Writing On The Wall For Mendenhall and The Draft?

 

This might have been the last time we see Mendenhall running in a Steelers uniform. Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

“With the young guys we have, we feel confident someone will emerge who can fill that role.  Somebody in the group of those guys will fill it out.”       – Kevin Colbert

ACL tear, PUP list, Novemberish start to the 2012 season.  That’s what Mendenhall’s next 8 month’s are going to look like.  With free agency quieting down for most of the league (and never really starting for the Steelers), the conversation has moved to running back Rashard Mendenhall.  There currently is no time timetable in existence that the Steelers are committing to for Mendenhall, but based on when his tear occurred, he is looking at not really returning until we are halfway through the season.

With Mendenhall out, eyes now turn to the young rock carriers the Steelers have on the sideline.  Many don’t feel confident in those guys, and so the question has come up if the Steelers will look to draft a running back to find that gem OR will they pick someone up in free agency – see Mike Tolbert.  The quote you see above is a recent one from Colbert about Mendenhall and the rest of the running back core.  I’m not a code breaker or a cryptologist, but I’m thinking that Colbert has no plans to draft or pick up anyone in free agency to be the ‘load bearer’ for this running game other than those who are already on it.

Well, at least someone around here thinks so.  Personally my money is on Redman.  The running game will be in good hands, and I think Haley will be able to use the tools he already has – Redman, Dwyer, Clay, Batch (maybe MeMo if he comes back).  All of those gentlemen are promising ball carriers, and I don’t think Colbert is stupid for believing in all of them.

Mendenhall will run next season.  But by then, one of those guys will be the new featured back.  By then, Mendenhall’s time with the Steelers will be over – his contract is up at the end of the season and someone will have won the job already.  The Steelers will use Mendy to test out that knee and see how he’s progressed.  Don’t expect much.  It will be nothing more than a professional courtesy so that there’s some tape out there for teams to review of Mendenhall when he’s looking for a new team in 2013.

The writings on the wall, but is anyone ready to read it?

Topics: Isaac Redman, Kevin Colbert, Nfl Mock Draft, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers, Todd Haley

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  • skyfire322

    I’m actually a little shocked they haven’t let Mendenhall go, especially with the injury and salary cap issues.  I know he still has juice left in him, but I think the rest of the RB corps are more than capable and will come to their own, especially now that Haley is running things.  

  • randyjs

    Honestly, I do not think that decision has been made yet – and I don’t think it will be made for a good while yet.  If Redman turns into a bona fide superstar, the decision is easy – but what if he doesn’t?  What if he’s just “okay”?  If Mendenhall comes back and, by the end of the season, he’s looking awesome and looking like the overwhelming starter, well – maybe they keep him.  

  • LOTUSMAN1

    EXCELLENT ARTICLE!  MY COUSIN, WHO WORKS IN THE STEELERS FRONT-OFFICE HAS TOLD ME THAT THEY HAVE THEIR COLLECTIVE “EYES ON” OREGON RUNNING BACK LAMICHAEL JAMES! THEY BELIEVE HE WILL FALL TO THEM IN ROUND THREE! I PERSONALLY THINK HE WILL BE “OFF THE BOARD” BY THEIR PICK IN THAT ROUND! UNLESS THEY PACKAGE SOME LATTER ROUND PICKS IN ORDER TO GET ANOTHER PICK IN ROUND #2, THEY WILL BE UNSUCCESSFUL IN ATTAINING JAMES’ SERVICES!

  • ToddWilliams

    Mendenhall just doesn’t seem to have the push that Redman does when the holes don’t materialize…plus he just hits the holes harder than Mendy when they are there.  We’ll see if he can hold onto the ball, though.

  • craig.nicepickcowher

     @randyjs Even if he has a ‘good return’ I don’t think they keep him after this upcoming season.  Even if Redman doesn’t turn out to be ‘the guy,’ I still think they will put their stock (and less money) into their younger carriers.

  • craig.nicepickcowher

     @skyfire322 Yeah, I’m surprised too.  I would have thought he would have been one of the first.  But I guess they are going to see how his knee holds up upon his return.  I still think they ditch him at the end of the season.  Too many other young guys in waiting he will develop while he sits on the PUP.

  • randyjs

     @craig.nicepickcowher  @randyjs You could be right.  Time will tell.  Myself, I like Redman.  He’s more consistent and a hard-nosed back.