So, if you are a Pittsburgh Steelers player who has been inactive on gameday, how do you earn your way onto the field on Sundays?
Work harder in practice? Appeal to the coach? Wait until someone at your position gets injured?
Rashard Mendenhall did it differently. He walked out on his team.
Mendenhall will suit up today for the first time in a month. The coaches did not think they needed him when they made him inactive for two games. Mendenhall reacted by not showing up for their previous game at Heinz Field, a loss to San Diego. So Mike Tomlin suspended him for last week’s game in Dallas, and will reward him by suiting him up for today’s game against Cincinnati.
He’s not likely to start, he won’t play on special teams, so why has anything changed since he was not needed in the previous three games?
Tomlin and the Steelers are desperate, that’s why. This is not a criticism of the coach. He had three decisions on this matter: Make Mendenhall inactive again, activate him, activate him and start him.
No matter what Tomlin does, if it does not work out, he’ll be ripped for it. If Mendenhall were inactive and the ground game again petered out, Tomlin would be criticized for not doing everything he could to win. If Mendenhall is active and he does little – or even worse, loses a fumble or two – Tomlin will be ripped for playing him.
The Steelers need this game today, and if Tomlin thinks Mendenhall might help him win it, then he has to use him. As I wrote here earlier, the worse thing I saw was quarterback Bubby Brister refusing to go into a game that Neil O’Donnell started in 1991, then telling the world about it. Chuck Noll started him in the next two games, the final ones in Noll’s career.
--- YOU: I got a rule change cause I think the NFL needs 1 more obscure rule added to there oversized rule book already. If a team is without timeout's and a play happens that they want to challenge they can challenge it as long as they have their challenges available. But if they lose the challenge its a 15yd pen. I luv this rule. It's ridiculous when Trent R fumbled the ball and we couldnt challenge it cause you have no timeouts left I dont know why the NFL brought in having timeouts anything to do with challenging a play. I know the Steelers shouldnt have used all there timeouts but stuff happens. When an obvious bad call by the refs is blown you shouldnt get penalized by their lack of judgement for using your timeouts. Why not one more crazy rule in the book
ME: Actually, it’s not crazy. I endorse it.
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