Jerome Bettis was a huge part of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s. After his retirement, the team faced the tough task of finding a replacement. A few years later, a young rookie would come on the scene and develop into a very reliable and skilled running back. Today, Rashard Mendenhall is a very important part of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense.
Mendenhall’s first game came on September 7th, 2008. In the season opener against the Houston Texans, this young man would get his first taste of pro football. Though he would post some huge numbers later on in other games, in this first game of his career he was the second option at running back, behind “Fast” Willie Parker. He would finish the game with just 10 carries for 28 yards. His longest run of the day was for nine yards. Parker had a big game that day, carrying the ball 25 times for 138 yards and three touchdowns.
This game doesn’t look real special statistically for Mendenhall, but it wasn’t long after that when teams and fans around the league would wake up and admit that he had a very good shot at being one of the better running backs in the league.