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RASHARD MENDENHALL DISCOVERS BRACKETS, THE WORD REDACTED

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Rashard Mendenhall does not like [NAME REDACTED], meaning he's either our new favorite NFL running back or he's our new favorite NFL running back. Either way, points to you, sir, for displaying such good judgment and refueling our depleted tank of reasons not to like the former coach/cheerleader/destroyer of quality snack and beverage machines.

Mendenhall doesn't exactly divulge what caused him to turn on [NAME REDACTED]. Cue insinuations and blanket statement about former, unfavored coach:

"To tell you the truth, as long as [NAME REDACTED] is there it will be hard for me to support the University of Illinois football team."

Since they are getting better and better each day, Rashard, your support will not be needed. Captain Correctable himself fired back by saying that it was too bad Mendenhall was disgruntled, which was diplomatic enough...but kitty has claws, oh yes he does.

To me, he was a pretty good player and it paid off that he's going to have an opportunity to be a heckuva pro football player as well.

Note the verbiage there: pretty good. Damning with faint praise for the guy who chipped in 1600 yards total rushing last season for your team? Well played, sir--you have spent your offseason soaking in the delicate comedies of manners of Noel Coward. Glad you got that copy of Private Lives we sent you and put it to good use, you rapscallion you.

There might be a more concrete reason Mendenhall has a beef with [NAME REDACTED], though.

Enter further quasi-journalistic content: while at the NFL draft this year, one of the key knocks we heard on Mendenhall was his inability to grok blocking assignments in the Illinois offense. In other words: Mendenhall would have started earlier in his career, but it took him so long to understand what to do on passing downs that he languished on the bench in favor of talent that, while not physically faster than Mendenhall, was at least mentally faster than Mendenhall.

A knock like this may only come from one source and one source only: coaches. Coaches customarily exchange frank evaluations of talent with NFL scouts, both to bolster their own relationships with scouts and to portray themselves as fair dealers with goods to push on behalf of the program. The danger in honesty comes in non-confidential honesty; that is, when this kind of thing gets out, gets back to your agent, and then becomes a chip on the shoulder you chuck in the general direction of the coach with the help of the first post-draft interview you can get.

It is the only theory we've got, but it makes enough sense, especially when you consider how long it took to get Mendenhall on the field full-time, and the pungent degree of public vitriol heaped [REDACTED'S WAY] in public.