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Old 12-13-2012, 03:16 AM   #1
Cyphon
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Default Running back.....Confusion.

So for a long time now I have been a big fan of the play of Isaac Redman. I think he is easily and without question the best running back we have. Even if you disagree or coaches and experts may disagree, he is still very underrated based on what he has done.

I continue to hear arguments about needing to find our running game and people need to step up and concistency this and that. Yet I never hear much about Redman being the fix. I just want to present some stats here.

Last year when Menenhall went down Redman came in and had 2 big games in his place. One was 90+ if I remember correctly and there was the playoff game vs the Broncos where he ran for 121 on 17 carries with a TD and a long of 32 yards.

So in what amounted to 2 starts he nearly had back to back 100 yard games.

Flash forward to this year and we have fun with the "running back by committee" idea which failed miserably. When our running backs were finally given the chance to start completely if you will, the results happened. Dwyer had back to back 100 yard games and after him Redman started and ran for 147 yards with a TD.

So to review: in 3 games where Redman was more or less the only starter he has had 100 yard games (give or take a few yards in one of them).

A few more things to sweeten the deal.

1. His nickname for years has been Redzone Redman. He has that name for a reason and only now are we deciding to really lean on him for short yardage plays.

2. Along the same path as #1 his short yardage effeciency has been pretty outstanding. This guy never goes down on the first tackle and fights more than most backs in the league.

3. His is our best blocking back.

I could go on all day about this but lets sum some things up.

I do believe Dwyer is a good and capable back, he just isn't as good as Redman.

Speed - Dwyer > Redman. I am basing this on 40 times that I saw but keep in mind Dwyer has had weight issues and is likely slower than his recorded 40 time. I think based on the eye test they are about even and neither is very fast for an RB.

Agility - Redman > Dwyer. Again, not a big gap but still a clear winner. Dwyer has good feet for someone who is heavy, but Redman is just good period. Good side to side movement and a great spin move (see his run vs the Chargers this week).

Blocking - Redman > Dwyer. This is one of the things Tomlin specifically praised Redman on if you haven't come to this conclusion on your own with a simple eye test.

Tackle Breaking - Redman = Dwyer. Both are hard to bring down. Not too much to seperate the 2.

Receiving - Redman = Dwyer. Again, both are pretty good in this area. Can't really pick a winner.


I dunno if any of you will read all of that but answer me some questions.

Am I the only one who has noticed this? Anyone agree with this? Why are the analysts and coaches missing this? Is there something in practice or otherwise I have missed?

(and yes I know Redman has fumbled a few times but so have all of our backs).
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Running back.....Confusion.

We have 3 turds at running back. Pick which one has the most tolerable smell, and there ya go.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: Running back.....Confusion.

Sorry, but our best RB by far has been targeted for humiliation and elimination by our personality driven pseudo head coach. But it's all good because Tomlin has a press conference cliché for that situation too. Maybe Redman's not healthy either this year, but it hasn't mattered that he hasn't gone down on the first hit, since he's so slow this year that the he gets hit three times by the time he gets through the line. Maybe that's on the line, or maybe it's on the fact that the only RB we have who can get to the corner before the whole entire opposing defense is in Tomlin's doghouse. I sincerely hope that the Rooney's have their own doghouse, and now that BA's gone there's room for Tomlin in it.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Running back.....Confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
We have 3 turds at running back. Pick which one has the most tolerable smell, and there ya go.
I disagree.

While Mendenhall has went from bad to worse there has been good looks from Redman and Dwyer. The problem has been with our line most of the time or the coaches way of using the backs. As I pointed out, when just 1 back got the big majority of the carries and our line was in sync we ran for over 100 3 games in a row with Dwyer and Redman.

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Originally Posted by jiminpa View Post
Maybe Redman's not healthy either this year, but it hasn't mattered that he hasn't gone down on the first hit, since he's so slow this year that the he gets hit three times by the time he gets through the line. Maybe that's on the line, or maybe it's on the fact that the only RB we have who can get to the corner before the whole entire opposing defense is in Tomlin's doghouse. I sincerely hope that the Rooney's have their own doghouse, and now that BA's gone there's room for Tomlin in it.
Good point about Redmans health. He has been a bit banged up. Still though, I think you are off about the speed thing. Dwyer and Redman are both fairly slow but we have seen they are both capable of breaking of 20+ gains when the line even gives them just some hole. Because they are both really good on the 2nd level and can break tackles to get the extra yards even when caught.

A lot of the time it has been the line but I think early on it was the too many RB's getting their hands on the ball without letting one get going. That is on the coaches. Same goes for Tomlin taking each of them out for any little mistake they make. A bit immature on his part if you ask me.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Running back.....Confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyphon View Post
While Mendenhall has went from bad to worse there has been good looks from Redman and Dwyer. The problem has been with our line most of the time or the coaches way of using the backs. As I pointed out, when just 1 back got the big majority of the carries and our line was in sync we ran for over 100 3 games in a row with Dwyer and Redman.
Mendenhall went from bad to worse? He's been progressing ever since his rookie year and if he hadn't been injured last year, would have put up career statistics. He puts the ball on the ground, granted, but he's definitely the best running back on our roster.

