Situational football. On the play RLD is referencing, it was a cornerback, so yes, he should have run over him like a tractor trailer going over a soggy ice cream cone. That said, and I do love me some fullback, in the NFL, you won't run people over all the time, at least for very long. Earl Campbell comes to mind. On the Suggs play in the Ravens game, he actually played that one smart. It was a loser play of he catches it, so he left it go.
In Mendenhalls case, Trask is dead on. When it's an inside run, you go to the hole. If it isn't there, you put your head down and push the pile for a couple yards. Bouncing it outside works about 40-50% of the time. But the problem is that when it doesn't work, you're in 2nd and 12, or 3rd and 9. That really limits what you can do on offense. IMO, great backs aren't the ones who break 80 yarders and have 120 yards on 25 carries that day. Great backs are the guys who turn 3 yard losses into 2 yard gains. Parker had a higher YPC than Bettis. I doubt that anyone would take Parker over Jerome though. We have to keep in mind that he isn't Bettis. Jerome is going to the HOF this year on the first ballot for a reason. Only 63 men ever have been elected on their first try since 1970, of which 9 were running backs. Guys like that happen 1 time in a generation. But even with Jerome, it wasn't only power. He was smart, and had feet comparable to Barry Sanders. He knew how to avoid direct contact. He also had unreal power if need be(ask Urlacher about it
). Remember, Bettis also played for OC's who put a real value on the running game, who did not view it as a necessary evil to be used solely to keep defenses off balance and grind out clock, if that. Jerome had Tim Lester, Jon Witman and Dan Kreider as blocking backs, because that's what teams who want to run the ball effectively do. Mendenhall doesn't have the power Jerome did. He's also stuck playing for a guy that only wants to have him carry it 15 times per game, and uses a tight end out of position as a fullback. I'd like to see what he could do if Kreider was in front of him, slapping Ray Lewis around 35 times a game. It seems that when they do get Mendenhall a good blocker in front of him, he does very well. They've been VERY successful at the goal line with Bronko Lagursky being a lead blocker.