Bruce Arians confident about Rashard Mendenhall as feature back

Bruce Arians’ offense in Indianapolis last season had plenty of success running the ball with Vick Ballard.

He might be able to upgrade in personnel with his choices in Arizona and right now he’s got a familiar player at the top of the depth chart in Rashard Mendenhall, who he teamed with previously in Pittsburgh.

Arians said on NFL Network’s “NFL AM” this morning “there’s no doubt” Mendenhall would be the team’s featured back if the season were beginning now. Fortunately, the regular season is a little less than three months away, and the Cardinals have some other options too.

Mendenhall is physically ready after dealing with issues last year coming off knee surgery, and Arians praises him as a versatile back that can do it all.

“He took me personally to a Super Bowl, and I know what he can bring to the table as a runner and a pass protector and also a receiver,” Arians said. “He's an every-down player. And I think he's looking forward to having an outstanding season.”

Arians has also spoken highly of Ryan Williams, the former second-round draft pick from Virginia Tech. Williams has had serious durability issues with the Cardinals but he will get another opportunity. The Cardinals also buoyed the position with the addition of rookies Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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