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Pittsburgh writer: Mendenhall will make big splash
Posted Jun. 18 at 02:46 AM
At least one Pittsburgh sportswriter thinks that Rashard Mendenhall is going to make a big impact right away.
John Harris, columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, says he expects Mendenhall to play extensively right away, splitting time with Willie Parker.
“Compared with other positions, the learning curve for a rookie running back is more like a straight line, making it easier to contribute early,” Harris writes. “Mendenhall is a playmaker. Even when he's not in the backfield, the Steelers want to give him an opportunity to make plays.”
Harris says he believes Mendenhall will be used not only as a ballcarrier, but on passing downs and special teams. “Not only do the Steelers covet Mendenhall's ability to run between the tackles and catch the ball out of the backfield, they also worked him out returning kickoffs because of how quickly he reaches top speed,” he writes.
There is a surprising boo-boo in Harris’ column. He writes that “three running backs were selected in the first round.” That’s off by two – McFadden, Stewart, Mendenhall, Felix Jones and Chris Johnson. Not sure what he was thinking there; maybe he meant to write that three running backs were selected before Mendenhall.
Harris’ column can be seen at the pittsburghlive.com website.
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