2010 Playoffs

Rashard Mendenhall Press Conference Transcript Wednesday Super Bowl XLV

Rashard Mendenhall Press Conference Transcript Wednesday February 2nd Super Bowl XLV



(on if not being able to play in the Steelers’ last Super Bowl is a source of motivation for him) “A little bit. I learned a lot from that but now it’s a whole different experience, going through this season and being the lead dog. So I’m just preparing for that and looking forward to it.”

(on what he was trying to learn in his first year in the NFL) “A lot of things. Kind of like when you go from high school to college, getting settled, getting a place to live, getting used to the workday routine. Just knowing how to prepare and everything with your lifestyle change.”

(on if the two-week break between games will help him) “Yeah, that helps. Throughout the course of the season your body gets beat up, so it’s good for everybody to get two weeks to heal.”

(on if he’s talked to prominent Steelers running backs like Jerome Bettis and Franco Harris) “Yeah, in different venues, different events, I have time to talk to those guys. It’s not so much football stuff, just lifestyle stuff and the way to carry yourself.”

(on the transition from soaking up the moment of the Super Bowl and preparing for the game) “It’s a workday every day, so we did some work last week in preparation because we knew it was going to be pretty crazy. But these guys have been here before, so I’m just following in their footsteps.”

(on his dance lessons as a method of conditioning) “I think it’s helped a lot. I did it in my rookie year when I was hurt. I really enjoyed it and now I feel a lot more limber and have control of my body in areas you don’t really strengthen in workouts.”

(on if he feels he can still improve) “I feel like that. You never want to be content. You never want to be like, ‘Oh, I’ve made it.’ It’s just a continuous process in learning and growing. As far as areas, I can’t point out. I’m pretty solid in every area, but you want to continue to get better and better at it.”

(on what he does to try to make this week normal) “Just like I do with everything, I don’t get too up or down. Before we left, our running backs coach put on the board to ‘live in the now.’ Whatever’s going on, whether it’s a meeting, whether it’s practice, just take care of that business at that time and don’t worry about anything else, and that’s what I’m doing.”

(on if he has found a second wind in the postseason) “I don’t think it’s a second wind as much as when the playoffs hit, play rises for everybody. It’s just time where there’s no turning back. Nobody wants to go home, so the level of play ups for everybody.”

(on how he stayed on track after his shoulder injury early in his career) “With not being able to play, just learning as much as I could on and off the field. With not being on the field, watching those guys on the field. But off the field, dealing with lifestyle outside of football, whether it’s finding a place, getting comfortable and being a professional.”

(on if Head Coach Mike Tomlin is easier to relate to because he’s a young coach) “Yeah, I think so. Because he’s younger, he’s more relatable. It’s more of a modern style of coaching. As far as an old-school coach, he wants things done in an old-school way and as a young guy, you really don’t feel like it relates to you.”

(on if this week is moving slowly for him) “I think it’s a little bit slower. But for us, everything that’s football is football. On the outside, I think because of all the obligations you have, it’s a little slower.”

(on how he characterizes the phrase ‘Steelers football’) “You just think about tough, hard-nosed football. You think of a team that is not going to beat themselves and is ready to hit you.”

(on if his injury during the last Super Bowl makes this opportunity mean more to him) “Yeah, I think so. But I don’t think about that too much. That was two years ago, so now this is this year’s Super Bowl. All I’m doing is preparing for the Packers. With everything else, I’ll look back at that after the fact.”

(on what the experience of being benched in his second year was like for him) “It was kind of a surprise, but at the same time, Coach Tomlin is very fair, he’s very reasonable. He let me know exactly what it was. ‘I don’t like the week you had in practice.’ I don’t think it was as big as people make it, but that was one of the steps along the way of my growth. Whatever it is, a certain game or if you miss a protection, I think everything goes to your growth as a player.”

(on what Ben Roethlisberger has meant to the team) “From Ben coming back, it just felt like being home. This is (No.) 7’s team, especially the offense. It’s his offense. For him coming back, you know you always have a chance to win. He’s a great teammate and a great leader.”

(on why anyone would doubt that Roethlisberger is the leader of the team) “I think it’s just because of the things in the outside. In the media, things can get blown up in the perception, when, on the inside, we’re all here, we’re all in this together and the locker room is completely different from what they write about in the papers.”

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