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mesaSteeler
01-03-2012, 05:57 AM
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Steelers are left with an unheralded backfield

By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rashard Mendenhall has been lost for the playoffs, but Max Starks isn't worried about a drop-off in the running game as the Steelers prepare for a wild-card game in Denver.

Consider what the Steelers left tackle heard about Isaac Redman during a 13-9 win at Cleveland two days ago.

"At one point, the Browns were arguing about who was going to tackle him because they couldn't get him down," Starks said Monday. "He's a tremendous downhill rusher."

The 6-foot, 230-pound Redman is also next in line following an MRI that, sources said, confirmed Mendenhall had torn his right ACL against the Browns.

Mendenhall became the third running back the Steelers have lost to a season-ending injury (Baron Batch and Jonathan Dwyer were the others). Mendenhall, who has led the team in rushing the past three seasons, is slated to have surgery within the next two weeks.

In addition to his 928 rushing yards this season, Mendenhall scored a team-high nine touchdowns.

Redman signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and, in three years, has gone from training camp curiosity to feature back on a team that is eyeing a run at a seventh Super Bowl title.

Redman, who played his college ball at Division II Bowie (Md.) State, made his first career start earlier this season against Tennessee. He'll make the second one Sunday afternoon in Denver.

"I'm prepared," Redman said. "I'm capable of helping this team go to the Super Bowl."

Redman figures to get the bulk of the carries, despite losing a pair of fumbles in Cleveland. Behind him are Mewelde Moore, whom the Steelers hope can return this week after missing the past two games because of a knee injury, and John Clay.

The Steelers signed Clay off their practice squad two days before Christmas, and he carried nine times against the Browns.

Coach Mike Tomlin said Clay's workload had nothing to do with Redman's turnovers, which almost allowed the Browns to pull off an upset.

The fumbles were his first two of the season, and they marred an otherwise solid game for Redman.

Redman, who spent most of his rookie season on the Steelers' practice squad, battered the Browns for 92 yards and a touchdown on just 19 carries.

And he apparently made enough of an impression that he had the Browns' defensive players muttering to one another.

"It wouldn't surprise me," tight end Heath Miller said. "They probably got tired of hitting him. He really hits the hole hard. If he gets extra carries this week, I'm excited to see what he can do with them."

The Steelers don't figure to shy away from running the ball in Denver despite the injuries they have had to weather in their backfield.

The Steelers averaged 165 rushing yards in their final two regular-season games, and the Broncos finished 22nd in the NFL in run defense this season.

Denver yielded 126.3 rushing yards per game, and if Redman can get the Broncos defensive players talking to one another, the Steelers will consider it a good day on the ground.

"He's a hard runner," Starks said, "and (I'm) looking forward to seeing him featured."

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

Read more: Steelers are left with an unheralded backfield - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_774715.html#ixzz1iOaIeCw1

Whodis
01-03-2012, 06:01 AM
We haven't been heralded since Witman / Krieder and Bettis. I'm more concerned about the db's and o-line.

steeltheone
01-03-2012, 08:18 AM
Bettis/ FWP 2006

LVSteelersfan
01-03-2012, 10:08 AM
For those of you calling for the coaching staff to bench Mendenhall. You will find out now if that pans out with Redman as the feature back. I think he will do ok but it won't really help the Steeler's putrid Oline block any better. It is impossible to gain yardage if there are no holes. This postseason push is all about Ben and if he can get rid of the ball quickly on those quick crossing patterns. If Airheadians decides to try to run 12-15 yard routes more often than not, the Steelers will be done by the second round of the playoffs because Ben is going to get killed. If Redman can get us to third and short more often than not, we can beat anyone.

Fire Arians
01-03-2012, 10:41 AM
kinda sucks we don't have dwyer still available to keep both fresh, but i have faith redman will turn things around

skinart82
01-03-2012, 02:23 PM
I believe Redman will be a big reason we go far into the playoffs. I just like the way he runs, he doesn't dance around, he plows through! Run like that and use the same offensive plan we did against New England and it could be Seven!

tanda10506
01-03-2012, 02:33 PM
I think Redman will do better. Mendy was actually starting to run decent the last few games but IMO Redman is just a better fit for this team. He is not as fast or illusive as Mendy, but since the O line can't run block that stuff is minimal compared to what Redman has, which is power and determination. I think Mendy will be great somewhere else behind a decently run blocking O line and a different O coordinator. As for us, we need Redman to get those 3-4 yards when they are not there, and that's what he does. I haven't seen much on it, and I know a lot of people are nervous about rookies, but I'm pretty optimistic about Clay getting some reps also. He looks like he can be a true power back and has confidence right now. Redman turns 0 yard plays into 3-4 yards, Mendy doesn't, and in the playoffs, 3rd and 4 or 3rd and 3 consistently will be a lot better then 3rd and long.

steeltheone
01-03-2012, 02:44 PM
kinda sucks we don't have dwyer still available to keep both fresh, but i have faith redman will turn things around

Redman has 110 carries all year. He should be as fresh as they come. Dwyer can't block well. He would be an issue in the playoffs.

