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hawaiiansteel
09-29-2011, 04:15 PM
Redman may be answer to run puzzle

Thursday, September 29, 2011
By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www2.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Isaac+Redman+Pittsburgh+Steelers+v+Baltimore+lST4q AhoDmCl.jpg

The average gain by the Steelers running game at Indianapolis was shorter than your couch -- about 77 inches -- so it's time for some changes to the components, obviously, and not just the changes mandated every week by their highly breakable offensive line.

Mike Tomlin and his staff will work on that puzzle for another 72 hours while they pack for Texas, but as of midweek, starting left tackle Jonathan Scott still had a substantial wrap on his injured ankle, which is only the beginning of the problem.

You can blame almost anyone for the well-earned position as the 23rd-best ground game in a 32-team league, but at some point you'd have to address the enigma of why Isaac Redman can't get on the field when Rashard Mendenhall's production is down by about 55 percent from last September.

"Last week I was taken out of the third-down offense completely," Redman told me Wednesday. "This week I'm back in certain situations."

Those situations, of course, have a way of never materializing, and they extend to first and second down as well, even though Redman makes a significant contribution just about every time he gets the chance. You'd think his dagger of a 20-yard touchdown against Seattle the week before might have earned him at least a full offensive shift Sunday night, but then you'd have thought winning the Baltimore game in December with a 9-yard reception in the final minutes might have at least swollen the pressure on the starter as this season began.

"I do feel like right now I'm at my peak," Redman said. "I'm trying to bring a sense of urgency to every opportunity I get."

On less than a third of the carries, some of them in situations where a yard or 2 is considered successful, Redman's averaged 4.2 yards to the 3.0 generated by Mendenhall, that figure being frightfully similar to Ben Roethlisberger's 2.9.

"I'm not sure what it is," Roethlisberger said Wednesday about why the offense generated next to nothing against the Colts' 30th-ranked run defense. "I'm not the running game guru. I don't know if it's blocking longer or running better or what."

What we've seen in three games in terms of blocking hasn't exactly been a clinic, certainly, but it has been better than what might have been expected in an unending game of musical emergency room chairs. It has been better than what got televised to a national audience in Weak Three, when with Mendenhall carrying 18 times, five plays went backward, two went nowhere, and six others gained 2 yards or 1.

Maybe there isn't a lot a running back can do with eight-in-the-box staring him in the facemask, but Mendenhall looked indecisive just a little too frequently. For the moment, he doesn't look to be the kind of back that can alter a decline in which the Steelers have only had a 100-yard plus rusher twice in the past 19 games, including postseason.

At the minimum, he doesn't look like the 2010 Mendy, who had 332 yards at this point, including two 100-yard games, and was averaging 5.2 per pop. He has 148 today on 15 fewer carries, that attributable to the amount of time the Steelers spent trailing badly in the opener.

Still the coaches have expressed nothing but admiration for the starter, even in a year when he has made more noise with his Twitter account than his ball carrying. Receptive as he has been to all sorts of information, might it not benefit Mendenhall to hear some official suggestion that he's not necessarily this team's Feature Back For Life?

This only says that such a suggestion could come in the form of an extended opportunity for Redman, a credible threat with a season in which he averaged 4.8 yards per carry behind him, then 7.1 per carry in the playoffs.

It wouldn't be the worst idea in the world for Mendenhall to feel the same kind of urgency on which Redman appears to thrive.

"I wouldn't say that urgency ever goes away," Redman said. "I've been playing football for a long time and there's never a play when I don't feel it and try to make something happen. But I'm a running back who tries to read the defense and understand the defense, and it would be great to be in a situation where I could run a play one way the first time so that I can run it another way later, you know? In my situation now, I don't get to set the defense up or to set blocks up for the offensive line."

That day is coming.

Maybe that day should be here by now.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11272/11 ... z1ZMmntq3M (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11272/1178369-150-0.stm#ixzz1ZMmntq3M)

Slapstick
09-29-2011, 04:23 PM
In Cleveland, there is a new sports talk radio station with an afternoon show that goes "around the AFC North" on Wednesdays...

Yesterday, Collier called in with a preview of this column...

I understand that Mendenhall is being paid a lot to start...but, at some point, won't Redman earn more playing time?

Moore also seemed to produce give the opportunity on Sunday...

You don't have to take Mendehall out completely, but if there are holes and he just isn't hitting them hard... :?

