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.