Green Bay Packers Forum

Welcome to your Green Bay Packers Online Community!

Since 2006, PackersHome has been providing a unique experience for fans.
Your participation is greatly anticipated!
Login or Register.
Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
Offline Nonstopdrivel  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, February 8, 2011 9:43:41 PM(UTC)
Rank: Select Member

United States
Joined: 9/14/2008(UTC)
Location: Germany
Applause Given: 396
Applause Received: 301
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
DarkaneRules (13h) : cardinals run game looks worse than ours
Zero2Cool (19h) : Packers inactives v Texans: WR Trevor Davis CB Makinton Dorleant ILB Blake Martinez OLB Kyler Fackrell RG Lang C Tretter DT Christian Ringo
buckeyepackfan (23h) : GOOD MORNING PACKER FANS! GAMEDAY! GO! PACK! GO!
Zero2Cool (2-Dec) : lol
TheKanataThrilla (2-Dec) : That's a better description Zero thanks.
Zero2Cool (2-Dec) : I wasn't cheering for Cowboys. I was just hoping Vikings lose lol
Smokey (2-Dec) : NFLshop.com
TheKanataThrilla (2-Dec) : Seems best for our divisional prospects
hardrocker950 (2-Dec) : then don't
TheKanataThrilla (2-Dec) : It feels awful to cheer for the Cowboys.
Zero2Cool (30-Nov) : You know you don't have a Google sign in, so ... ahh ... don't click it :-) (having fun with ya)
Laser Gunns (30-Nov) : I don't mean to make the dupe, it happens when I try to sign in using the google account link thing.
Zero2Cool (29-Nov) : Erik Walden has as many sacks as Nick Perry.
Zero2Cool (29-Nov) : Most players fly "home" for offseason.
Porforis (29-Nov) : Or they just don't want to beat their bodies to hell to get a bunch of money and not having stuff around to enjoy with said money
Cheesey (29-Nov) : Well, i guess it just shows who thinks their football job is less important then going out to party.
Zero2Cool (29-Nov) : Green Bay is a smaller town, and it's cold as crap here.
Zero2Cool (29-Nov) : What I've heard and read, more likely true than we care to admit.
hardrocker950 (29-Nov) : If that is true... they don't know what is good for them hehe
Zero2Cool (29-Nov) : That was from Brady Poppinga.
Zero2Cool (29-Nov) : Ted has always been aggressive & proactive in FA.It's just that a lot of big time free agents have taken less to play in bigger cities.
Zero2Cool (29-Nov) : Gunnar, QUIT creating that duplicate account! lol
Zero2Cool (29-Nov) : Reggie ragland was on IR early too.
Zero2Cool (29-Nov) : Seems anyone and everyone related to Packers is hurt lol
wpr (29-Nov) : Boy it's a good thing GB didn't sign Trevthan. Uncle Teddy is a genius. 8-l
The_Green_Ninja (29-Nov) : Silent from Nerdmann tonight :)
Zero2Cool (29-Nov) : Davante Adams turns 6 targets into 5-113-2 in MNF win
Zero2Cool (29-Nov) : Yeehaw
Zero2Cool (28-Nov) : Danny Trevthan to IR with ruptured patellar tendon in right knee. Going on IR.
Zero2Cool (25-Nov) : It's time for someone to step up at corner, Whitt says. He refuses to use injuries as an excuse, no matter how many ways I ask.
Zero2Cool (25-Nov) : Joe Whitt on Randall's return: "That's what we get paid for. Nobody really cares about the rust." Only thing that matters is performance.
Zero2Cool (25-Nov) : LB coach Winston Moss says rust affected Clay Matthews: "We're looking forward to him getting back to his old play-making self."
Zero2Cool (25-Nov) : CB coach Joe Whitt on Damarious Randall: Nobody cares about rust. The only thing that matters is performance.
Zero2Cool (25-Nov) : Packers are 4.6 yards per rush. Only 4 teams with better average rushing per carry.
hardrocker950 (25-Nov) : But Ted will probably blow the pick on another bust
Please sign in to use Fan Shout

2016 Packers Schedule
Sunday, Sep 11 @ 12:00 PM
at Jaguars
Sunday, Sep 18 @ 7:30 PM
at Vikings
Sunday, Sep 25 @ 12:00 PM
LIONS
Sunday, Oct 2 @ 12:00 AM
BYE
Sunday, Oct 9 @ 7:30 PM
GIANTS
Sunday, Oct 16 @ 3:25 PM
COWBOYS
Thursday, Oct 20 @ 7:25 PM
BEARS
Sunday, Oct 30 @ 3:25 PM
at Falcons
Sunday, Nov 6 @ 3:25 PM
COLTS
Sunday, Nov 13 @ 12:00 PM
at Titans
Sunday, Nov 20 @ 7:30 PM
at Redskins
Monday, Nov 28 @ 7:30 PM
at Eagles
Sunday, Dec 4 @ 12:00 PM
TEXANS
Sunday, Dec 11 @ 3:25 PM
SEAHAWKS
Sunday, Dec 18 @ 12:00 PM
at Bears
Saturday, Dec 24 @ 12:00 PM
VIKINGS
Sunday, Jan 1 @ 12:00 PM
at Lions

Think About It
Think About It

Recent Topics
2h / Green Bay Packers Talk / steveishere

6h / Green Bay Packers Talk / Barfarn

7h / Green Bay Packers Talk / olds70supreme

11h / Green Bay Packers Talk / Zero2Cool

14h / Green Bay Packers Talk / wpr

15h / Green Bay Packers Talk / nyrpack

4-Dec / Green Bay Packers Talk / nerdmann

4-Dec / Green Bay Packers Talk / sschind

4-Dec / Green Bay Packers Talk / Zero2Cool

3-Dec / Green Bay Packers Talk / nerdmann

3-Dec / Green Bay Packers Talk / nerdmann

3-Dec / Packers Draft Threads / steveishere

3-Dec / Green Bay Packers Talk / beast

2-Dec / Green Bay Packers Talk / Zero2Cool

2-Dec / Around The NFL / Smokey


Packers Headlines