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feltdizz
12-07-2010, 11:51 AM
http://postgazette.com/pg/10341/1108812-87.stm

By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

One day, you're running left, running right, running up the middle and struggling to find yards against the Elizabeth City State team. The next day, you're catching a pass over the middle, roaring through the secondary, bulling through defenders and breaking the hearts of the great Ray Lewis and his Baltimore Ravens teammates. Can you blame Steelers running back Isaac Redman if he feels as if he's living the dream?

"To go from being undrafted to making the big play in the big game ... "

For a moment, Redman was almost speechless. This was after the Steelers' 13-10 victory Sunday night against the Ravens in Baltimore. It was a win that put them in control of the AFC North Division race at the NFL season's three-quarter pole. It also was a win that probably wouldn't have happened without him.

So what if the Steelers sent in the wrong personnel package on their winning play? Running back Mewelde Moore was supposed to be split to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's left, not Redman. "I thought I was in there to stay in the backfield for blitz pick-up," Redman said. "By the time the coaches realized I was out there, it was too late to change the play or call timeout. I'm just glad they had faith in me to do the job."

Do the job?

Redman did better than that.

He won the game.

Third-and-goal from the Ravens' 9. The Steelers trailed, 10-6, with 2:58 to play. Redman and Roethlisberger read the Ravens' all-out blitz perfectly. Redman broke off his route and slanted across the middle. Roethlisberger found him in stride at the 6. "Isaac did the rest," Roethlisberger said.

Redman must have dragged safety Dawan Landry 5 yards as he ran across the field, eventually shrugging him off like an annoying bug. Linebacker Jarret Johnson had a shot at him as he turned up the field, but Redman spun away from him and plowed into the end zone.

Maybe it wasn't quite as pretty as Redman's 56-yard touchdown run for Bowie State in a 29-28 loss to Elizabeth City State in 2008 -- his only big play of the game, by the way -- but it sure seemed more meaningful.

This was against the despised Ravens, right?

And it was "Football Night in America."

The regular-season stage doesn't get much bigger or brighter.

"All I saw was the end zone," Redman said. "I knew I had to get there. I wasn't going to be denied. You've got to have that heart. You've got to have that in you. I wasn't going to be stopped."

It had been a tough night for Redman. He's the Steelers' short-yardage specialist, and Lewis, Terrell Suggs and the Ravens' stout defense had stuffed him on three occasions, the first time forcing a fumble that, luckily for him, was recovered by Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey. But that's the beautiful thing about Redman. He didn't give up on the game. He never gives up.

That goes back to when Redman signed with the Steelers as a free agent before the '09 season, the longest of long shots. Do you realize the caliber of football that Bowie State plays? It didn't just lose to Elizabeth City State in '08. It lost to Slippery Rock last season. It lost to Seton Hill this season.

Not a Ray Lewis or a Terrell Suggs on those teams, I'm pretty sure.

But Redman's small-college background didn't stop him from immediately making a positive impression on Steelers fans and his coaches and teammates. The fans called him "Red Zone" Redman after he scored touchdowns in goal-line situations at training camp and in the exhibition games. I remember talking to Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians a few weeks later in the lobby at the team's South Side headquarters after Redman made the practice squad. "He doesn't have a clue what he's doing right now, but he'll learn," Arians said. "He's going to be a good one. He's going to help us."

But this soon?

Against the Ravens?

It's an amazing story.

Redman really is living the American dream.

"Hard work pays off," he said. "I know it sounds kind of corny, but I firmly believe that."

Redman is a nice change of pace from the Steelers' featured ball-toter, Rashard Mendenhall, who surpassed 1,000 yards for the season against the Ravens. Redman will look for a hole, but, if one isn't there, he'll make one. He's a beast to bring down. Ask Landry and Johnson. His 4.2 yards-per-carry average is better than Mendenhall's 3.9. Many Red Zone fans are lobbying for him to get more carries; he has just 43 to Mendenhall's 257. He appreciates the support, but he's pretty happy doing what he's doing. It sure beats grinding out the yards against Elizabeth City State.

"I'm just trying to make the best of my opportunities when my number is called," Redman said. "I'm not going to say I deserve the ball more. I'll take what I get."

It's a nice combination, Mendenhall and Redman.

There's one very good reason for that.

Please, allow Mendenhall to explain.

"Ike, he's a ballplayer."

Doesn't really matter where a guy comes from, does it?

All that matters is where he's going.


