Steelers RB Isaac Redman Not Ready To Say He’s The Starter

Even though he currently sits atop the depth chart at the running back position alongside injured rookie Le’Veon Bell, Isaac Redman still doesn’t feel secure as the team gets ever closer to deciding which 53 players will make up their 2013 man roster. The former undrafted free agent, who has played all of two snaps this year in the preseason, told Scott Brown of ESPN.com on Monday that he certainly isn’t going to assume he’s the starter right now.

“If I’m not out there competing it’s hard to sit here and say that the starting job is mine because I haven’t really done anything this preseason,” Redman said. “I mean I’ve practiced and had a good camp, but to not be out there on the field and being able to compete I can’t really sit here and say the starting job is mine.”

Head coach Mike Tomlin announced Tuesday during his press conference that Redman wouldn’t play Thursday night in the preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers after missing the last two games because of a stinger he suffered in practice several weeks ago. The coach did say, however, that he wants to take a good look at the other running backs on the roster because he already knows what the Bowie State product can do.

Redman probably got a little uncomfortable when the Steelers traded for running back Felix Jones late last week, but he really shouldn’t have been being as the former first-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys is more of a complimentary back that also returns kickoffs.

Redman has been nicked up a little the last few seasons, but he did show up for the offseason practices in great shape and lighter than he was last year due to him working with a speed trainer.

With Bell unlikely to be ready for the start of the season, the Steelers are likely just wanting to make sure Redman is fully healthy for the season opener, at least that’s what it looks like.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert really didn’t give Redman and Jonathan Dwyer a vote of confidence during the offseason, but the team will have no choice but to start one of the two against the Tennessee Titans.

Being as they already know what Redman can do, that could be taken as both good and bad, and that’s probably the real reason the running back isn’t ready to anoint himself the starter right now.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    Well I would think so, how can he be the starter? I don’t get this whole situation with Redman..everyone else has to prove their worth except him? Its not like he’s Adrian Peterson, the unquestioned starter or anything..shouldn’t he have to earn his spot like everyone else? Hell Sylvestor suffered yet another injury and they CUT HIM

  • Bong

    Because he sucked. Unlike Sylvester, Redman actually won a game for us (Ravens). What did Sylvester ever do?

  • Matthew Marczi

    Slyvester had about as many snaps in-game as the number on his back, I believe. They’ve seen Redman a lot more; seen him excel in short yardage, seen him catch passes, seen him fill in as a starter and record 100-yard games. I think Redman deserves the respect he’s being shown. Frankly, I think he can be an above average starter in this league, this year, if both he and the offensive line are healthy.

  • JPDQ

    They’ve seen Jonathan Dwyer do every one of those same things… yet the perception is that he’s somehow inferior to Redman, at least in Coach Cliche’s eyes.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Well, I think that’s justified. Redman has more experience in the system, is better in short yardage and pass protection, has better vision and endurance as a runner…his numbers as a receiver are better as well, and Dwyer hasn’t looked very good catching passes this preseason. I honestly don’t think Dwyer does anything better than Redman.

  • JPDQ

    That’s a stretch. Dwyer played in one fewer games than Redman last year (13 vs 14), and still got more carries (156 vs 110), accumulated more yards (623 vs 410), had a better avg (4.0 vs 3.7) and has actually carried the ball more than twice this preseason. It’s not justified. It’s Tomlin being petty and stubborn. Same way he argues in the media about Ben’s injuries or benches guys after one fumble. Or him saving “two-point plays” or “unleashing hell.” Or letting Ben play severely injured… it goes on and on. Tomlin definitely lets his ego get in the way of making rational decisions. Not always, but too often for my liking.

    But back to the point at hand – this isn’t to say that I’m on a witch hunt to get Redman or anything. I like the guy and think he’s an avg RB. Just like Dwyer. I’m glad we have both of them, I guess. But to give Redman the starting job over Dwyer at this point, given Redman’s inability to play this preseason and the fact that Dwyer was more effective last year, would be yet another example of Tomlin ignoring reason and playing favorites.

  • Jason White

    He does one thing better than Redman and that’s staying healthy which should account for something. Out of all the original backs on the roster at the start of training camp Dwyer I believe is the only one that hasn’t been injured.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I seriously question that. He battled both a quad and a turf toe injury last year, and he broke his foot the year before aside from other assorted bumps and bruises, and conditioning has been an issue throughout his career to boot. Redman battled some injuries in the preseason last year that lingered into the regular season, and now he suffered a stinger.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Doesn’t starting more games and having more carries go against your hypothesis that the coaches are against him? Despite trying to turn him into a starting running back at the end of the season, he averaged just 3.2 yards per carry in those games. Redman’s yards per carry suffered, especially early on, because he was battling a significant ankle injury that he didn’t rest. Who cares if he only had two carries in this preseason? What does that have to do with whether or not the Steelers think he is the best back? Heath Miller isn’t practicing either. If he’s healthy week one, are you not going to start him?

    Redman had the best game by a back last season when he was finally healthy and over an ankle injury, only to be injured again and then lose his starting spot to an increasingly ineffective Dwyer. If you look beyond the traditional numbers, Redman put up some impressive figures last year. Look up the article that I wrote on the topic last week I believe. He averaged 3.02 yards after contact per play, and he broke 38 tackles in 128 touches, which was second only to C.J. Spiller on a per touch basis, and third place wasn’t even very close.

