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
Nonstopdrivel (13h) : Not that I've . . . ASS! FUCK!
Nonstopdrivel (13h) : Not that I've noticed. Noticed. Iced.
Cheesey (17h) : Hey Nonstop.....do you know you have a history of repeating yourself?
Cheesey (17h) : Hey Nonstop...do you know you have a history of repeating yourself?
Nonstopdrivel (21h) : Reading Melt74's posting history is pretty funny. There aren't many members more laconic than he.
Nonstopdrivel (21h) : Reading Melt74's posting history is pretty funny. There aren't many members more laconic than he.
wpr (19-May) : Wie gehts?
Porforis (18-May) : Guten tag.
Nonstopdrivel (18-May) : Gute . . . use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you.
Porforis (18-May) : I am Gute.
Zero2Cool (18-May) : That is gute.
gbguy20 (15-May) : nvm just read about it. KT coffee is now the official coffee of the packers and will be served at Lambeau. taking over naming rights of the Verizon wireless gate and much more. sweet.
gbguy20 (15-May) : what's the details on the packers w/ kwik trip, Kevin?
Zero2Cool (15-May) : Packers & @KwikTrip expand & enhance their partnership
Zero2Cool (15-May) : Packers have signed first-round pick Jaire Alexander.
Zero2Cool (15-May) : Jason Witten, who also listed the Saints as a landing spot.
Zero2Cool (15-May) : “I think he’s going to end up going to the Green Bay Packers.” Jason Witten to @AdamSchefter about Dez Bryant.
Zero2Cool (14-May) : Marshall Newhouse ✔ @MNewhouse73 Hey, Legalize sports gambling all you want, but there’s no true gamble quite like whether to trust a fart or not.
KRK (13-May) : capitals and jets
Zero2Cool (13-May) : PackersHome*
buckeyepackfan (13-May) : Happy Mothers Day to all The Packershome Mom's out there!
Zero2Cool (13-May) : Penguins.
TheKanataThrilla (13-May) : Jet and Preds were an amazing series. Too bad one team had to lose.
TheKanataThrilla (13-May) : I was on Jets and Preds when my Senators decided to suck all year.
TheKanataThrilla (13-May) : Who are people cheering for to win the Stanley Cup?
TheKanataThrilla (13-May) : My son's team
TheKanataThrilla (13-May) : Sorry Zero. I am giving my wife a Penguins shirt for Mother's day.
Zero2Cool (13-May) : ... oh ... wait ...
Zero2Cool (13-May) : Go Penguins!!!
TheKanataThrilla (13-May) : Go Jets!!!
TheKanataThrilla (13-May) : To whoever gave me the 666th applause. Horns up dude!!!
gbguy20 (12-May) : i think it's dumb that the jerseys they sell the fans are designed to fit over pads that the fans don't where. im all for "authenticity" but i think they could skip that part of it
beast (12-May) : Football Jerseys are also suppose to be woren overshoulder pads... with no shoulder pads, they're extra long.
beast (12-May) : Putin says Kraft gave a Super Bowl ring to the Russian People... Kraft says they were suppose to hand the ring back but instead took/stole it.
Nonstopdrivel (12-May) : Supposedly from Robert Kraft.
Please sign in to use Fan Shout
2018 Packers Schedule
Sunday, Sep 9 @ 7:20 PM
BEARS
Sunday, Sep 16 @ 12:00 PM
VIKINGS
Sunday, Sep 23 @ 12:00 PM
Redskins
Sunday, Sep 30 @ 12:00 PM
BILLS
Sunday, Oct 7 @ 12:00 PM
Lions
Monday, Oct 15 @ 7:15 PM
49ERS
Sunday, Oct 28 @ 3:25 PM
Rams
Sunday, Nov 4 @ 7:20 PM
Patriots
Sunday, Nov 11 @ 12:00 PM
DOLPHINS
Thursday, Nov 15 @ 7:20 PM
Seahawks
Sunday, Nov 25 @ 7:20 PM
Vikings
Sunday, Dec 2 @ 12:00 PM
CARDINALS
Sunday, Dec 9 @ 12:00 PM
FALCONS
Sunday, Dec 16 @ 12:00 PM
Bears
Sunday, Dec 23 @ 12:00 PM
Jets
Sunday, Dec 30 @ 12:00 PM
LIONS
Think About It
Think About It
Recent Topics
9h / Green Bay Packers Talk / KRK

10h / Green Bay Packers Talk / Bigbyfan

19-May / Random Babble / Nonstopdrivel

19-May / Green Bay Packers Talk / nyrpack

17-May / Green Bay Packers Talk / nerdmann

16-May / Green Bay Packers Talk / Porforis

15-May / Green Bay Packers Talk / DarkaneRules

13-May / Random Babble / KRK

13-May / Green Bay Packers Talk / KRK

13-May / Green Bay Packers Talk / beast

12-May / Green Bay Packers Talk / TheKanataThrilla

12-May / Green Bay Packers Talk / nerdmann

12-May / Green Bay Packers Talk / beast

11-May / Green Bay Packers Talk / wpr

11-May / Feedback, Suggestions and Issues / Zero2Cool

Headlines