View Full Version : Redman's role expanding for Steelers

12-10-2010, 07:30 AM
Redman's role expanding for Steelers
By John Harris
Friday, December 10, 2010

Isaac Redman graduated from short-yardage running back to full-service back during a game he will long remember.

Redman, once considered a specialist, wants to be known as a complete football player. Not only did he make the game-winning touchdown catch in the Steelers' 13-10 win over Baltimore, he was featured on third downs while establishing himself as a willing and effective pass blocker.

"I feel I can do a lot more in this offense," said Redman, who hopes to pick up where he left off in Sunday's home game against Cincinnati. "I can help this team a lot more ways than just short yardage. It was just so good to be in there in that situation.

"Everything's on the line, and I'm in the game. A guy that was on the practice squad last year, wasn't drafted. It just goes to show I've earned their trust for me to be in there in that situation."

Late in the fourth quarter against Baltimore, Redman was the running back of record. On third-and-goal from the 9, Redman caught a short pass from Ben Roethlisberger and bowled over safety Dawan Landry en route to the end zone.

Third-down plays have become Mewelde Moore's specialty. Two years ago, he had 40 receptions, many coming on third down. However, the powerfully built Redman is a bigger back than Moore, and the coaching staff trusts his pass-blocking ability.

So when running backs coach Kirby Wilson told Redman, an undrafted free agent from Division II Bowie State, to take the field on the biggest third down of the game, Redman wasn't surprised.

"The whole game, when third down came up, me and Mewelde would step on the field and (Wilson) would point to whoever he wanted," Redman said. "At that point in the game, we figured they would blitz."

When the play was called, Redman lined up outside like a receiver.

"(Wilson) put me out there, not knowing the call, because we call the play off Ben's wristband," said Redman, providing insight into the Steelers' play-calling process."If he knew that play was called, Mewelde probably would have been out there to run the route."

Redman said his increased playing time against Baltimore resulted from his improved pass blocking. A training camp favorite last year for his ability to score touchdowns in short-yardage situations, Redman was signed to the practice squad several times but didn't appear in a game in 2009.

"Last year, I did really good blocking linebackers in the drill," Redman said. "Honestly, I wasn't too comfortable in the offense to really know who to block. It was new, I was a rookie. But as the year went along, I learned. This training camp, it just felt like it was real easy to me. They really trust me picking up blitzes. My playing time picked up, because Baltimore's got big linebackers. They've got Ray Lewis, they've got (Terrell) Suggs. They didn't want Mewelde in a bad situation blocking those big guys all game. I didn't miss any assignments. I got all of my blocks."

Coach Mike Tomlin noticed.

"Those backs are interchangeable, particularly in that third-down situation," Tomlin said. "Mewelde Moore is usually the lead dog because of his past experience. lsaac is quite capable. We delivered a pass to him. He was a determined guy. It was a timely play delivered by a young man who works extremely hard."

As a result, Redman's confidence has never been higher.

"When you make big plays in big games, that's all they can really go by is what you do," Redman said. "For the most part, I've been making pretty good plays when I've been out there. Hopefully, I get to play more and more, and they trust me more and more as the year goes on."

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

12-10-2010, 12:36 PM
I like Redman. He's determined so he almost always gets the extra yard on 3rd down. The situation against the Ravens where he scored was a prime example. Not sure if he's an all down back yet, haven't seen him enough, but I'd say he's a keeper.

12-10-2010, 01:22 PM
I absolutely love this guy. I'd love to see them use him more. I'd put him in on every pass play. He'd be a terrific check down option.

12-10-2010, 01:30 PM
guy is a tank like hillis...us not using him instead of moore is a big mistake!!

12-10-2010, 02:03 PM
i would prolly alternate both those guys a lot more