    Just because Redman only has two preseason snaps and the coaching staff still thinks he is the better option to start over Dwyer doesn’t mean there’s a nefarious ulterior motive. There’s an easy argument to be made for Redman being the better back over Dwyer if you take a closer look at what’s happening when they carry the ball. Dwyer is a more blocking-dependent back who struggles to make a positive play when he doesn’t have a lane. He just happens to do very well when he has one.

  • steeltown

    True but I think Dwyer has shown a lot of those things as well, yet he (according to Tomlin) needs more reps and needs to show he’s capable… just saying, this situation is unlike Tomlins normal mantra of “put your hand in the pile”

  • steeltown

    Hey Matthew, Ive been having trouble accessing this site for the last 2-3days, much less even navigating through the separate articles and making comments.

    Are you experiencing this? Is there an issue with the website or URL?

  • 2443scott

    i think its because he slacks off …with training and weight and dont always run the way he can he has to want the starting job more once steelers put out they wanted to shop him during draft they prob used that as a wake up call for him.

  • JPDQ

    No, it doesn’t go against my “hypothesis,” because as I stated, Dwyer started FEWER games than Redman last year, not more. And by the numbers, he’s been the more effective back since 2012. I don’t care about how much yardage Redman made after contact if Dwyer is still gaining more yards per rush. Period.

    Heath Miller has nothing to do with this, because there’s no Heath Miller v.2 on the team. There is no competition for his starting job.

    I appreciate the fact that you write articles here and put in the time to watch film or whatever, but if you wanna argue a point, don’t ignore the most basic of facts. You can’t dispute the stats I listed above with ambiguous arguments about how Redman is a better pass-catcher or has better vision. Who cares? Running backs run the ball, and if Dwyer has run for more yards and has a higher average in FEWER games over the past year, then he should be the starter. Don’t let your infatuation with Redman cloud those facts. And continuing to show his effectiveness this preseason while Redman nurses yet another injury is ABSOLUTELY relevant to whether or not one guy should get the starting nod over the other.

  • Matthew Marczi

    1) Redman started 5 games, Dwyer 6 last year. 6 is usually more than 5.

    2) By your selective numbers, ignoring injuries and considering more blocking-independent metrics.

    3) Who cares about a running back’s vision? Really? It’s kind of important. If you think that Dwyer averaging slightly more yards per carry last season is the only relevant factor in determining who the better back is while ignoring everything else, by all means stick to your guns, but Redman will still justifiably be the starter if healthy. Which he is.

  • Matthew Marczi

    There have been significant issues with the site, yes.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Based on this preseason and the end of last year, I think they’re right to want to get another look at him. His vision and decision-making as a runner is really questionable. All of us here have been taking notice while reviewing the tapes, and I would be lying if I said it wasn’t concerning. I can see them going with Jones over Dwyer when you factor in his yo-yo conditioning.

  • JPDQ

    But 13 is less than 14, which is my point and you know it. Dwyer was more effective, yet played in fewer games last year. And he’s been healthier all this preseason.

    I’ve made my point and supported it with fact. You can feel free to argue who’s the “better” back based on arbitrary metrics all day; I’ll take the guy who statistically produces more at his position.

  • Matthew Marczi

    So your information is statistics and mine is “arbitrary” metrics? You claim that I have an infatuation with Redman; I think you have an infatuation with Dwyer. If your point was actually that Dwyer was active for one less game than Redman, then that is pretty underwhelming. Playing in more games is meaningless when you START more games and have more carries.

    If you take away Dwyer’s 76-yard run in 2011 on what was probably the best-blocked running play in recent Steelers history, Dwyer is a 3.87 YPC back. That is a fact, and it’s also a fact that Redman has never had a running play blocked that well. Redman is a 4.2 YPC back for his career, and his longest run is 28 yards. Dwyer has frequently been the recipient of better blocking than Redman, but I guess if a running back’s vision is irrelevant, then that’s probably irrelevant too.

  • JPDQ

    I thought you were on another planet today when you suggested above that they might keep Felix Jones over Dwyer. I thought “more experience in the system” was one of your reasons that Redman should start over Dwyer? You think Felix Jones is gonna come in in two weeks and unseat our leading rusher from last year?

    But now I KNOW you’re on another planet when you start singling out individual plays from two years ago to discredit Dwyer’s rushing totals – and – try to make a point about how that shows Redman is a better running back because he’s never benefited from blocking like Dwyer got on that ONE PLAY in 2011. Seriously. Seriously? Are you on some of that Hernandez dust? And why would Dwyer be the recipient of better blocking? Does Tomlin substitute the special “Dwyer Line” when he’s in the game?

    I don’t know why you can’t comprehend how playing in fewer games and being more productive (Dwyer) is a better thing than playing in MORE games and being LESS productive (Redman). Trust me, I don’t have any infatuation with Dwyer – he’s an average RB. He’s just been more effective than Redman since last August.

    Let’s just agree to disagree before you start breaking out even more ridiculous excuses… “If Redman hadn’t forgot to eat his Cheerios, he wouldn’t have hurt his ankle last year.”

    In the words of the great Boomer… “Come ON, man!”

  • Matthew Marczi

    You don’t even understand why vision and blocking are important, or why the amount of carries you have is more relevant than how many games you played in, so it really is pointless to have this discussion with you, given your attitude. Fortunately, Redman will be starting while Dwyer may not even be on the team if he continues to show that he has absolutely no idea when to cut back a run instead of trying to bounce it outside, thus losing yards on a regular basis.