Discussion Board
Welcome Guest! You can login or register. Login or Register.

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
Nonstopdrivel  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, February 8, 2011 9:43:41 PM(UTC)
Quote:
SUPER BOWL XLV
[size=18]Steelers' Mendenhall, Packers' Starks facing tough defenses to dent
[/size]
By Jeff Legwold
The Denver Post
POSTED: 02/06/2011 01:00:00 AM MST

[img_r]http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site36/2011/0205/20110205__20110206_C02_SP06FBNBACKS~p1_200.JPG[/img_r]ARLINGTON, Texas In the business of running the football from point A to point B, yards after contact often separate good from bad and great from good.

The featured running backs waiting to play in Super Bowl XLV today at Cowboys Stadium have had to bounce off a hit or two to get to this point.

"It's different to be out there and be counted on in the Super Bowl," the Steelers' Rashard Mendenhall said. "I mean, it's the Super Bowl."

It's a Super Bowl that has the NFL's top two scoring defenses playing in the title game for just the third time, defenses that begrudgingly surrender yards, let alone first downs and touchdowns.

So Mendenhall, who was the Steelers' first-round draft pick in 2008, and Packers running back James Starks could have a lot to say about the way things play out in Super Bowl XLV. Both offenses, which have proven quarterbacks and big-play potential, still have to find a way to grind out some yardage on the ground.

"It's an amazing feeling being here right now," Starks said. "You watch the Super Bowl all the time growing up, and you sit there and say, 'Man, I could be there someday.' But to be here, to make that a reality, it's just great to be here."

Mendenhall and Starks followed bumpy paths to get to the Super Bowl.

[img_r]http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site36/2011/0205/20110205__20110206_C02_SP06FBNBACKS~p2_200.JPG[/img_r]Mendenhall, who has had back-to-back seasons of at least 1,100 yards rushing, missed much of his rookie year because of a shoulder injury. The former Illinois star was then benched in the third game of the 2009 season after Steelers coach Mike Tomlin publicly questioned Mendenhall's performance in practices. No carries, no yards and some public embarrassment from that September game against the Bengals.

But in the 29 games since that button was pushed by Tomlin 13 in 2009 and 16 this season Mendenhall has rushed for 2,503 yards and 21 touchdowns. Those totals include his 1,273 yards rushing this season to go with 13 touchdowns.

"He was a 20-year-old, third-year junior when we drafted him," Tomlin said of the 5-foot-10, 225-pound Mendenhall. "He's grown into a mature man and player. . . . One of the things we like about Rashard is that he is an intelligent individual. He's got a desire to be great. He doesn't ride the emotional roller coaster. He has a legitimate, sound perspective on all of this. He's mature beyond his years from that standpoint."

Starks, a lightly recruited running back from Niagara Falls (N.Y.) High School, played three seasons at the University at Buffalo. Starks had 1,100-yard seasons in 2007 and 2008 but didn't have a carry as a senior for the Bulls in 2009 because of a shoulder injury. However, he ran 4.48 and 4.49 in his 40-yard dashes at the NFL scouting combine last February to go with a 36-inch vertical jump. The Packers decided they had seen enough to use a sixth-round pick on him in last year's draft. But he suffered a hamstring injury during a mid-May workout in Green Bay and opened the regular season on the Packers' physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

"I just tried to stay positive through all that," said the 6-2, 218-pound Starks. "I knew what I could do, and I was grateful for the chance."

Still, he didn't make his NFL debut until Dec. 5 against San Francisco. When he rushed for 73 yards against the 49ers, he set a Green Bay record for most yards by a running back in his first game.

But Starks also had his practice habits questioned by the boss. And after rushing for just 8 yards on six carries in a 7-3 loss to the Lions at Detroit in his second game, Starks was made in-active for the next two games by Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

"He learned it's a seven-day-a-week job," said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. "I think he's seen how practice and the work during the week fits with how we all do on Sundays."

Starks played in the regular-season finale, gaining 20 yards on five carries. In the playoffs, he has been the Packers' top tailback.

Starks has had at least 22 carries in each of the Packers' three playoff games, including 123 yards on 23 carries in their 21-16 first-round victory over the Eagles in Philadelphia.

"I think it's clear that everybody can see what kind of player he can be," McCarthy said. "His best football is in front of him. He has all the tools and the talent to be an every-down player."

"These are the games you want to play in," Starks said. "It's the Super Bowl. . . . There's nothing bigger in this game than the Super Bowl."

Jeff Legwold: 303-954-2359 or jlegwold@denverpost.com

Rush job

How the two featured running backs in Super Bowl XLV have fared in the playoffs this year:

Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers Playoff game Carries Yards Avg. TDs
Jan. 15 vs. Baltimore 20 46 2.3 2
Jan. 23 vs. N.Y. Jets 27 121 4.5 1
James Starks, Packers

Playoff game Carries Yards Avg. TDs
Jan. 9 at Philadelphia 23 123 5.3 0
Jan. 15 at Atlanta 25 66 2.6 0
Jan. 23 at Chicago 22 74 3.4 1
Rss Feed
Users browsing this topic
Guest
Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Notification

