The Pittsburgh Steelers will start Isaac Redman at running back in their Sunday season opener against the Tennessee Titans, but offensive coordinator Todd Haley said Thursday during his talk with the media that nothing is set in stone beyond that.
“We’re still looking for someone to take the bull by the horns and not let us take him out,” said Haley. “The guys are going to have an opportunity in this game to showcase how much they want the job.”
During his Tuesday press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin said that while Redman would start the game, we can expect to see the former undrafted free agent spelled by the other backs.
Haley, however, said Thursday that if Redman gets off to a hot start, he will keep him in the game.
“Yeah, absolutely,” he said.
One of the running backs that figures to receive a few touches in the season opener is Felix Jones, who the Steelers acquired via trade with the Philadelphia Eagles the day before their third preseason game. With very limited time to prepare, Jones carried the ball eight times against the Kansas City Chiefs and led the team in rushing with 29 yards. His ability to pull that off certainly impressed the Steelers offensive coordinator.
“The amazing thing was I think it’s the first time that I’ve ever seen it,” said Haley. “We hadn’t even had the guy on the practice field once. I met him the night before the game in a team meeting, and he leads our team in carries, does kickoff returns; I’ve never seen it happen before.
“So that in itself was impressive, but now that he’s been able to get settled in a little bit and get comfortable, you can see there’s a reason he was taken number one at some point in his career and were excited about having him on board.”
Make no mistake, Redman will be given every opportunity to show that he can tame the bull early on against the Titans, but if he fails to do so, Haley certainly won’t be afraid to go to his running back bullpen if that’s what it takes to jumpstart the running game.