I received a few emails since the post yesterday in which I broke down the rushing of the Pittsburgh Steelers running backs by direction and was asked if I could post the stats of each running back by direction and down from 2011. I compiled the stats of just Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman below as there really is no reason to do Mewelde Moore, Jonathan Dwyer and John Clay as they all combined for 48 carries total.
Both Mendenhall and Redman finished with a 52% and 53% success rate respectively. To reiterate what makes a play a successful play, if a back gains 40% of the yardage needed on first down, 60% of the yardage needed on second down and 100% of the yardage needed on both third and fourth down, the run was deemed a success.
Although Redman had a 5.38 yards per carry to the left side on 21 carries and a success play rate of 62%, he also was stuffed 5 plays for zero or negative yards for a 24% stuff rate. Mendenhall had a 29% stuff rate to the left and only a 3.26 yards per carry on 38 carries to that side.
Of course down, distance and field position play a big role in these stats, Mendenhall managed a better yards per carry, a better success rate and a lower stuff rate than Redman on first down carries last season. Redman was the much better second down back, although he had half as many carries as Mendenhall did. It is also pretty revealing that Mendenhall received only 6 carries on 3rd and 4th downs compared to 14 for Redman. 10 of those 14 runs by Redman were deemed successful with only 2 of the remaining for being stuffs. Mendenhall was stuffed on both of his 4th down carries last year and 3 of 6 carries on 3rd and 4th downs combined were stuffs.
The big question heading into this year is whether or not Redman can handle a bigger load with Mendenhall expected to start the season on the PUP list. He is a much more violent runner than Mendenhall is though and the rebuilt offensive line should fit his straight ahead style well. The line, as I pointed out in the previous post, must prevent less stuffs this year and the Steelers must be able to be more balanced directionally as well.
I fully expect this to be a run first offense early on in the season until Ben Roethlisberger and the young wide receivers all get in tune with the new offense of Todd Haley. I think Redman is more than adequate to be able to handle the extra work, but do expect him to be spelled on third downs quite a bit and that will probably be either Baron Batch or Chris Rainey doing the spelling from time to time. I could also see Mendenhall slowly working in a series here and there once he returns from the PUP list as well.
Rashard Mendenhall By Direction
Isaac Redman By Direction
Rashard Mendenhall By Down
Isaac Redman By Down