Fire Arians
01-03-2012, 03:12 PM
Redman has 110 carries all year. He should be as fresh as they come. Dwyer can't block well. He would be an issue in the playoffs.

well he definitely runs hard and has enough speed to break a big run. reminds me of a bigger version of marshawn lynch

SH-Rock
01-03-2012, 03:19 PM
Plenty of playoff teams are without a running game. It shouldn't be an excuse. Work on short passes that are less than 10 yards. We have a lethal receiving unit, now it's their time to show up.

finesward
01-03-2012, 03:33 PM
For those of you calling for the coaching staff to bench Mendenhall. You will find out now if that pans out with Redman as the feature back. I think he will do ok but it won't really help the Steeler's putrid Oline block any better. It is impossible to gain yardage if there are no holes. This postseason push is all about Ben and if he can get rid of the ball quickly on those quick crossing patterns. If Airheadians decides to try to run 12-15 yard routes more often than not, the Steelers will be done by the second round of the playoffs because Ben is going to get killed. If Redman can get us to third and short more often than not, we can beat anyone.

Did you even watch the game? He ran for 92 on just 19 carries..That's about a 4.8 yards per carry average with that "putrid oline"

Come off it already man, he's a good runner and we will probably do better to wear down Denver's D with him in vs. mendy, who to me was always the homerun threat. With them keying off on stopping redman it'll open up things for ben. Nothing will protect ben more than a solid run game.

finesward
01-03-2012, 03:36 PM
Redman has 110 carries all year. He should be as fresh as they come. Dwyer can't block well. He would be an issue in the playoffs.
To be fair I think that was his crutch during his rookie season, I remember seeing something that said he had really improved in that area this year, maybe during the preseason. He's a great rainy day RB to have on the roster though for next year. With batch in the mix and moore gone I like our young RB's to compete for reps and pushing out mendy.

tanda10506
01-03-2012, 03:46 PM
Plenty of playoff teams are without a running game. It shouldn't be an excuse. Work on short passes that are less than 10 yards. We have a lethal receiving unit, now it's their time to show up.

Agreed^, We picked apart the pats with those short passes and kept the ball all game. These receivers have to step up, no more disappearances. If a WR like Brown or Wallace disappear we have to get them out. Wallace has been missing for 3 games and I can't understand why we don't put Ward, a veteran who knows the holes in defenses, back in, or even Cotchery. During the season things like that tend not to happen, and Wallace is better than Ward or Cotchery at this point, but in the playoffs there is no room on the roster for a WR who doesn't show up. If he has another game where he has zero catches at the half then we need to get Ward or Cotchery in. In the playoffs as a coach, there is not another game to "consider" making a move, having your #1 receiver not showing up and leaving your veteran who has made clutch catch after clutch catch on the bench is unacceptable and will cause you to watch the SB from your couch. I've been wondering if we have been keeping Wallace on the "down low" (for lack of better words lol) for the playoffs. There is not much more of an explanation for his drop off , you can't see down the field that much to see what the receivers are doing and it is possible that defenses are solely focusing on taking him away, but if that was the case, one of our other 4 good receivers or TE should be getting open more often. Redman and Clay, as I mentioned earlier, can get us to third and short and/or get us first downs, but overall if we are going to win it all we need our passing game to mirror that of our game against the pats this year.

DanRooney
01-03-2012, 04:14 PM
Agreed^, We picked apart the pats with those short passes and kept the ball all game. These receivers have to step up, no more disappearances. If a WR like Brown or Wallace disappear we have to get them out. Wallace has been missing for 3 games and I can't understand why we don't put Ward, a veteran who knows the holes in defenses, back in, or even Cotchery. During the season things like that tend not to happen, and Wallace is better than Ward or Cotchery at this point, but in the playoffs there is no room on the roster for a WR who doesn't show up. If he has another game where he has zero catches at the half then we need to get Ward or Cotchery in. In the playoffs as a coach, there is not another game to "consider" making a move, having your #1 receiver not showing up and leaving your veteran who has made clutch catch after clutch catch on the bench is unacceptable and will cause you to watch the SB from your couch. I've been wondering if we have been keeping Wallace on the "down low" (for lack of better words lol) for the playoffs. There is not much more of an explanation for his drop off , you can't see down the field that much to see what the receivers are doing and it is possible that defenses are solely focusing on taking him away, but if that was the case, one of our other 4 good receivers or TE should be getting open more often. Redman and Clay, as I mentioned earlier, can get us to third and short and/or get us first downs, but overall if we are going to win it all we need our passing game to mirror that of our game against the pats this year.

The #1 receiver "not showing up" is a bunch of crap. Ben isn't putting the ball in his hands. In the last 6 games every deep ball to Wallace has been hideously underthrown and nearly picked off. I'd be frustrated if I was him too. Ben has got to play better. He's been pretty bad since his injury.

