Cardinals RB Rashard Mendenhall plays like top back during minicamp

Christian Petersen

The former Steelers back has some work to do to impress his new team and help it forget about his past troubles. So far, it looks like he is doing just that.

New Cardinal Rashard Mendenhall has a healthy number of competitors for lead back duties in Arizona, but so far in minicamp he appears to be blowing them away, according to XTRA 910's Mike Jurecki. Mendenhall has looked "good hitting the holes" and that he is "clearly the number 1 RB" so far in camp, Jurecki reports.

Not bad for a player that had a hard time securing a good contract on the open market this year.

Mendenhall, a first-round pick of the Steelers in 2008, played in just six games in 2012 after he had been recovering from a torn ACL in January. He was then suspended in December after his return for not showing up in a game because he had been deactivated for poor play. While Mendenhall had shown good talent at the professional level, rushing for 1,273 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2011, the Cardinals were able to sign him to a one-year deal for $3.5 million due to his past injury and behavior concerns.

He will have to use that talent to overcome a backfield that includes Ryan Williams and rookie Stepfan Taylor, as long as he can remain healthy and on good terms with head coach Bruce Arians.

So far, it looks like the coach should be impressed.

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