ASK THE STEELERS – RASHARD MENDENHALL
Steelers.com brings you the Ask the Steelers feature. Fans submitted the questions that were asked. Please understand that we receive an incredible number of questions for each player, with many of the questions being similar, and not all of the questions can be answered. We selected as many as possible, and took your questions to the current subject to get your answers.
From Lou Ellis in Newark, New Jersey: What was it like waiting to be drafted?Rashard Mendenhall: I was in Chicago at the House of Blues. I had a lot of friends and family around. It was kind of rough. I told myself when I went there I wasn't going to be nervous waiting on my name. But as it goes on it's intense waiting for your name to be on that screen.
From Dan Abrahams in Elyria, Ohio: What was your reaction when you got the call from the Steelers telling you they drafted you?
Rashard Mendenhall: It was great. The whole process and the time you put in, to finally figure out where you are going to be headed and living is a good feeling. It was nice to get that call and have that security.
From Mark Blair in Indianapolis, Indiana: The Steelers were surprised you were available in the first round when they picked. Were you surprised as well?
Rashard Mendenhall: I was real surprised I went here. Throughout the whole process, with mock drafts and what you hear and who you talk to, I didn't think about the Steelers. I didn't have much contact with them and when they picked me I was surprised.
From SSG Michael Molinaro stationed in Camp Liberty (Baghdad), Iraq: What was your favorite moment during your college career? Rashard Mendenhall: One of our games last year, towards the end of the year, my brother finally got a chance to play. He went out there and did real well. He had a 30-yard run, and a 20-yard run his first couple of carries. To see him get a chance and be out there too was good.
Kurnot in Dunbar, Pennsylvania: Now that you have gone through your first mini-camp and some OTAs, what are your initial impressions of the Steelers offense?
Rashard Mendenhall: It's a real good offense. There are weapons all over the field with Ben (Roethlisberger), Willie (Parker), Santonio (Holmes), and Hines (Ward). It's a great offense that is full of playmakers.
From Dan Cook in Powell, Ohio: What do you think will be the biggest adjustment to the NFL for you?
Rashard Mendenhall: The whole lifestyle that you live. Being an adult, being a professional and how you carry yourself. It's the decisions you make. Things change off the field.
From Vaughn Jarvis in Antigua, West Indies: What are your expectations for your rookie season?
Rashard Mendenhall: I plan on having success. I don't know how many yards it's going to be or how much playing time there will be. But whatever role is I want to have success at it.
From Bill Davidson in Sarasota, Florida: What kind of advice has Willie Parker offered to you so far?
Rashard Mendenhall: We have talked about a lot of stuff. He has shown me the ins and outs of how to carry yourself as a professional, how to talk to people, what to do and not do. He continues to help me with things here and there.
From Len Morgan in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Have you heard yet how passionate Steelers fans are about the team and are you looking forward to playing for a team with that kind of atmosphere?
Rashard Mendenhall: You hear about the Steelers fans and it's great to be in a city where you are loved and they aren't going to get on you all that much.
From Jim Campbell in Fredericksburg, Virginia: A lot is made about players hitting the rookie wall when the season starts to wear on. How do you avoid that?
Rashard Mendenhall: I couldn't tell you. Throughout training camp, the preseason and the season it's different. In college we play 12 games, 13 if you are lucky. To have 16 games, four preseason games, and hopefully post-season it will be rough just coming off of camp and going right into that. I have to figure out how to avoid the wall.
From Randy Clinton, York, Pennsylvania: If you were not a football player, what career path would you have followed?
Rashard Mendenhall: I want to create programs for kids that are disadvantaged. When my mom lives there are a lot of kids and they don't have too much to do. I want to create programs for kids like that.
From Mike Powers in Des Moines, Iowa: Not long from now you will sign a contract and get a signing bonus. What's the first thing you plan on buying with that bonus?
Rashard Mendenhall:I promised a trainer from my old school I would buy him a pair of shoes so I have to go and do that.