The Pittsburgh Steelers didn\'t have much success running the football as a whole in 2012, but there were a few games in the middle of the season where they looked like they might be turning the corner.
For example, Isaac Redman rushed for 147 yards on 26 carries in the Week 9 win over the New York Giants, and the Steelers running back claims that he accomplished that on two bad ankles.
"I had a big game against them," Redman told the South Jersey Times. "The ankle injuries were prior to that. I basically played that game with two sprained ankles and performed at a high level. I was fine after that, I just never got the opportunity to be the every-down back after that."
Redman started that game against the Giants because Jonathan Dwyer was forced to miss the game with an injured quadriceps that he suffered the week before in the win over the Washington Redskins. Even though Dwyer was back healthy the following week for the game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Redman earned the start once again, but was yanked in favor of Dwyer after he fumbled deep in the Steelers own end late in the first quarter. It would, however, wind up being the last start that the former undrafted free agent out of Bowie State would make all season.
Steelers president Art Rooney II and general manager Kevin Colbert both stated after the season ended that they were extremely disappointed in the running backs on the roster.
"Where we were in the running game last year was indicative of the talent at the position," Colbert said during his post season interviews with the Pittsburgh media. "I will reiterate what Coach Tomlin said and what Art said, that you can take any group, any position, and it was an 8-8 result. They are a part of the 8-8. Was it as good as it needed to be? No. But collectively, I think you can go across the board and say that about any position on either side of the ball, offense, defense and special teams. That group of players didn’t produce like we had anticipated them producing. That falls back on me.
"I can say, collectively that group wasn’t as good as we anticipated. You can talk about strengths and weaknesses about each guy, and that’s something we will do internally."
Redman and Dwyer are now both set to be restricted free agents, but both are expected to be restricted tendered at the lowest level prior to the free agent signing period beginning. This means that both are likely to be back in training camp again, but they likely will have some competition this summer in the form of a drafted rookie.
Despite finishing the season with 410 yards rushing on 110 attempts, Redman feels he made progress this past season.
"I feel like I did pretty well," Redman told the paper. "I had the same amount of carries, my receiving yards went up a lot. I feel like I did make some kind of progress."