Pahn711
09-29-2011, 06:03 PM
In Cleveland, there is a new sports talk radio station with an afternoon show that goes "around the AFC North" on Wednesdays...

Yesterday, Collier called in with a preview of this column...

I understand that Mendenhall is being paid a lot to start...but, at some point, won't Redman earn more playing time?

Moore also seemed to produce give the opportunity on Sunday...

You don't have to take Mendehall out completely, but if there are holes and he just isn't hitting them hard... :?

I agree, though I'm not ready to place too much of the blame on Mendenhall yet. Redman has definitely earned more playing time, but Moore is the guy not talked about enough. It may have been a few years ago, but Moore played very well in his starts for the Steelers and the opportunities he has had since. Maybe they should rotate the three of them a bit more, I know that is not often done, but three different running styles could provide a nice change of pace.

SidSmythe
09-29-2011, 06:24 PM
I like Redman and I hate wasting on 1st round picks on RBs when you need blockers more than you need the RB :HeadBanger

SanAntonioSteelerFan
09-29-2011, 08:22 PM
Unspoken by just about everyone is that fact that Mendenhall either fumbled and recovered, or came THIS close to fumbling on one play against the Dolts last week.

I'm very afraid that he's not got the hang of the ball very well.

Pahn711
09-29-2011, 08:34 PM
Unspoken by just about everyone is that fact that Mendenhall either fumbled and recovered, or came THIS close to fumbling on one play against the Dolts last week.

I'm very afraid that he's not got the hang of the ball very well.

Yeah I was watching a few replays last week where he had a weak handle on the ball and defenders came close to knocking it out. Its a concern definitely but I just think there are bigger more consistent problems at the moment.

RuthlessBurgher
09-29-2011, 11:42 PM
I like Redman and I hate wasting on 1st round picks on RBs when you need blockers more than you need the RB :HeadBanger

That was the draft where there were 7 OT's off the board in the first 21 picks (and we picked 23rd). We could have reached for the #8 OT in that draft, who these Texans took 3 picks later. James Harrison will show you how much Duane Brown sucks this weekend.

Shoe
09-30-2011, 01:21 AM
I agree, though I'm not ready to place too much of the blame on Mendenhall yet. Redman has definitely earned more playing time, but Moore is the guy not talked about enough. It may have been a few years ago, but Moore played very well in his starts for the Steelers and the opportunities he has had since. Maybe they should rotate the three of them a bit more, I know that is not often done, but three different running styles could provide a nice change of pace.

You're being a prisoner of the moment. Moore had a couple solid runs, and he should get more time? Me thinks Redman would've gotten just as much (if not more) as Mewelde did on those runs. And it's not even that I don't like Mewelde. It's just that I think Redman has so much ability, and it's being wasted sitting there. With Mewelde, clearly... you know what you're going to get. And I'm not saying Mendenhall shouldn't be our #1. I just think that Redman is wasting his talent, sitting and not toting the ball more.

Pahn711
09-30-2011, 02:11 AM
I agree, though I'm not ready to place too much of the blame on Mendenhall yet. Redman has definitely earned more playing time, but Moore is the guy not talked about enough. It may have been a few years ago, but Moore played very well in his starts for the Steelers and the opportunities he has had since. Maybe they should rotate the three of them a bit more, I know that is not often done, but three different running styles could provide a nice change of pace.

You're being a prisoner of the moment. Moore had a couple solid runs, and he should get more time? Me thinks Redman would've gotten just as much (if not more) as Mewelde did on those runs. And it's not even that I don't like Mewelde. It's just that I think Redman has so much ability, and it's being wasted sitting there. With Mewelde, clearly... you know what you're going to get. And I'm not saying Mendenhall shouldn't be our #1. I just think that Redman is wasting his talent, sitting and not toting the ball more.

Prisoner of the moment? I'm not just basing my high opinion of Moore on the few carries he had last game, the guy has been making plays here and there for the last two years (with very limited opportunities). Not to mention his 8.8 yards per attempt average when he started a few games back in 2008. I'm not saying he should be the starter, but I do believe in change of pace backs.

In fact, you could argue that jumping on the Redman bandwagon as wasted talent not getting the ball is being a "prisoner of the moment" as well. You say we know what we are getting with Moore, but we can't say the same about Redman. He has not had enough carries or starts throughout an entire season to proclaim him the savior of our running game (keep in mind I agree he should be used more, just making a point).