Read more: http://postgazette.com/pg/10341/1108812 ... z17RQhRY9B (http://postgazette.com/pg/10341/1108812-87.stm#ixzz17RQhRY9B)

Eddie Spaghetti
12-07-2010, 12:34 PM
good thing we didn't cut this guy like some of the personnel gurus on this board wanted.

love this kids intensity.

ikestops85
12-07-2010, 12:40 PM
I have loved this guys style since I first saw him in pre-season last year. I know he got in Tomlin's doghouse but he has no quit in him. He reminds me a lot of Rocky Blier ... not a phenom athletically but gets the job done with heart and soul. I would love to see him get more carries and take some of the load off of Mendenhall.

flippy
12-07-2010, 12:42 PM
He deserves more PT. GIve him some series. He doesn't dance and just goes hard at the hole.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
12-07-2010, 01:03 PM
That was a truly awesome "hot read" by Redman - playing above his pay grade, at least according to BA (the article says it was a mistake that Redman was on the field for that TD play!!!!).

Another weapon for opposing D's to have to game plan for - I love it.

feltdizz
12-07-2010, 01:05 PM
I'm concerned because he wasn't supposed to be on the field for that play.

I think Redman deserves more touches... what are they waiting on?

aggiebones
12-07-2010, 01:58 PM
Frankly, his style would work better against the Ravens than Mendenhall. Mendi is a far superior back, but when you have to work in tight, Redman knows more what he is doing. If the field was only 30 yards wide, then Mendenhall wouldn't be playing. Granted Hampton might be a tailback, but you get my point. The field seemed skinny on Sunday night and Redman works well in close quarters.
I did appreciate that someone told Mendi to stop dancing and he did. So he learned a bit and is certainly coachable. But Redman should get more touches in that game.

SteelCrazy
12-07-2010, 02:14 PM
He deserves more PT. GIve him some series. He doesn't dance and just goes hard at the hole.

Yes he does deserve more playing time. Like that 2nd and 1 that Mendy didn't get because instead of hitting the small window inside for the 1st down he bounced it outside for a 3 yard loss.

NJ-STEELER
12-08-2010, 02:51 AM
wow

does memo get that TD if indeed it was supposed to be him in there?

CanadianSteel
12-08-2010, 10:27 AM
Not a chance

hawaiiansteel
12-10-2010, 05:44 PM
Redman's role expanding for Steelers

By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, December 10, 2010

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2010-12-09/redman-a.jpg

Isaac Redman
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review

The Isaac Redman file
Height: 6-foot

Weight: 230 pounds

College: Bowie State

Age: 26

Birthplace: Paulsboro, N.J.

Experience: First season

2010 statistics: 43 carries for 181 yards; six receptions for 57 yards and two touchdowns; four kickoff returns for 20.3-yard average

Isaac Redman graduated from short-yardage running back to full-service back during a game he will long remember.

Redman, once considered a specialist, wants to be known as a complete football player. Not only did he make the game-winning touchdown catch in the Steelers' 13-10 win over Baltimore, he was featured on third downs while establishing himself as a willing and effective pass blocker.

"I feel I can do a lot more in this offense," said Redman, who hopes to pick up where he left off in Sunday's home game against Cincinnati. "I can help this team a lot more ways than just short yardage. It was just so good to be in there in that situation.

"Everything's on the line, and I'm in the game. A guy that was on the practice squad last year, wasn't drafted. It just goes to show I've earned their trust for me to be in there in that situation."

Late in the fourth quarter against Baltimore, Redman was the running back of record. On third-and-goal from the 9, Redman caught a short pass from Ben Roethlisberger and bowled over safety Dawan Landry en route to the end zone.

Third-down plays have become Mewelde Moore's specialty. Two years ago, he had 40 receptions, many coming on third down. However, the powerfully built Redman is a bigger back than Moore, and the coaching staff trusts his pass-blocking ability.

So when running backs coach Kirby Wilson told Redman, an undrafted free agent from Division II Bowie State, to take the field on the biggest third down of the game, Redman wasn't surprised.

"The whole game, when third down came up, me and Mewelde would step on the field and (Wilson) would point to whoever he wanted," Redman said. "At that point in the game, we figured they would blitz."

When the play was called, Redman lined up outside like a receiver.

"(Wilson) put me out there, not knowing the call, because we call the play off Ben's wristband," said Redman, providing insight into the Steelers' play-calling process."If he knew that play was called, Mewelde probably would have been out there to run the route."

Redman said his increased playing time against Baltimore resulted from his improved pass blocking. A training camp favorite last year for his ability to score touchdowns in short-yardage situations, Redman was signed to the practice squad several times but didn't appear in a game in 2009.

