Daily Dose: Rashard Mendenhall's Effectiveness, Chaz Schilens' Return

Raymond SummerlinContributor IJuly 22, 2010

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 27:  Running back Rashard Mendenhall #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers scores a touchdown and breaks 1000 yards for the season during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on December 27, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
Karl Walter/Getty Images
Steelers Need to be More Effective on the Ground
Steelers’ offensive coordinator Bruce Arians believes the Steelers  need to run the ball more effectively, not more often.

"It is the quality of the runs more than the quantity that I am worried about," Arians told Mark Kaboly of the McKeesport Daily News.

Arians was responding to the criticism the offense has endured all off season despite putting together one the most productive offensive years Pittsburgh has ever seen last season.


Saying you want to run the ball more effectively is nice, but it might be more difficult in practice.

Pittsburgh was able to put up fairly good numbers on the ground despite their subpar offensive line last season, but it was definitely not the rushing attack Steeler fans are accustomed to seeing.

Now, the injury to Willie Colon  and the uncertain quarterback situation have put a damper on the expectations of Rashard Mendenhall and the Steeler rushing attack this season.

Hearing Arians talk about improving the rushing game does make me feel better about Mendenhall, but he has to be knocked down a bit in drafts this summer.

He is still a high end number two running back, but the uncertainty means he cannot be trusted as a number one right now.

Schilens Ahead of Schedule
While discussing the possibility of Terrell Owens signing with the Oakland Raiders, Raiders insider Jerry McDonald said wide receiver Chaz Schilens was ahead of schedule  in his recovery from offseason foot surgery.

McDonald said head coach Tom Cable said, "Schilens won’t be ready to go until training camp” so his appearance at OTAs means “he’s ahead of schedule.”

Schilens was a trendy selection in fantasy drafts last season until he injured his foot during training camp and missed the first eight games of the season.

Schilens ended the season with 365 yards on 29 catches and two touchdowns in only eight games last season and has a much better situation at quarterback this year.

Oakland offense has a lot of talent on it and could be poised for a breakout season.

If that happens, Schilens should put up big numbers as the possession wide receiver that Jason Campbell has always wanted/needed.

Schilens has a real chance to out play his current WR 55 ADP and is one of the better wide outs to take a chance on late in drafts. 
Contact Raymond at @RMSummerlin  on Twitter.