All throughout the off-season, Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert berated the 2012 performance of the running back group and he made it clear that he had intentions of fixing that in 2013. One running back that appears to have gotten his message is Isaac Redman, who reportedly showed up for the first OTA session of the 2013 season 10 pounds lighter than he was last season.
“The goal was to get more explosive to get quicker, to get faster and to drop weight,” said Redman, who worked out during the off-season down in Tampa, Florida with speed trainer Ron Jones. “After the season was over, I didn’t like the weight that I was at, so I started from day one. I’m starting to feel good, but I still want to drop a little more weight and get a little bit faster.”
Redman, who is hoping to arrive at training camp this year at around 228-230 pounds, said that he will resume his speed training with Jones once the OTA\’s and mandatory mini camp is over as he knows that 2013 is a make-or-break season for him.
“I know this is my contract year,” said the former undrafted free agent, who signed his one-year, $1.323 million restricted tender a few weeks ago. “If it’s not here with the Steelers, I have to be realistic – I have to do well in order to stay in this league. I’m not playing around. We were 8-8. It was embarrassing not to make the playoffs. For the team and for my own career, I know I have to perform at a high level this year.”
The Steelers brought in Jack Bicknell Jr. this off-season to be their new offensive line coach and he is expected to use more of the zone blocking scheme in 2013 which requires running backs to be lighter on their feet. That alone is a good reason for the player that has been known as “Redzone Redman” to try to become “Outside Zone Redman” in 2013.
The Steelers drafted Michigan State running back Le\’Veon Bell in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft last month and it is obvious that he will more than likely become the starter at some point during his rookie season. The Steelers also added free agent running back LaRod Stephens-Howling during the weekend of the draft, so that likely means that Redman will be battling Jonathan Dwyer and Baron Batch in training camp for a spot on the 53 man roster.
Until Bell is ready to be the primary running back, however, Redman has a pretty good chance to be the Week 1 starter and it appears that he really has taken this past off-season serious, and that he is ready to do battle.
“I am all for competition and am ready for the competition,” Redman said. “I\’ve worked hard, and it\’s going to show this year. I am here to compete.”