Just run it at us and we’ll see how it turns out.”

    The Ravens rank 23rd in the league in rushing defense, allowing 127.7 yards per contest and 4.8 yards per carry.

    This week, they square off with Steelers runner Rashard Mendenhall.

    He has rushed for 120 yards against the Atlanta Falcons and 143 yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    “Anytime you rush for that many yards, we’re going to be watching the film this week, probably until about six o’clock in the morning,” linebacker Jarret Johnson said.

    http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Har ... -ball.html

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    Default Re: Mendenhall hitting his stride

    Quote Originally Posted by Beezy View Post
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    You can't really ***** about him as a Steeler on the field. I don't blame you for that purchase.
    x2!!! How quickly we forget the plays that 'Tone made to make a 6th title possible...

    It's not like you'll be putting ducktape over the "Holmes" nameplate on your #10 jersey and handwriting in "Dixon"... LOL!

    As far as Mendenhall is concerned, I really hope he continues to play well... and keeps his pad-level LOW and eases off of the spin move a bit! The Ravens will be looking to rake the ball from his mits!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bton66 View Post
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    x2!!! How quickly we forget the plays that 'Tone made to make a 6th title possible...

    It's not like you'll be putting ducktape over the "Holmes" nameplate on your #10 jersey and handwriting in "Dixon"... LOL!

    As far as Mendenhall is concerned, I really hope he continues to play well... and keeps his pad-level LOW and eases off of the spin move a bit! The Ravens will be looking to rake the ball from his mits!
    I don't know why people get all bent out of shape over the spin move. If he is going to get 100 plus games more often than not and generally live up to his draft position the. He can pirouette all he wants as far as I am concerned.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall hitting his stride

    Quote Originally Posted by Beezy View Post
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    I don't know why people get all bent out of shape over the spin move. If he is going to get 100 plus games more often than not and generally live up to his draft position the. He can pirouette all he wants as far as I am concerned.
    I hear ya, I love seeing him use it in the open field...but I cringe when he spins behind the LOS on first contact (which is why I said "ease up on it a bit")...especially the way he tends to "hang" the ball away from his body to execute the move.

    I still would like to see him get low and deliver punishment at the point of contact...similar to what we saw on his TD run last week!

    I agree though, "if it aint broke, dont fix it"!!!
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    Default Re: Mendenhall hitting his stride

    Wait until Rashad learns or feels confident with this new offensive line and perhaps Johnson giving him some lead blocks. I hope Batch puts up a couple of quick strike TD's and then the Steelers run the ball down their throats. I would love to see Slaymiond on his back while Rashad steps on him during a run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bton66 View Post
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    I hear ya, I love seeing him use it in the open field...but I cringe when he spins behind the LOS on first contact (which is why I said "ease up on it a bit")...especially the way he tends to "hang" the ball away from his body to execute the move.

    I still would like to see him get low and deliver punishment at the point of contact...similar to what we saw on his TD run last week!

    I agree though, "if it aint broke, dont fix it"!!!
    He does hit it hard tbo, he has a few modes to choose from that's why I like him. I am just happy that he rarely gets held for a loss. SWP was the king of the -1, -2 yard run. So frustrating to watch. The yinzers can't ever give a starting rb a break tho. 4th leading rusher so far and the hillbillies are calling for Redman to get half the carries. Biggest red fan out there but NO. Red isn't even that much bigger 2" and 5 pounds. According to how they are listed at least.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall hitting his stride

    Hope Mendy hits.....a bunch of open holes for nice gains all day Sunday.

    Could be a key: Mendy break 100 and no turnovers. Keep them under 100 rushing.

    Other key: ARE.....he or Brown could be the open WR's cause for sure they are gonna: shut down Wallace 1st (help deep) and Hines 2nd.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall hitting his stride

    “I would love for our opponents to think we can’t stop the run,” Harbaugh said on his weekly radio show. “Opponents listening, Ravens can’t stop the run. Just run it at us and we’ll see how it turns out.”