"Last year, I did really good blocking linebackers in the drill," Redman said. "Honestly, I wasn't too comfortable in the offense to really know who to block. It was new, I was a rookie. But as the year went along, I learned. This training camp, it just felt like it was real easy to me. They really trust me picking up blitzes. My playing time picked up, because Baltimore's got big linebackers. They've got Ray Lewis, they've got (Terrell) Suggs. They didn't want Mewelde in a bad situation blocking those big guys all game. I didn't miss any assignments. I got all of my blocks."

Coach Mike Tomlin noticed.

"Those backs are interchangeable, particularly in that third-down situation," Tomlin said. "Mewelde Moore is usually the lead dog because of his past experience. lsaac is quite capable. We delivered a pass to him. He was a determined guy. It was a timely play delivered by a young man who works extremely hard."

As a result, Redman's confidence has never been higher.

"When you make big plays in big games, that's all they can really go by is what you do," Redman said. "For the most part, I've been making pretty good plays when I've been out there. Hopefully, I get to play more and more, and they trust me more and more as the year goes on."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 13057.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_713057.html)

Djfan
12-11-2010, 12:03 AM
In that picture he is holding the ball out there a bit far.

Shawn
12-11-2010, 01:18 AM
I know Moore has played well this season but I would love to see what Redman could do in the 3rd down back role. He is a fierce blocker, has soft enough hands and is obviously a threat in the open field. Once he gets a head of steam I don't see many DBs taking him down in the open field.

Shawn
12-11-2010, 01:19 AM
In that picture he is holding the ball out there a bit far.

Yeah but notice he runs low and with a nice foward tilt. :D

fordfixer
12-11-2010, 02:11 AM
Redman's role expanding for Steelers
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, December 10, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 13057.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_713057.html)

Isaac Redman graduated from short-yardage running back to full-service back during a game he will long remember.

Redman, once considered a specialist, wants to be known as a complete football player. Not only did he make the game-winning touchdown catch in the Steelers' 13-10 win over Baltimore, he was featured on third downs while establishing himself as a willing and effective pass blocker.

"I feel I can do a lot more in this offense," said Redman, who hopes to pick up where he left off in Sunday's home game against Cincinnati. "I can help this team a lot more ways than just short yardage. It was just so good to be in there in that situation.

"Everything's on the line, and I'm in the game. A guy that was on the practice squad last year, wasn't drafted. It just goes to show I've earned their trust for me to be in there in that situation."

Late in the fourth quarter against Baltimore, Redman was the running back of record. On third-and-goal from the 9, Redman caught a short pass from Ben Roethlisberger and bowled over safety Dawan Landry en route to the end zone.

Third-down plays have become Mewelde Moore's specialty. Two years ago, he had 40 receptions, many coming on third down. However, the powerfully built Redman is a bigger back than Moore, and the coaching staff trusts his pass-blocking ability.

So when running backs coach Kirby Wilson told Redman, an undrafted free agent from Division II Bowie State, to take the field on the biggest third down of the game, Redman wasn't surprised.

"The whole game, when third down came up, me and Mewelde would step on the field and (Wilson) would point to whoever he wanted," Redman said. "At that point in the game, we figured they would blitz."

When the play was called, Redman lined up outside like a receiver.

"(Wilson) put me out there, not knowing the call, because we call the play off Ben's wristband," said Redman, providing insight into the Steelers' play-calling process."If he knew that play was called, Mewelde probably would have been out there to run the route."

Redman said his increased playing time against Baltimore resulted from his improved pass blocking. A training camp favorite last year for his ability to score touchdowns in short-yardage situations, Redman was signed to the practice squad several times but didn't appear in a game in 2009.

"Last year, I did really good blocking linebackers in the drill," Redman said. "Honestly, I wasn't too comfortable in the offense to really know who to block. It was new, I was a rookie. But as the year went along, I learned. This training camp, it just felt like it was real easy to me. They really trust me picking up blitzes. My playing time picked up, because Baltimore's got big linebackers. They've got Ray Lewis, they've got (Terrell) Suggs. They didn't want Mewelde in a bad situation blocking those big guys all game. I didn't miss any assignments. I got all of my blocks."

Coach Mike Tomlin noticed.

"Those backs are interchangeable, particularly in that third-down situation," Tomlin said. "Mewelde Moore is usually the lead dog because of his past experience. lsaac is quite capable. We delivered a pass to him. He was a determined guy. It was a timely play delivered by a young man who works extremely hard."

As a result, Redman's confidence has never been higher.

"When you make big plays in big games, that's all they can really go by is what you do," Redman said. "For the most part, I've been making pretty good plays when I've been out there. Hopefully, I get to play more and more, and they trust me more and more as the year goes on."