PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Despite their early struggles, the Steelers are confident they can hold their own against the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles this weekend, now that their recently-healed stars have been fully integrated back into the lineup.

Running back Rashard Mendenhall, for one, is as ready as he can be for his first game since his ACL was torn at Cleveland back in January.

“I knew I’d be back out there. I just kind of prepared for the moment,” Mendenhall told 93.7 The Fan’s Eric Hagman on the South Side Wednesday. “I took time away to do everything I could to be back out there.”

Offsetting Ben Roethlisberger’s heroics is the fact the Steelers have dropped two of their first three games. Through those three outings, their running game, on the whole, has been stagnant, collecting just one touchdown and ranking last in the NFL in total yardage during the 2012 portion of Mendenhall’s absence.

The former first-round draftee ran for 928 yards and nine TD’s last season, averaging over four yards per carry.

Conventional wisdom says the Steelers must find balance…right?

“I think it depends on who you are. The Patriots are constantly winning. The Texans run, and they win,” he noted. “It depends on your whole team…it depends on a lot of things, so you can’t look into one piece like that, and gauge a team’s success.”

Mendenhall also discussed his road back to the starting lineup, and how head coach Mike Tomlin might use him in Week 5:

Kickoff between the Steelers and Eagles is set for 1:00 P.M. Sunday at Heinz Field.

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