Arizona Cardinals' head coach, Bruce Arians has been quoted saying that Rashard Mendenhall is the Cardinals' No. 1 running back. This first came out of Phoenix last week, while the newly signed free agent, established himself as the No.1 running back in minicamps, seperating himself from the others.
It was also made clear prior to that in OTA’s, when Arians appear to have zero interest in giving Ryan Williams, Stepfan Taylor or Andre Ellington a legit chance to compete as the top back.
"He took me personally to a Super Bowl, and I know what he can bring to the table as a runner and a pass protector and also a receiver," Arians said of his former first-round pick in Pittsburgh. "He's an every-down player. And I think he's looking forward to having an outstanding season."
Then again on the NFL Network's "NFL AM" on Wednesday, coach Arians confirmed "there's no doubt" that Mendenhall would be the featured back, if the season started today.
"Rashard is just 25 years old (he turns 26 on Wednesday)," Arians said. The only thing holding him down Mendenhall's early 2012 knee surgery led to a bout with Achilles tendinitis last season, it's no longer an issue and "he's ready to go," Arians assured.
Arians now is making it clear that the Pittsburgh Steelers' former first-round draft pick, is a three-down running back.
Barring an injury to Mendenhall during the season, it appear Williams appears next in line, for a change-of-pace role and the rookies, Ellington and Taylor figure to be brought along slowly throughout the season.