All I'm saying is, if the running game is not working so well with one guy taking most carries, why not experiment and play a bit more running back by committee?

Slapstick
09-30-2011, 08:58 AM
Personally, I think it would be worth giving Redman and Moore more opportunities if only to see if it motivates Mendenhall to get back on the details...

Hit the hole

Less dancing

Ball security

Arians likes Mendenhall for his big play ability...it is the same reason that he likes 5 and 7 step drops with slow developing routes...Arians likes yardage in chunks...

Right now, with the state of the offense, more consistent (albeit shorter) runs are needed...there have been some adjustments in the passing game with some checkdowns being utilized and now the running game needs to follow suit...

More checkdowns and more four yard runs in the short term will open opportunities for chunks of yardage in the long term...

steeler_george
09-30-2011, 09:23 AM
What is up with this love fair with Redman and hate on Mendy?

Mendy practically carried the "O" the first 4 games last year. He had over 1,000 yards. YES,HE DID FUMBLE IN THE SUPERBOWL. But why the hate on this board?

Redman has talent, but he is not the next Franco, Foster, Bettis. Yes he deserves some more snaps, BUT MENDY IS OUR FEATURED BACK!

I think mendy is just frustrated from Arians' play calling. He said something that the plays called during the game were not even the runs ran in last weeks practice. He is asking for fullback, which is none exist in Arians "O". In addition the OL is a wreck.

LouSteel
09-30-2011, 09:37 AM
I think mendy is just frustrated from Arians' play calling. He said something that the plays called during the game were not even the runs ran in last weeks practice. He is asking fullback. In addition the OL is a wreck.

I think Mendy has the deck stacked against him with this offense. We've got an OC that is about as predictible as a 10 year old playing Madden, a lead blocker that rarely makes contact with anyone, and a mess at OL.

BUT, that said -- Mendy isn't a hard running type of back. He's shifty. Redman isn't a big play type of guy, but he hits a hole and runs with power. That's what we need when we've got such a mess on our hands.

This O desperately needs a consistent ground game so it can settle down and find a rhythm. We've got to play the hand we've been dealt, and I think that means using Redman a lot more.

ikestops85
09-30-2011, 11:40 AM
What is up with this love fair with Redman and hate on Mendy?

Mendy practically carried the "O" the first 4 games last year. He had over 1,000 yards. YES,HE DID FUMBLE IN THE SUPERBOWL. But why the hate on this board?

Redman has talent, but he is not the next Franco, Foster, Bettis. Yes he deserves some more snaps, BUT MENDY IS OUR FEATURED BACK!

I think mendy is just frustrated from Arians' play calling. He said something that the plays called during the game were not even the runs ran in last weeks practice. He is asking for fullback, which is none exist in Arians "O". In addition the OL is a wreck.

I don't think anyone is a Mendy hater. I think he has a style of running that is not going to be very successful with the plays that are being called and the state of the O line. In fact, because of the lousy line in front of him I think Mendy is becoming hesitant when he gets the ball. Instead of just hitting the hole and letting his instincts take over he sort of waits and surveys the field looking for the hole.

Redman gets a lot of love because everytime he is given more responsibility he does very well. Because we don't know what his ceiling is how do you know he isn't the next Bettis or Foster or Harris? I'm sure there were people in Denver saying the same thing about Terelle Davis ... and they were wrong.

I'm not saying Redman will be a star. I'm just saying how do we know until we give him something he fails at.

RuthlessBurgher
09-30-2011, 07:39 PM
What is up with this love fair with Redman and hate on Mendy?

Mendy practically carried the "O" the first 4 games last year. He had over 1,000 yards. YES,HE DID FUMBLE IN THE SUPERBOWL. But why the hate on this board?

Redman has talent, but he is not the next Franco, Foster, Bettis. Yes he deserves some more snaps, BUT MENDY IS OUR FEATURED BACK!

I think mendy is just frustrated from Arians' play calling. He said something that the plays called during the game were not even the runs ran in last weeks practice. He is asking for fullback, which is none exist in Arians "O". In addition the OL is a wreck.

I don't think anyone is a Mendy hater. I think he has a style of running that is not going to be very successful with the plays that are being called and the state of the O line. In fact, because of the lousy line in front of him I think Mendy is becoming hesitant when he gets the ball. Instead of just hitting the hole and letting his instincts take over he sort of waits and surveys the field looking for the hole.