Icon
Error

Fan Shout
yooperfan (48m) : Game day weather: 32 degrees, partly cloudy, wind SW 15-25 MPH
yooperfan (48m) : Game day weather: 32 degrees, partly cloudy, wind SW 15-25 MPH
yooperfan (48m) : Game day weather: 32 degrees, partly cloudy, wind SW 15-25 MPH
yooperfan (48m) : Game day weather: 32 degrees, partly cloudy, wind SW 15-25 MPH
yooperfan (48m) : Game day weather: 32 degrees, partly cloudy, wind SW 15-25 MPH
hardrocker950 (12h) : Bummer about Malcom Young
Cheesey (12h) : Virginia...there IS a "Sanity Clause".
uffda udfa (16h) : Virginia tanks 4th quarter. Miami and Wisconsin both win.
uffda udfa (18h) : #3 Miami down 21-14 to Virginia at half. Wisconsin could jump up with big 2nd half.
uffda udfa (18h) : Badgers very fortunate to be tied at half. Will fall down rankings without huge 2nd half.
uffda udfa (18h) : Kam Chancellor OUT for year.
uffda udfa (18h) : AC/DC co- founder, Malcolm Young dead at 64 from dementia.
gbguy20 (19h) : burger king has a new line of burgers out and they are amazing. the farmhouse king. do it.
Smokey (21h) : I'm in a Mexican mood today , maybe even a restaurant for Dinner and Margaritas .
Smokey (22h) : LOL
TheKanataThrilla (22h) : so good i had to say it twice
TheKanataThrilla (22h) : Haven't been to Taco Bell for a long time. Like Wendy's chili and you can get a baked potato.
TheKanataThrilla (22h) : Haven't been to Taco Bell for a long time. Like Wendy's chili and you can get a baked potato.
Smokey (22h) : Wendy's or Taco Bell ?
Zero2Cool (17-Nov) : Packers declare Bryan Bulaga, Morgan Burnett, Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery OUT for Week 11
Zero2Cool (17-Nov) : @Gil_Brandt
Zero2Cool (17-Nov) : NFL forced GB to split team on 2 DC-3s on future flights for fear of losing entire franchise.
Zero2Cool (17-Nov) : On this date in 1940, the Packers became first NFL team to travel by plane.
hardrocker950 (17-Nov) : If only I had Antonio Brown too lol
hardrocker950 (17-Nov) : 35 fantasy points between Boswell and Steelers D
Smokey (17-Nov) : 100 Total Correct Pick'em Picks ! Dilly Dilly !
buckeyepackfan (17-Nov) : Bug Ben just did a "dilly dilly" check at the line
Zero2Cool (16-Nov) : Packers worked out former Wisconsin running back Dare Ogunbowale on Wednesday.
beast (16-Nov) : I think Goodson was fast on STs (not (enough)... on defense is a different story
hardrocker950 (16-Nov) : I don't recall him being especially fast
Zero2Cool (16-Nov) : is Demetri Goodson fast?
Zero2Cool (16-Nov) : and Brave browser too
Nonstopdrivel (16-Nov) : This site works beautifully in Firefox Quantum.
Zero2Cool (16-Nov) : Today's Birthdays: Mucky Tundra (33)
Zero2Cool (16-Nov) : Packers hired the best foot doctor. Expect more athletes coming through.
Please sign in to use Fan Shout
2017 Packers Schedule
Sunday, Sep 10 @ 3:25 PM
SEAHAWKS
Sunday, Sep 17 @ 7:30 PM
at Falcons
Sunday, Sep 24 @ 3:25 PM
BENGALS
Thursday, Sep 28 @ 7:25 PM
BEARS
Sunday, Oct 8 @ 3:25 PM
at Cowboys
Sunday, Oct 15 @ 12:00 PM
at Vikings
Sunday, Oct 22 @ 12:00 PM
SAINTS
Sunday, Oct 29 @ 12:00 AM
- BYE -
Monday, Nov 6 @ 7:30 PM
LIONS
Sunday, Nov 12 @ 12:00 PM
at Bears
Sunday, Nov 19 @ 12:00 PM
RAVENS
Sunday, Nov 26 @ 7:30 PM
at Steelers
Sunday, Dec 3 @ 12:00 PM
BUCCANEERS
Sunday, Dec 10 @ 12:00 PM
at Browns
Sunday, Dec 17 @ 12:00 PM
at Panthers
Saturday, Dec 23 @ 7:30 PM
VIKINGS
Sunday, Dec 31 @ 12:00 PM
at Lions
Think About It
Think About It
Recent Topics
6h / Green Bay Packers Talk / uffda udfa

12h / Green Bay Packers Talk / Cheesey

16h / Green Bay Packers Talk / uffda udfa

18-Nov / Green Bay Packers Talk / Porforis

18-Nov / Green Bay Packers Talk / uffda udfa

17-Nov / Around The NFL / Cheesey

17-Nov / Green Bay Packers Talk / uffda udfa

17-Nov / Green Bay Packers Talk / beast

17-Nov / Green Bay Packers Talk / beast

17-Nov / Green Bay Packers Talk / gbguy20

16-Nov / Green Bay Packers Talk / beast

16-Nov / Green Bay Packers Talk / Nonstopdrivel

16-Nov / Green Bay Packers Talk / hardrocker950

16-Nov / Green Bay Packers Talk / uffda udfa

16-Nov / Green Bay Packers Talk / greengold

Headlines