TribLIVE

| Home

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Steelers' Mendenhall to start at RB when healthy

Steelers/NFL Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Mark Kaboly podcasts

  • Loading...

Daily Photo Galleries

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, 8:00 p.m.
 

Rashard Mendenhall is likely still a week away from being healthy enough to return to game action, but when he does, the former first-round pick will assume his starting role.

Steelers running back coach Kirby Wilson told the Trib on Wednesday that Mendenhall “has the whole package, so that's your guy,” despite recent success by Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer.

“Rashard has always been our lead dog and our top runner,” Wilson said.

Mendenhall has been inactive for six of eight games — three while recovering from offseason knee surgery and three while nursing an Achilles injury — and it's unclear whether he will play Monday when the Steelers host Kansas City.

Mendenhall had 101 total yards in his first game back against Philadelphia on Oct. 7 before getting injured the next week against Tennessee.

Despite three consecutive 100-yard efforts (two by Dwyer and one by Redman), Wilson likes Mendenhall's intangibles.

“Rashard is the complete package — power, speed, explosiveness,” Wilson said. “He is the guy who can take a 10-yard run and make people miss and get 20 more. We think Jonathan has things that he is great at. Isaac has some things that he is great at. But Rashard is the complete package. Rashard has proved that he can do it over the long haul.”

However, Wilson reiterated what Mike Tomlin said earlier in the week: Whoever is having success during the game is who will get the ball the most.

“Whoever is producing, give it to them again,” Wilson said. “They are aware of whoever is producing is going to get the most opportunities.”

But Mendenhall will get the initial opportunity.

Wilson, who is responsible for making the running back depth chart, is indifferent about going with a running back-by-committee approach when all three are healthy.

“On any given Sunday, you can have the next guy in there,” Wilson said.

Mendenhall has eight 100-yard games and 29 TDs in his five years in the league. His 832 rushes are 512 more than Dwyer and Redman combined. He will be an unrestricted free agent at end's year.

Notes: CB Ike Taylor is the AFC defensive player of the week for the second time in his career. Taylor made the first INT by a Steelers cornerback Sunday. He also made five tackles and broke up a pass. ... The Steelers plan to promote receiver David Gilreath to their 53-man roster because Antonio Brown (high-ankle sprain) is unlikely to play Monday. ... Ex-Penn State and Rochester High receiver Derek Moye was added to the practice squad, replacing tight end Jamie McCoy.

Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at mkaboly@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Prison sentence extended for New Kensington man
  2. LaBar: The upgrade of The Wyatt Family in WWE
  3. Nazi ‘gold train’ evidence mounts
  4. Historic WWII-era landing ship tank docking at Heinz Field
  5. Trib Total Media puts 9 Western Pa. newspapers up for sale
  6. Overnight closures, lane restrictions announced for Fort Pitt Tunnel, Parkway West
  7. ‘Action’ against AG Kane sent to Supreme Court, sources say
  8. Trafford man sentenced for sex with teen
  9. Starkey: Steelers stopping themselves with suspensions
  10. Court orders new trials for Pittsburgh cop who allegedly fell in love with drug-addicted prostitute
  11. Man flees Monroeville bank holdup with cash