Redman gets a lot of love because everytime he is given more responsibility he does very well. Because we don't know what his ceiling is how do you know he isn't the next Bettis or Foster or Harris? I'm sure there were people in Denver saying the same thing about Terelle Davis ... and they were wrong.

I'm not saying Redman will be a star. I'm just saying how do we know until we give him something he fails at.

Make him a corner or an o-lineman. Everyone we put there seems to fail at that. :wink:

flippy
09-30-2011, 07:42 PM
I've seriously wondered why not use Redman as a lead blocker?

And try David Johnson at RB. No one finds a hole like DJ.

feltdizz
09-30-2011, 08:11 PM
Mendy is severely under utilized. Its a damn shame when you look at the tapes. All the guy does is get yards...

Shoe
09-30-2011, 08:25 PM
I agree, though I'm not ready to place too much of the blame on Mendenhall yet. Redman has definitely earned more playing time, but Moore is the guy not talked about enough. It may have been a few years ago, but Moore played very well in his starts for the Steelers and the opportunities he has had since. Maybe they should rotate the three of them a bit more, I know that is not often done, but three different running styles could provide a nice change of pace.

You're being a prisoner of the moment. Moore had a couple solid runs, and he should get more time? Me thinks Redman would've gotten just as much (if not more) as Mewelde did on those runs. And it's not even that I don't like Mewelde. It's just that I think Redman has so much ability, and it's being wasted sitting there. With Mewelde, clearly... you know what you're going to get. And I'm not saying Mendenhall shouldn't be our #1. I just think that Redman is wasting his talent, sitting and not toting the ball more.

Prisoner of the moment? I'm not just basing my high opinion of Moore on the few carries he had last game, the guy has been making plays here and there for the last two years (with very limited opportunities). Not to mention his 8.8 yards per attempt average when he started a few games back in 2008. I'm not saying he should be the starter, but I do believe in change of pace backs.

In fact, you could argue that jumping on the Redman bandwagon as wasted talent not getting the ball is being a "prisoner of the moment" as well. You say we know what we are getting with Moore, but we can't say the same about Redman. He has not had enough carries or starts throughout an entire season to proclaim him the savior of our running game (keep in mind I agree he should be used more, just making a point).

All I'm saying is, if the running game is not working so well with one guy taking most carries, why not experiment and play a bit more running back by committee?

1) 2008 is eons ago
2) You cite some good instances where Mewelde did well. I can also think of one or two games (can't recall specifics though) where I think I remember Mewelde being a pivotal factor in a loss
3) Redman needs opportunities. I'm not saying he's better than Mendenhall, but (as some have said) I do think his running style may fit the nature of our running game at times. Last week, Mendenhall's pick and prance run style didn't seem to work. As soon as Mewelde got in, he picked a hole and went with it, and lo and behold--he picked up yardage!

In cases like that, I just think Redman is an even better run option than Moore.

Pahn711
10-01-2011, 03:51 AM
1) 2008 is eons ago
2) You cite some good instances where Mewelde did well. I can also think of one or two games (can't recall specifics though) where I think I remember Mewelde being a pivotal factor in a loss
3) Redman needs opportunities. I'm not saying he's better than Mendenhall, but (as some have said) I do think his running style may fit the nature of our running game at times. Last week, Mendenhall's pick and prance run style didn't seem to work. As soon as Mewelde got in, he picked a hole and went with it, and lo and behold--he picked up yardage!

In cases like that, I just think Redman is an even better run option than Moore.

1) 2008 is still closer than never, which can be said for Redman and his zero starts up to this point.
2) If you can't recall specifics then you haven't made a point, probably because you can't on this topic. (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11274/1179057-66.stm)
3) I agreed with you about Redman, but you apparently needed some filling to save face.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
10-01-2011, 08:58 AM
I've seriously wondered why not use Redman as a lead blocker?

And try David Johnson at RB. No one finds a hole like DJ.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :Cheers :Cheers :Cheers

OMG - that is one hilarious statement, of the drop-dead, drooling, spew-creamed-corn-on-my-monitor variety.

Who keeps track of the nominations for "2011-2012 Planet Steelers Line of the Year"? I nominate this one by flippy for consideration. Definitely in the sub-category "Just Shoot Me Now"; even money says it takes the whole Perogi!