MACH1
01-03-2012, 04:17 PM
Did you even watch the game? He ran for 92 on just 19 carries..That's about a 4.8 yards per carry average with that "putrid oline"

Come off it already man, he's a good runner and we will probably do better to wear down Denver's D with him in vs. mendy, who to me was always the homerun threat. With them keying off on stopping redman it'll open up things for ben. Nothing will protect ben more than a solid run game.

Yep and I seen those two fumbles too.

DanRooney
01-03-2012, 04:43 PM
Redman is awesome. The only thing he doesn't have that Mendenhall has is speed; but he runs harder, lower and breaks more tackles.

ricardisimo
01-03-2012, 04:53 PM
Did you even watch the game? He ran for 92 on just 19 carries..That's about a 4.8 yards per carry average with that "putrid oline"

Come off it already man, he's a good runner and we will probably do better to wear down Denver's D with him in vs. mendy, who to me was always the homerun threat. With them keying off on stopping redman it'll open up things for ben. Nothing will protect ben more than a solid run game.
Against the Browns. Think about it.

finesward
01-03-2012, 04:53 PM
Yep and I seen those two fumbles too.

How quickly we forget mendy had a case of fumbalitis as well... I'm not putting much stock in those fumbles, seemed more flukey than a pattern. Reminded me of when hines and heath both fumbled minutes apart. Redman will be fine he just needs to protect the ball. If he fumbles again against Denver I'd be concerned...if we doomed every player for turning over the ball Ben would of been cut after the first game of the season.

finesward
01-03-2012, 04:57 PM
Against the Browns. Think about it.

He ended up with the same average as Mendy our starting RB...your point?

ricardisimo
01-03-2012, 05:14 PM
He ended up with the same average as Mendy our starting RB...your point?
My point is that people have formed an opinion about Isaac Redman based on his numbers as a change-of-pace back, and only certain numbers at that (his stellar performances against NE and SF never enter the discussion, oddly). That, and he's more of a "Steelers-type" runner, which has some merit to it, kind of. When he's been the declared - or was the de facto - starter he's run just as well (or just as badly) as Mendenhall.

No Steelers running back is going to "wear down Denver's D", not Rashard, not Redman and not Clay. Not with this O-Line and certainly not with Bruce Arians calling the plays. If he were going to be "wearing down" any D it would have been the Browns last week, and yet there we were watching Ben flinging it right through the last possession.

jjpro11
01-03-2012, 05:18 PM
what's the injury status of Moore? has he been ruled out?

Buddha Bus
01-03-2012, 05:48 PM
what's the injury status of Moore? has he been ruled out?

He's currently listed as questionable according to the Steelers official website.

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Clark-wont-play-Madison-signed/01ba3533-34ef-4164-8762-a5072bd277f7

finesward
01-03-2012, 07:12 PM
My point is that people have formed an opinion about Isaac Redman based on his numbers as a change-of-pace back, and only certain numbers at that (his stellar performances against NE and SF never enter the discussion, oddly). That, and he's more of a "Steelers-type" runner, which has some merit to it, kind of. When he's been the declared or was the de facto starter he's run just as well (or just as badly) as Mendenhall.

No Steelers running back is going to "wear down Denver's D", not Rashard, not Redman and not Clay. Not with this O-Line and certainly not with Bruce Arians calling the plays. If he were going to be "wearing down" any D it would have been the Browns last week, and yet there we were watching Ben flinging it right through the last possession.

Ok, so he is as good or as bad as our starting RB, my original point. As a subpoint though I do stand by that he would be better suited to wear down a defense, any defense, more than mendy could. According to Starks he heard some of the Browns defenders bickering during the game about who would be the one to tackle redman since they all seemed to have such a tough time doing so. His TD run is a good example of how he plays vs. mendy...and at this point he was getting the majority of the snaps. He runs through and drags one of the best LB's in the league with him into the endzone. D' Jackson is no scrub. Mendy had 4 chances last time and got lit up each and every time.

"He has a rugged style to his game. I think he has a strong lower body that makes him able to run through tackles. He's shiftier than you think. He's a good all-around running back. I think this past game you got to see a little more of him than you otherwise would have."

Starks added, "I think we have great running backs. You look at how Isaac Redman played [Sunday]. He is a tremendous downhill rusher and I think even at one point, the Cleveland Browns were arguing with themselves over who was going to tackle him, because they couldn't get him down. He is just a hard runner and looking forward to seeing him feature.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12003/1200932-66-0.stm?cmpid=steelers.xml#ixzz1iS2RXACw

MACH1
01-04-2012, 01:31 PM
Alright who let the spammer in.

Ric's slackin on the job again.
:chuckle:

ricardisimo
01-04-2012, 02:19 PM
Alright who let the spammer in.

Ric's slackin on the job again.
:chuckle:
I'm still recovering from New Year's... cut me some slack. What'd I miss? More claims about Mendy being a fumbler?

keiseldiesel
01-08-2012, 12:56 PM
I personally love both Reddman and Clay and I believe the Steelers rushing game wont miss a beat without Mendenhall.