As for Dwyer and Redman - they've had 100 yard games this year. Unfortunately, they hadn't done anything before or after these games even worth mentioning. They're mediocre, average on a good day, running backs. They're not franchise backs and have not flashed anything beyond pure mediocrity. Blame the offensive line if you will, but guys like Forte, McCoy and Peterson all have offensive lines that are just as bad if not worse than our current line. These guys can all make something-outta-nothing and are the definition franchise running backs. They're also not out of shape and, for lack of a better word, fat. Both Dwyer and Redman one-dimensional running backs that can only run it up the middle and don't have the speed or quickness to bounce it to the outside and make a big play.

We need to draft or acquire a running back this offseason. It's one of the biggest glaring holes on our roster at this point.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Running back.....Confusion.

dwyer is the starter cause red can't stay healthy
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Running back.....Confusion.

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Mendenhall went from bad to worse? He's been progressing ever since his rookie year and if he hadn't been injured last year, would have put up career statistics. He puts the ball on the ground, granted, but he's definitely the best running back on our roster.
Yes, from bad to worse. He choked (fumbled) in big games and continued to have the same problems this year when he came back off of injury. And if those were going to be career statistics that is pretty sad. In 15 games he had 2 (yes, only 2) games of 100 + yards. For a first round "franchise" back that is awful. Compare that to Redman last year who had 1 or 2 counted starts with both being 90 or 100+ games.

The only thing he has on either Dwyer or Redman is speed. He is scared to get hit and for all of that speed he has little in the way of agility or making people miss. He also isn't a great blocker.

Quote:
As for Dwyer and Redman - they've had 100 yard games this year. Unfortunately, they hadn't done anything before or after these games even worth mentioning.
You are right about Dwyer but wrong about Redman. See the OP for why you are wrong about Redman. Every game he has had a significant amount of carries he has gone for 100 or close enough to count it. Including a playoff game.

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They're mediocre, average on a good day, running backs. They're not franchise backs and have not flashed anything beyond pure mediocrity.
Dwyer has more he needs to show in my opinion but I think you are not giving enough credit to Redman. When given his chance he has had all 100 yard games. Some of the best short yardage effeciency in football and is a great blocker and can catch out of the backfield. What more do you need to be considered at least good?

Quote:
Blame the offensive line if you will, but guys like Forte, McCoy and Peterson all have offensive lines that are just as bad if not worse than our current line. These guys can all make something-outta-nothing and are the definition franchise running backs.
I will have to get back to you on the o line thing as I don't have the numbers on that. But beyond that I want to list a couple of things wrong with your argument:

1. You listed 3 of the best RB's in the NFL. I am not arguing Redman is a top 5 RB. He is still a good/great (potentially) RB given what he has done with limited oppurtunity.

2. Of the 3 you listed, you only really have a legit argument with Peterson. McCoy and Forte haven't done anything this season:

McCoy has a 4.2 yard average and a long of 34 with 2 TD's (7 plays of 20+)
Forte has a 4.3 yard average and a long of 46 with 3 TD's (4 plays of 20+)
Redman has a 3.6 yard average with a long of 28 and 2 TD's (2 plays of 20+)

Keep in mind Redman is under 100 attempts while the other 2 are pushing 200 each. Do you see a major disparity between these numbers?

Quote:
They're also not out of shape and, for lack of a better word, fat. Both Dwyer and Redman one-dimensional running backs that can only run it up the middle and don't have the speed or quickness to bounce it to the outside and make a big play.
This is a fair argument but keep in mind it is no different than what we had with Jerome Bettis and he worked out just fine for us. Again, I think you need to look to our line and the way the coaches have rotated the backs instead of making 1 a legit starter.

Quote:
We need to draft or acquire a running back this offseason. It's one of the biggest glaring holes on our roster at this point.
We have more important needs than RB. Ben will need a replacement soon and there is nothing wrong with getting someone now for him to help mold. Troy and Clark are both getting up there in age and could use some replacements. Mundy sucks and Allen is starting to look better but we need to see more from him.

Our RB's are just fine so long as our line blocks and the coaches get their heads out of their asses. I don't blame our line too much because they are fighting through constant injury and changes.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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I agree with the original poster, but i also prefer Redman to Dwyer as well. Arguing for Mendy at this point is moot, hes as good as gone, so mo need to even mention him anymore. I doubt he suits up again.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: Running back.....Confusion.

@Steelers Canada - I just got the grades from a source of mine for the offensive lines of the teams we were discussing. These are run blocking grades only. No pass blocking.

Quote:
I've got grades for run blocking but not actual numbers. The grades though are based off tape and involve the one on one battles with the opposing lineman. It accounts for double teams in it's grade.

Vikings-3rd
Eagles-4th
Steelers-30th
Bears-17
I also checked football outsiders for some numbers the way they do it.

Vikings - 5th
Bears - 20th
Eagles - 26th
Steelers - 27th

So as you can see, the line numbers support my argument as well.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Running back.....Confusion.

We have 2 mediocre backs, Redman is a backup running back, a solid one, but he shouldn't be a starter. Dwyer is just Dwyer, sometimes he runs hard as hell, and other times he makes Rainey look like a power back. Mendenhall is obviously the best back on the roster. If they would have let him play through struggles instead of continuing to pull him and have him look over his shoulder, I think he'd be alright this year.
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