Mendenhall not the typical running back
Former Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, now in his first preseason with the Arizona Cardinals, defies any athletic stereotype, with his poetry, intellectual interests and even an occasional blog on The Huffington Post.
Rashard Mendenhall destroys the stereotype of a pro football player.
The Arizona running back writes poetry, studies all things spiritual and occasionally posts a blog on The Huffington Post.
Football is his job, and he says he is dedicated to it, but it does not define who he is.
Mendenhall has said his creativity off the field helps him on it, and when it comes to the running game, the Cardinals can use a fresh approach after a miserable 2012 season.
New coach Bruce Arians knows Mendenhall well from their days together in Pittsburgh and they bring a mutual respect to their new team.
An avid reader, Mendenhall estimates he reads 15 to 20 books a year.
Currently, he’s reading “I Remember Union: The Story of Mary Magdalena,” written by Flo Aeveia Magdalena, described by Amazon.com as “a respected visionary, healer, teacher, channel and writer.”
“I’m really into literature and reading, just that peaceful time, quiet time away from things,” Mendenhall said, “whether I’m writing or reading a story, learning something, kind of growing in that way.”
After a standout career at Illinois, Mendenhall was selected by the Steelers in the first round of the 2008 draft, the 23rd selection overall. Arians was Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator and over the next few seasons, the two hit it off.
“Once you got to know him, you knew he was a thinking man, that he had ideas and wasn’t afraid to show them, or share them,” Arians said. “That’s one of the things I liked about him.”
Mendenhall grew to appreciate Arians as a person, as well as a coach. “He’s a very real person, very fair, straight up,” Mendenhall said. “He lets you know exactly what it is, you know what I’m saying? As a player, everybody respects that. Everybody’s always respected him. I’ve always had nothing but respect for him.”
Chiefs not on same page: Alex Smith might as well have been playing Paul Newman’s part from the seminal 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke” after the Kansas City Chiefs struggled in a preseason loss to San Francisco.
You know the line where Newman says, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”
Smith and his wide receivers weren’t on the same page. The offensive line might just as well have been speaking another language given the seven sacks they allowed. The entire unit never put together a sustained drive, the Chiefs’ lone touchdown coming on special teams.
Coach Andy Reid says that the communication issues remain a work in progress. The next benchmark to judge that progress comes in preseason game No. 3 on Saturday night in Pittsburgh.
Giants have abundance of CBs: When the New York Giants have to cut their roster to 53 a week from Sunday, one of the toughest decisions will involve the cornerbacks.
Prince Amukamara is set as a starter. Narrowing down the other four or five is not easy.
Veteran Corey Webster, who took a big pay cut to return, has battled groin and knee injuries and has only played in one preseason game. It seems unlikely he will suit up against the Jets Saturday.
Aaron Ross, who re-signed with the Giants after a year in Jacksonville, has looked good, along with second-year pro Jayron Hosley.
Terrell Thomas has surprised a lot of people making his comeback from two ACL surgeries, and the some of the young free agents have shown flashes.
These are good problems to have for coach Tom Coughlin. But they won’t make the decisions any less difficult.
Browns can’t drive 55: Browns wide receiver Greg Little vowed to act more responsibly after risking his life and others when he wrecked his car driving 127 mph – more than 70 mph over the legal speed limit.
Little was cited in April for drag racing after he crashed his expensive, high-performance Audi into a guardrail, took out a light pole and left more than 40 yards of brake tracks, according to a police report. Little was not hurt in the crash, which records say took place at 2:47 a.m., but said he understands his behavior was unacceptable.
“It’s obviously something that I’ve got to take very seriously and slow my speeds down and be cautious of others on the road,” Little said. “I could have seriously put my life and other lives in danger.”
He knows he’s lucky to have survived.
“Yeah, it was a pretty traumatic experience and it’s something that I learned from and I’m just trying to move forward and just learn from it,” he said.
Although Little vowed to slow down, earlier this week he was ticketed for driving 81 mph in a 60 mph and for having expired license plates.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said he has spoken to Little as well as wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was also cited for speeding this month.
“We take that seriously. It’s not acceptable,” Chudzinski said after practice on Thursday. “I’ve sat down with both of those guys individually and talked to them and addressed that with them as well as with the team.”