“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?