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For all intents and purposes Rashard Mendenhalls

first_img For all intents and purposes, Rashard Mendenhall’s one season with the Arizona Cardinals was pretty uneventful.A free agent pickup after he spent the first five years of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he ran for 687 yards and eight touchdowns on 217 carries for a team that went 10-6.A solid-but-not-great player for the team, he retired from the NFL following the season, walking away from football at the age of 26. Top Stories Comments   Share   Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall scores a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Since then, Mendenhall — who’s personality and interests were never solely about football — has done some blogging, discussing his life post-football.On Tuesday, in a piece for The Huffington Post, he explained the difficulties of transitioning from being a football player to a former football player, albeit one who was able to leave the game with no lasting effects.My biggest fear after playing was being one of those guys who couldn’t let go. Living the rest of my life a shadow of who I was in my twenties. As a result, I distanced myself so far from football I have a hard time even remembering who I was. Having little recollection of the Big Ten Player of the Year that wore No. 5 for the Illini. Driving the tunnels of Pittsburgh without even glancing over at Heinz Field, the place where I became a back-to-back 1,000-yard rusher for the Steelers. Avoiding a return to Arizona, the place where I re-joined Bruce Arians and the Cardinals in my most enjoyable year of playing in the NFL. I abandoned these moments in my life believing that would help me move forward, and while that’s been the case, it’s come at the cost of my identity. Leaving me in a personal purgatory between Former NFL running back and Hollywood writer/director. Neither of them feels real.One line, in particular, may if not stand out, at least be of interest to Cardinals fans.center_img “Avoiding a return to Arizona, the place where I re-joined Bruce Arians and the Cardinals in my most enjoyable year of playing in the NFL.”Mendenhall, of course, was one of the first free agent signings after Arians took over, as the running back coming off an injury-shortened season was looking to reunite with a coach under whom in Pittsburgh he had experienced success. The former first-round pick did lead the Cardinals in carries and rushing yards, but did start to cede some touches to then-rookie Andre Ellington as the season progressed.That Mendenhall refers to that season as his most enjoyable is interesting because he was on a couple of Steelers teams that reached the Super Bowl. Of course, he was injured and did not play in the team’s Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals, but he was a key member of Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl XLV team that fell to the Green Bay Packers and was the leading rusher for a Steelers squad that made it back to the postseason in 2011.However, Arians has earned a reputation for being a coach people love to work and play for, and his star has risen to the point where even “The Rock” tweeted about how much he would love to play for him. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img

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