Steelers Likely To Use Running Back By Committee System Against Titans

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday during his press conference that running back Isaac Redman will get the start Sunday in the season opener against the Tennessee Titans, but he also let it be known that the Bowie State product would also get some help throughout the game.

“Obviously we’re going to spell Isaac,” said Tomlin. “We haven’t detailed the rotation or the nature of the rotation to this point, but obviously we are going to have some guys in uniform that we believe are capable of helping us that have a unique skill set.

“LaRod Stephens-Howling has proven that he’s a capable back for us situationally. He did some third down things in the Carolina game and obviously we’re continuing to get to know Felix. We like his natural run instincts, we’re going to continue to work those guys this week and sharpen that up as we get closer to game time.”

In the 46 career games that he has played in with the Steelers, Redman has only carried the ball more than 15 times in a single game just twice. Last year in the win over the New York Giants, Redman had the best game of his career as he rushed 26 times for 147 yards and effectively put the game on ice with a 28-yard run with 2:23 left in the game.

Redman should be fresh for the season opener, however, as he only carried the ball twice for seven yards in the preseason opener against the Giants. Still, you can fully expect to see LaRod Stephens-Howling and quite possibly even Felix Jones get some work against the Titans, especially on third downs.

So what should we expect out of Redman this weekend? I will be surprised if he carries the ball more than 15 times and floored if he gets 20 carries. Until rookie Le’Veon Bell is ready to return from his injury, I fully expect to see a running back by committee approach used by the Steelers.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I was expecting nothing less. I feel the talent at HB is so good that I would like to see all of them get touches. LSH and Jones can take it to the house on any given carry and both should get at least 5 touches a piece

  • TxSteeler

    Exactly what I was thinking.

  • Mkeller

    Not what I was hoping for. Come on Le’Veon….get back soon. I hate the RB by committee. Whether its real or just perceived I always feel like a guy has his momentum stolen just as he gets going.

  • dgh57

    With Bell out why not see what we have in our backup in Redman while we can. Minimum of 15 carries and if the running game is clicking 20 carries.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    You can think what you want, but I see this as bad news. It might not be new news considering we knew Bell was injured, but it’s bad news nonetheless. I’m all for a tandem at RB with the top back getting 75% of the touches, but the phrase running back by committee only means one thing to me. We have no clue who our starter is. Isn’t that what we did last year? Pick a guy and stick with him. All this does is put us one step closer to a Tomlin tantrum like he did last year throwing Rainey out there as the goaline back. I’d hate to be the first guy to fumble.

  • steeltown

    If Redmans the guy then yes , give him 20touches and then use LSH in certain plays and situations, change it up pending what part of the field, down and distance and so forth.. but you would like a guy to get in a rhythm, Redman has run well when healthy and given the snaps

  • Douglas Andrews

    The biggest difference I see from last year is our RB by committee approach involves RB’s that are change of pace backs. Felix J and LSH can both run the stretch and have good speed. Last year we essentially jogged the same RB out as our #1 and #2. I like this year’s difference and regardless of what Redman thinks he doesn’t need to carry 20x a game.

  • Anthony Hodge

    Haley made that call…

  • TxSteeler

    I agree, you’re talking about totally different RB this year. Backs that fit our running scheme.

  • alex

    Redmans been burnin’ for this all off season…he came in slim and ready and has always earned his role…

    so, bring it RED! C U in the end zone sunday!

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Tomlin’s the one that benched one RB after the next when they all were fumbling. Head coaches bench players, not coordinators.

  • Anthony Hodge

    You’re right…”He did bench them all. But he didn’t say “Rainey up the middle”, Haley called it.Some want to blame Tomlin for everything when it’s going wrong… Coach Noll and Coach Cohwer made plenty of mistakes but they get a pass….And Coordinators CAN have a hand in sitting a player for another…

  • TxSteeler

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Big Red fan. He’s my favorite RB but on 3rd and long we need speed.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    It’s about time that Redman’s been burnin’ for something because I haven’t seen him so much as smolder in my lifetime as a Steelers’ fan. Guy sucks and cannot hold onto the ball without fumbling – a terrible attribute, fit or fat.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    You hit the nail on the head…RB by committee is code, on this team, for, “We’re screwed until Bell returns – we have no bona fide confidence in any single back we’ve got.” The thing that hurts is that they’re giving Redman the ball because he knows the offense with the knowledge that LSH is hurt, Bell is out, and Jones just got here. Even when he was heavier, please tell me how well Redman read his blocks and sifted through traffic after clearing the first line of defense – he didn’t.
    I’m as much a fan as the next guy, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if the Titan coaching staff have a sentence on their locker room chalkboard that says simply STRIP REDMAN OF THE BALL = VICTORY. It’s worked before like a dream.

  • Ahmad

    I think the Steelers are in a better position to run the committee approach this year. We have the power in Redman plus the shiftiness in FJ and LaRod Stephens-Howling. Much better than the combo we had last year.

  • cencalsteeler

    I agree. The running style between Redman and Dwyer doesn’t differ much. Last years combo was most of the same style, where as this year they added a little flair.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    I hear ya, but you can’t blame the coordinator for calling a running play at the goaline. He had no choice but to use Rainey considering his other 3 RBs were benched. I like Tomlin, but one of least impressive moments in his tenure in my opinion.

  • Anthony Hodge

    I think Haley should’ve called a sweep with Rainey in but a dive play with him was silly. Luckily he bounced it outside.I just want them all to coach better and learn from their mistakes. So you and I are cool with this debate and it’s great to be fans of the greatest team in sports. Steeler Nation!

  • JPDQ

    You got that right. And the guy that’s only touched the ball twice in the entire preseason is an injury waiting to happen.

  • JPDQ

    You’ve broken the code! And everybody that believes Bell is some kind of savior is just hoping on hope until the guy actually does something. I don’t envy the poor guy one bit having to run behind what I’ve seen of our O-line this preseason. Again.

    It would really be nice to see the offense actually put up some points this year. I don’t think it’s gonna happen any more than it has the last several years, but hopefully we can go to the well one more time and rely on our D to win some games.

  • Mike Sweeney

    I agree, Steel. LSH, is a good compliment to Redman and can nicely, set up the play action. Good push up front will really bode well, for the offensive attack.

  • steeltown

    I really like having Felix Jones on roster.. people are complaining about that signing, but this guy will be our #3 or #4 RB, that’s pretty solid depth should Redman get hurt over the next couple weeks