Most Pittsburgh Steelers fans would be more than happy to never go down this road again, but here we are. On Sunday, June 19th, former 1st Round draft pick Rashard Mendenhall took to Twitter to give his thoughts and opinions about a play he most remembered for during his relatively brief stint in the NFL.
The play would be his fumble in Super Bowl 45 with the Steelers driving while trailing the Green Bay Packers 21-17.
Everyone remembers the play. Mendenhall gets blown up in the backfield by Clay Matthews and loses the ball. It was the Steelers’ third turnover in the game, and it ended a surge by the team to potentially come from behind and win what would have been their 7th Super Bowl.
Sunday, which was also Mendnhall’s 35th birthday, he took to Twitter to tell anyone who cares that he didn’t fumble the ball.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Check out his actual tweet below:
I never fumbled that ball… #SBXLV— Rashard Mendenhall (@R_Mendenhall) June 19, 2022
My coaches would feel like assholes to say that I did, I never did.
I was SEPARATED from the ball, 4 yards into the backfield.
That’s the RB equivalent of a strip-sack.
There’s NOTHING I could’ve done about it.
Respect my career.#Free34
Want to re-live the play? Check it out in the player below:
(Note: If you can’t see the below video, click HERE)
To be honest, I can understand with what Mendenhall is saying about the play, although his delivery/explanation leaves something to be desired. Both Doug Legursky, but mainly David Johnson’s whiff of his block, equate to the Steelers’ running back being hit in the backfield.
But does that excuse a player for not securing the football?
Mendenhall gives a comparison to a quarterback strip-sack, this being when the quarterback isn’t aware of a pass rusher coming from his blind side and strips the ball out. It counts as a fumble, but the blame usually falls on the offensive line who failed to do their job.
However, even in that scenario, there are times when a quarterback doesn’t lose the football, and only surrenders a sack. In Mendenhall’s case, even though the offensive line didn’t do their jobs, he still could have held onto the football and only given up a negative rushing play, not a game-changing turnover.
This is the time we all re-live the play again, and you can let us know what you think in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the offseason before reporting to Saint Vincent College for training camp on July 26th.