    Screw you and your tough talk Harbaugh. Your *** won't be on the field to do anything about it. I said it prior to week #1 and I say it still today, your **** defense is WAY OVERRATED!

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    Mendy is a very good speaker and will probably be successful after his successful Steelers career.
    Remember, that which hath not killed you, will try again...................

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beezy View Post
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    You can't really ***** about him as a Steeler on the field. I don't blame you for that purchase.
    Nope, I can't blame myself either for buying a Mendy jersey- I think a lot of Mendy...I liked Toke too....on the field Toke was really great. Carried us in the 2008-2009 playoff run. Remember the game against San Diego in the playoffs? Toke was just awesome. Very clutch and a multiple weapon on returns that night.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall hitting his stride

    Mendenhall expects test from Ravens

    By Mark Kaboly, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Friday, October 1, 2010


    Mendenhall's career touchdown runs

    Oct. 4, 2009 — 1-yard run against San Diego

    Oct. 4, 2009 — 2-yard run against San Diego

    Oct. 11, 2009 — 7-yard run against Detroit

    Oct. 18, 2009 — 2-yard run against Cleveland

    Dec. 6, 2009 — 3-yard run against Oakland

    Dec. 20, 2009 — 2-yard run against Green Bay

    Dec. 27, 2009 — 4-yard run against Baltimore

    Sept. 12, 2010 — 50-yard run against Atlanta

    Sept. 26, 2010 — 3-yard run against Tampa Bay


    There are a lot of superlatives being thrown around these days when it comes to describing Rashard Mendenhall's running style.

    Like patience — Mendenhall waited for David Johnson and Hines Ward to make key blocks on his 34-yard run against Tampa Bay last week.

    Like vision — Mendenhall saw the hole over the right guard in Tennessee and broke off a 20-yard gain.

    Like burst — He took off and ran away from Atlanta defenders for a game-winning 50-yard touchdown run in overtime Week 1.

    The patience, vision and burst have helped Mendenhall get off to a fast start, rushing for 332 yards and averaging more than five yards per carry through the first three games of the season.

    But it's Mendenhall's power running game that's starting to get noticed more and more every day.

    "Pittsburgh's been looking for that back since they lost "The Bus" years ago," Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis, referring to Jerome Bettis. "He's a complete back now, and they're really getting him involved in that package."

    The 5-11, 225-pound Mendenhall excelled at being the Steelers' goal-line back a year ago, scoring six of his seven rushing touchdowns from four yards or closer.

    Still, Mendenhall has never really been looked at as having power running skills ... until now.

    "He proved it last year," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "He made some really good runs, second-effort runs and tough runs."

    Last week against the Buccaneers, Mendenhall showed his power skills when he met safety Sean Jones in the hole on a goal-line run for the 3-yard line. Mendenhall slammed into the 6-1, 220-pounder and dragged him into the end zone for a touchdown.

    "All you have to do is watch last year's tape," Arians said. "If he is surprising you this year, then you didn't watch him last year. I think that (run against Tampa Bay) proved it."

    Out of Mendenhall's nine career rushing touchdowns, every one has been from seven yards or closer, except the game-winner against Atlanta.

    "That's just part of my resume," Mendenhall said. "That's what I've been doing in high school and college. Even though, I'll take the long runs all day. Those are the plays that make ESPN, and it feels good to run away from those little guys."

    Mendenhall's toughness came into question early on in his career and especially when Lewis put him out for the year with a routine-looking hit during Mendenhall's rookie year.

    Mendenhall, who broke his shoulder on the play, will get a chance to show off his running skills this weekend against a Ravens team known for stopping the run.

    In seven of the past eight regular-season games, Baltimore's front seven have held the Steelers to less than 100 rushing yards.

    Baltimore did allow Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis to gash them for 140 yards last week and are giving up nearly 130 yards on the ground per game for the season.

    "They are really good," Arians said. "The last couple weeks, some teams have cracked them a little bit, but they are the best front seven we will see against the run."

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_702203.html

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