The 23-year-old Mendenhall grew up in Illinois and played for the Illini, but he paid more attention to the Los Angeles Rams than the Chicago Bears because of the Bus.
The Steelers drafted Mendenhall in the first round in 2008, even though Willie Parker had just run for over 1,300 yards. However, Mendenhall’s rookie season was a disappointment. He sustained a season-ending shoulder injury after four games and watched from the sideline when the Steelers beat Arizona to win the Super Bowl.
Mendenhall couldn’t play because he was hurt. It doesn’t mean he didn’t learn from the experience.
“I saw everything it takes to prepare to win,” he said. “It means a lot to be there and be a part of it this time.”
Mendenhall credits the offensive line and coaches for his success running the ball. Against New York, tight end Heath Miller was a dominant blocker. Guard Chris Kemoeatu also was a factor with strong play on the line of scrimmage.
“He’s a unique animal at the tight end position,” Mendenhall said of Miller. “A lot of people look at tight ends and look at how many catches they have. He’s a guy that blocks well week in and week out and makes a big impact.”
“He’s a hard runner and you know he’s gonna try hard to get that extra yard,” Foster said. “You know if you give him a hole, he can break it. It’s fun blocking for him.”
For teammates, it’s fun being around him, too.
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
History doesn't have to be grim; there is a lot to be learned from the pages of time.
Contributions to the Communities Sports desk from readers.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc