Rashard Mendenhall Doesn’t Like Ron Zook, Illinois

(picture blatantly stolen from Kiss 96.1)

From Foul Balls via Deadspin comes news that Steelers first round pick Rashard Mendenhall is not a fan of former coach Ron Zook. The story comes full circle for Pittsburgh fans, as their newest player is upset with a former Steelers special teams coach.

Foul Balls links to this article, and pulls some very interesting quotes:

“Everything always looks good on the outside,” Mendenhall said. “Nobody really knows except for the people who are there and involved with it. The only thing being on the outside that you can know is what people allow you to know from talking to me or from talking to (Ron) Zook or anybody within the organization.”

Bottom line for Mendenhall was that he didn’t enjoy the season the way you think he might have.
“When you find things that were said, you can kind of read between the lines and see that everything wasn’t as it appeared to be,” Mendenhall said.

Mendenhall’s current relationship with the Illinois football program can best be described as strained. You won’t see him on the sidelines of Illinois games during the upcoming season. Or in future years either.

“To tell you the truth, as long as Ron Zook is there it will be hard for me to support the University of Illinois football team,” Mendenhall said.

Reached Saturday afternoon, Zook said “I feel bad that he feels that way.”

Wow, tough words for Zook and the Illinois program. I wonder what actually set him off? FB speculates about playing time for both Rashard and Rashard’s brother, Walter, who just transferred out of the program.

Either way, Rashard Mendenhall won’t be cheering his former team, or making any appearances at his alma mater.