Durability helps Mendenhall come into his own

Posted Dec. 10, 2010 @ 12:42 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

Since entering the starting lineup last season, Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall has not missed a game, no small factor in his development, RB coach Kirby Wilson told PFW this week. "I think the biggest area in which he's improved since entering the league is he's finally developed an identity of who he is as a runner," Wilson said of the third-year pro from Illinois, who has rushed for 1,007 yards. "Like most guys, it takes time. And the biggest thing you've got going for you is you have to play to develop a style."  Mendenhall's identity, Wilson said, is as a "do-everything-type of runner," with the skill set to run everything in the playbook. And, most importantly, as Wilson sees it, Mendenhall's consistent "availability" has distinguished him. "With that, you start to develop who you are, what can be expected of you, and that's the beauty of this thing, seeing him develop that way and that style," Wilson said. "… (We) know exactly what we're going get every Sunday out of No. 34."