A fresh start, sometimes it’s all an NFL player needs, and that’s just what Rashard Mendenhall is getting with the Arizona Cardinals. After his five-year career had come to a stand still in Pittsburgh, it was simply time to move on for the talented running back. He made the right call to sign with the Cardinals, as they clearly had an opening at starting running back. The decision to sign in the desert has paid off, as the team has already announced him as the starter. Now with a new gig firmly in place, Mendenhall can shift his focus back to gaining yards on the ground, and leave all his past drama behind.
The Cardinals sorely need a reliable rushing attack to compliment new quarterback Carson Palmer and the passing game. Mendenhall is the right guy for the job, because when he’s healthy, he’s one of the better backs in football. During the only season in which he played all 16 games (2010), the RB set career highs in yards, touchdowns, and attempts. He eclipsed 1,200 yards and racked up 13 touchdowns, which is a very solid season, anyway you slice it.
Arizona will be hoping for a similar season from Mendenhall in 2013, but fans have to be realistic with their expectations. I think staying on the field for all 16 games should be priority number one, and any production that follows, is just icing on the cake. With an improved offensive line in front of him, and a decent amount of weapons surrounding him, Mendenhall is in great position to reemerge in the desert this season.
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