Arians names Rashard Mendenhall Cardinals’ starting runner

Aside from a new attitude that came with a new head coach, the Arizona Cardinals may have a new aspect to their offense this season that doesn't involve turnovers.

According to Chris Wesseling, Bruce Arians said, on NFL AM, there's "no doubt" Rashard Mendenhall is the Cardinals' starting running back. Arians went on to heap praises on Mendenhall, saying he's an every down back and that the ball carrier is in for an "outstanding season."

The Cardinals are certainly a team that could benefit significantly from a strong running game. With Carson Palmer taking snaps, it seems likely that the Cardinals will be able to push defenses away from the line of scrimmage with their vertical passing game. If that's the case, Mendenhall will have some light fronts to run through.

In years past, the Cardinals have totally lacked a legitimate running game, putting far too much pressure on their passing attack. That was okay when Kurt Warner was taking snaps, but since his retirement, the Cardinals have been unable to find a quarterback able to distribute the ball with Warner's efficiency.

In five years in the league, Mendenhall has broken the 1,000 yard mark twice on the ground, both times coming in his only seasons he played in all 16 games. He played very little in his rookie year and missed much of last season with an injury. If he can stay on the field in Arizona, it'll be the Cardinals' first legitimate running threat in recent memory.

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin’s Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.