Ward Makes Rookie RB’s Fumbles Uber Awkward

Rashard Mendenhall is a rookie, so fumbling is going to happen some. But he’s still a first-round draft pick and the purported goal-line RB for the Steelers, so it would be kinda nice for Pittsburgh fans if he wrapped it up (insert your own Lindsay Lohan joke here).

Mendenhall and Parker

Of course, all of this may explain why Hines Ward is giving the youngster a hard time. The PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE - REVIEW (via MONDESI’S HOUSE) carries the news that Ward put a football in Mendenhall’s locker which he has to carry around. If he loses the ball, he has to pay whoever took it $100. Sounds like fun times for rookie Rashard:

Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward figured a little education was necessary after Mendenhall lost a pair of fumbles in the Steelers’ 12-10 preseason victory over Minnesota on Saturday night.

Mendenhall arrived at the Steelers’ South Side practice facility on Monday morning to find the following message scribbled onto the grease board in the locker room: “Take Mendenhall’s ball away and get $100 from him. And you get an extra $500 if you bring it to the RB’s meeting room.”

There was also a special football waiting for Mendenhall’s almost undivided attention.

“It says ‘Mendenhall’s $100 ball.’ You get it, you will get paid,” Ward said.

The T-R also noted that Mendenhall has “only” had to pay two players so far, but considering this story is pretty freaking fresh (I heard about it last night, most likely from SCOOOOOOOOP Mortensen) that’s an early two-hundo out of pocket.

I’ll go ahead and set the over/under on number of dollars lost by Mendenhall to this little prank at 1,400. I figure he’ll accidentally walk into a defensive lineman or two at some point and things will get awkward. But I also figure that Julius Peppers will pop the ball loose a time or two on Thursday, revving up his teammates. By the end of the week, 14 fumbles seems about right, and that should tire everyone out.

Oh yeah, and surprisingly/awkwardly, Mendenhall’s not to thrilled about it:

“It’s real tough, a little unrealistic if you ask me, with 80 guys, all the time, all day,” Mendenhall said.

Jesus, man. Grow a pair and say you’re pumped about the challenge. Or that you hope Willie Parker dares to get near you. Or that if Santonio Holmes comes after you in the shower, you’ll run in fear.

But don’t act like it’s unfair. Just quit dropping the damn ball.