Monday, September 14, 2009
An Open Letter to Rashard Mendenhall
Note/Callout to Steelers' Running Back Rashard Mendenhall: We're calling you out, Rashard. Time to step up. You're going home next weekend.
So-o-o-o ... Set aside a few hours to watch videotape of Matt Forte, whom the Bears took in the second round with the 44th overall pick in the same 2008 NFL draft in which you were drafted by the Steelers with the 23rd overall pick in the first round.
Rashard, you not only played -- you starred -- at the University of Illinois, where the eyes of Chicago and Illini faithful were upon you. In your final season with the Illini, you rushed for a school-record 1,681 yards and 17 touchdowns. It's time now to show that form in black 'n gold.
Granted, Forte had only 55 yards rushing Sunday night in Green Bay, but as a rookie last season he accumulated 1,238 yards rushing (third-best in the NFL) and 1,715 yards from scrimmage (rushing and receiving). Rashard, you haven't shown anything, nothing, but tentativeness and a lack of confidence, both before and after going on injured reserve last year.
The point is, Forte runs with an authority and deciveness that you, Rashard, that you have not shown in your professional career. Come to think of it, the Steelers' own Isaac Redman, currently on the practice squad as an undrafted, unheralded street free agent, runs with more resolve, authority and decisiveness than you've shown. Time to step up, Rashard.
You're going back to Illinois, and the eyes of Chicago and Illini faithful will be watching with interest next Sunday, as will the critical eyes of Steelers' fans and NFL fans across the nation.
Are you ready to deliver?