2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Arizona's Mendenhall much more than a running back

    2013-08-22 02:22

(Eds: With AP Photo.)
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - 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.''

He said that in their time together, Arians ``was able to see who I am personally.''

``I came to work every day, did everything I was asked to do,'' Mendenhall said. ``At the same time, I did dancing in Pittsburgh, poetry, all kind of things. He was able to see that and see the way that I worked, the way I approached my business, but also the interests that I have, and I kind of hold true to those as well.''

Mendenhall's unconventional thinking got him in trouble in 2011 with his tweets following the death of Osama bin Laden.

``What kind of person celebrates death?'' he wrote then. ``It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never heard speak. We've only heard one side.''

He also appeared to question whether two passenger jets could have taken down the World Trade Center towers.

Later, in a Huffington Post blog, he said he wasn't condoning the ``evil acts'' of bin Laden and apologized to anyone he had ``unintentionally harmed.''

His comments, he said, had to do with ``religion, morality and human ethics.''

Mendenhall doesn't want to revisit the past, opting to focus on looking forward, both professionally and personally.

After topping 1,000 yards rushing in both 2009 and 2010, he was limited to just six games due to injuries last season.

He comes to Arizona with full knowledge of Arians' offense and with a desire to show he can still play the game at a high level. The Cardinals had the worst ground game and the worst overall offense in the NFL last season.

New quarterback Carson Palmer doesn't know much about Mendenhall's off-field interests.

``I had no idea he is into poetry, to be honest,'' Palmer said. ``I'm personally not into a lot of poetry, but I like Rashard a lot.''

Palmer is more concerned with what happens when Mendenhall is handed the ball, or has to pick up the blitz, or catch a pass out of the backfield.

``Everybody's got their own interests off the field,'' Palmer said, ``but that locker room is full of guys that love to play, and Rashard's one of those guys who loves playing football, loves talking football, very smart, very experienced in this system.''

As for poetry and the other stuff.

``Everybody's got different backgrounds, different hobbies,'' Palmer said. ``To each his own.''

---

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Frankie HammondAug 27 10:42p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Frankie Hammond Jr. is likely to start in place of suspended WR Dwayne Bowe in Week 1.

Derek CarrAug 27 10:40p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr appears firmly entrenched as the primary backup quarterback behind starter QB Matt Schaub (elbow), even though QB Matt McGloin has posted the best numbers of the preseason.

Wes WelkerAug 27 10:31p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) made another positive step Tuesday, Aug. 26, in his recovery from another concussion, according to head coach John Fox. Welker has still not [ More ]

Matt SchaubAug 27 10:23p

Oakland Raiders QB Matt Schaub (elbow) will be the team's starting quarterback in Week 1 against the New York Jets assuming his elbow is better and he can get [ More ]

Timothy WrightAug 27 10:23p

The New England Patriots really like TE Timothy Wright, acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for OL Logan Mankins. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport even considers him as the team's 'new' [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 09:43p

Washington Redskins QBs Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins aren't involved in any kind of quarterback controversy, according to head coach Jay Gruden. The first-team offense has yet to [ More ]

Nate FreeseAug 27 09:27p

Detroit Lions PK Nate Freese has won the kicker job, because the team has released PK Giorgio Tavecchio.

Kory SheetsAug 27 06:53p

Oakland Raiders FS Larry Asante (undisclosed), WR Greg Jenkins (undisclosed) and RB Kory Sheets (undisclosed) all were placed on the team's Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 27.

John PotterAug 27 06:43p

The Miami Dolphins placed PK John Potter (hip) on the Reserved/Injured list Thursday, Aug. 27.

Matt JohnsonAug 27 06:33p

The Dallas Cowboys placed TE Jordan Najvar (undisclosed), S Matt Johnson (hamstring), CB Justin Green (undisclosed), LB DeVonte Holloman (neck) and CB Johnny X. Thomas (undisclosed) were all placed [ More ]

L. WestbrooksAug 27 06:23p

The Cincinnati Bengals placed LB J.K. Schaffer (concussion) and CB Lavelle Westbrooks (thumb) on the Reserve/Injured list.

D.C. JeffersonAug 27 06:23p

Carolina Panthers TE D.C. Jefferson (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Wes WelkerAug 27 06:03p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has been ruled out of the team's final preseason game Thursday, Aug. 27, but has been exercising and will travel with the team.

Tim BenfordAug 27 05:23p

Dallas Cowboys waived WR Tim Benford Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Wes WelkerAug 27 05:13p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has not been cleared to practice at this point but is making good progress.

Jemea ThomasAug 27 05:03p

The Dallas Cowboys claimed S Jemea Thomas (Patriots) off waivers Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Tandon DossAug 27 05:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Ace Sanders (personal) and WR Tandon Doss (ankle) may be able to play in the final preseason game after missing the first three preseason games. Head [ More ]

Josh ScobeeAug 27 04:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) said he is not sure if will be able to play Week 1 because of his quadriceps injury. PK Kasey Redfern may make [ More ]

D.J. HaydenAug 27 04:33p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) is considered a few weeks away from returning to practice, according to head coach Dennis Allen. Allen said he expects Hayden will be [ More ]

Richard MarshallAug 27 04:23p

San Diego Chargers CB Richard Marshall has been working at safety because of the injury to SS Jahleel Addae (hamstring). Marshall's versatility could help him make the final roster.

Ryan McBeanAug 27 03:53p

The Arizona Cardinals cut DE Ryan McBean Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Tommy KellyAug 27 03:43p

Arizona Cardinals DT Tommy Kelly agreed to terms on a one-year contract Wednesday, Aug. 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Josh GordonAug 27 03:03p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon's representatives are considering a lawsuit against the NFL which could seek an injunction to put the suspension on hold until the legal process takes [ More ]

Pierre DesirAug 27 02:43p

The Cleveland Browns may consider placing CB Pierre Desir (knee) on the Active/Reserve/Injured list, which would keep him out for at least eight weeks of the season.

Phillip TannerAug 27 01:53p

The Dallas Cowboys will sign free-agent RB Phillip Tanner (Colts), according to sources.

Josh GordonAug 27 01:43p

Updating previous reports, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be allowed to apply for reinstatement after the 2014 season and not after a full calendar year.

Josh GordonAug 27 01:23p

Updating previous reports, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will not be allowed at the team's facility during his one-year suspension. The team hoped they would be able to work with him during the suspension.

Zach ErtzAug 27 01:13p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz is expected to be more involved in the passing game this season and has shown the confidence to be a solid pass catcher, according [ More ]

Josh GordonAug 27 01:03p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will not be allowed to file for reinstatement during his one-year suspension, according to a source. His representatives will look [ More ]

Josh GordonAug 27 12:53p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be suspended for the 2014 season after his appeal of the suspension was denied, according to a source.

Cam NewtonAug 27 12:43p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (rib) said he fully expects to be ready to play Week 1.

Rob GronkowskiAug 27 12:13p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) continues to make progress in his rehab but likely will sit out the final preseason game. Gronkowski is looking to be ready [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group