New Arizona coach Arians welcomes Mendenhall with no reservations

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PHOENIX -- Rashard Mendenhall had some problems with the Steelers, on and off the field. Those issues included a controversial tweet about Osama Bin Laden several years ago.

But that doesn't bother new Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who signed Mendenhall to a one-year contract in free agency and is thrilled to have him.

"He's a legitimate big-time threat every time he touches the ball," Arians, the Steelers' former offensive coordinator, said Wednesday at the NFC coaches breakfast at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa. "He's a big back who never has to come out of the game. He has a 230-pound body with 180-pound feet."

Arians said he is not worried about Mendenhall's attitude, either.

Mendenhall was suspended for one game in 2012 when he failed to show up for a game against the San Diego Chargers for which he was deactivated.

"The tweet he made earlier was a mistake, he understands that," Arians said. "Rashard is a different person than most football players. You have to respect the individual and what he stands for. He thinks differently. I respect that and appreciate that.

"He does train-dancing -- he does different things that football players usually [don't] do. He's an honest, bright kid. I'm thrilled to have him."

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First Published March 21, 2013 4:00 AM


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