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Thread: Redman isn't solution for Steelers' offense

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    Legend fordfixer's Avatar
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    Redman isn't solution for Steelers' offense

    Redman isn't solution for Steelers' offense
    Saturday, September 19, 2009
    By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09262/999267-87.stm

    Of all the ridiculous rants coming from the over-reactionary crowd after the Steelers' first game, this easily takes the top prize:

    They gotta play Redman!

    Yeah, right.

    That's the solution to the problems with the running game.

    Throw running backs Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall out with the garbage and put the ball -- not to mention the team's Super Bowl hopes -- in the hands of a kid who never played in a major college game let alone had a touch in a real NFL game.

    Yeah, that'll work.

    Give me a break.

    I guess I understand the fascination with rookie free agent Isaac Redman, especially after Parker and Mendenhall had a hard time finding yards in the opening-game win against the Tennessee Titans. A lot of people tend to think the next guy in line automatically will do a better job. That's why the backup quarterback usually is the most popular player on any team. It doesn't matter that he's a backup for a reason, namely that he's not as good as the starter. People want to see what he can do the first time the starter loses a game or even throws an interception.

    But the passion of the Redman supporters almost seems off the charts. Where does that come from? What is it based on? That Redman had a few strong runs in goal-line situations at training camp and earned the nickname "Red Zone" Redman? That he had a couple of good exhibition games playing with and against second- and third-teamers?

    I repeat:

    Give me a break.

    I shouldn't have to tell you that doing it in those camp practices and exhibition games isn't the same as doing it against the Titans' great defense under the bright lights of the NFL's opening game. It also isn't the same as doing it against the Chicago Bears' defense tomorrow at Soldier Field.

    Redman is on the Steelers' practice squad -- not their active roster -- for one very good reason: He's not ready for the NFL.

    Certainly, he's not as good as Parker or Mendenhall.

    Not yet, anyway.

    At the pro level, the running-back position involves more than just toting the ball. It's about knowing the offense and understanding the assignments. It's about picking up blitzes and making the right blocks so quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn't get knocked into next week. It's about running the right pass routes so Roethlisberger doesn't throw silly interceptions.

    Clearly, Redman is raw, a work in progress. As a Super Bowl contender, the Steelers can't afford to let him learn on the job. They have to go with the guy who is proven (Parker) and the guy who is a lot further along in the process (Mendenhall).

    Not that Redman's fans want to hear that.

    Of course, they don't.

    They're convinced Redman is going to be the next Adrian Peterson.

    Even Redman seems a bit amused by his celebrity status. "I've gone to the grocery store and people have recognized me," he said this week. "I get a lot of messages on Facebook from people saying they like the way I run. That tells me I'm doing something good here."

    Redman should feel good about himself. He had a remarkable camp and exhibition season. He had no chance to make the Steelers when he signed as a free agent from Bowie State, which played opponents such as Shaw and Lincoln (Pa.) last season and lost to Slippery Rock this season. Yet, he showed enough to find his way on the practice squad and could be just an injury away from getting on the active roster, although the Steelers' coaches also like another back on their practice squad -- Justin Vincent -- because of what he could give them on special teams.

    Absolutely, Redman deserves all the credit in the world.

    "I like to think I'll be ready if I get the opportunity," he said. "I've been working hard and studying the playbook. To have a little bit of success like I did gives me confidence I can play on this level."

    Who knows? Maybe Redman will become an NFL star. Parker was an undrafted free agent and went on to become a Pro Bowl player and Super Bowl hero.

    But there's a better chance Redman won't make it big. Any of the 31 other NFL teams could have claimed him on waivers after the final cut this summer, but all passed. You would think if the guy is destined to become the next Adrian Peterson, at least one of the clubs would have recognized it.

    Not to be cynical.
    Ron Cook can be reached at rcook@post-gazette.com. More articles by this author
    First published on September 19, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09262/99 ... z0RXL97mGr

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    Hall of Famer Djfan's Avatar
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    Re: Redman isn't solution for Steelers' offense

    The logic is there, but weak. In camp, against our first team D, Redman made four of five goal line TDs. Also, just because they are on the PS or rookies, doesnt' mean that they are not good and improving. Ask Silverback about that. Or Ben.

    It's not always true.

    Still, I hope to see them give this kid his shot. I don't care if the other teams didn't want him. He seems like a weapon. Maybe in time.
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    Re: Redman isn't solution for Steelers' offense

    Quote Originally Posted by Djfan
    The logic is there, but weak. In camp, against our first team D, Redman made four of five goal line TDs. Also, just because they are on the PS or rookies, doesnt' mean that they are not good and improving. Ask Silverback about that. Or Ben.

    It's not always true.

    Still, I hope to see them give this kid his shot. I don't care if the other teams didn't want him. He seems like a weapon. Maybe in time.
    And he was also chastised for celebrating a TD when the offense knew the defense was running the same play each time. There was a story posted about it...Clark got in his face and told him what's what.

    ----

    At the pro level, the running-back position involves more than just toting the ball. It's about knowing the offense and understanding the assignments. It's about picking up blitzes and making the right blocks so quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn't get knocked into next week. It's about running the right pass routes so Roethlisberger doesn't throw silly interceptions.
    Couldn't agree more.

    Of course I'd like to see this kid succeed...he plays for MY team...but it's clear he's not ready for the show yet.

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    Hall of Famer Mister Pittsburgh's Avatar
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    Re: Redman isn't solution for Steelers' offense

    I don't recall seeing a single person saying that Redman should be our feature back. If there are those people, they deserve to be ripped. I do however think that either Tank or Redman should be given a shot at short yardage back. You know, the position that was handed to perrenial stud Gary Russell last year. Remember him Ron Cook? Nice article though.....
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    Re: Redman isn't solution for Steelers' offense

    Quote Originally Posted by fordfixer

    Redman is on the Steelers' practice squad -- not their active roster -- for one very good reason: He's not ready for the NFL.

    Certainly, he's not as good as Parker or Mendenhall.
    that may very well be true and i have faith in tomlin's judgement. having said that isn't it equally plausible that redman is on the practice squad because WP can't go from starter to cut in one camp and mendenhall has millions of first round draft pick money invested in him? I'm not suggesting mendenhall is a bust but how long did we keep troy edwards? it's never simply about ability i'm afraid.

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    Re: Redman isn't solution for Steelers' offense

    Quote Originally Posted by stlrz d
    At the pro level, the running-back position involves more than just toting the ball. It's about knowing the offense and understanding the assignments. It's about picking up blitzes and making the right blocks so quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn't get knocked into next week. It's about running the right pass routes so Roethlisberger doesn't throw silly interceptions.
    Couldn't agree more.

    Of course I'd like to see this kid succeed...he plays for MY team...but it's clear he's not ready for the show yet.
    I couldn't disagree more. Cook suggests that Redman supporters think he is the second coming of Adrian Peterson. Please. Maybe the Bears' Adrian Peterson, but not the Vikings' Adrian Peterson. Does he really think Steeler fans are that stupid? Give us some credit here, man.

    The fact of that matter is that if Redman was active, he would have one specific job and one specific job only. In short yardage and goal line situations, he would have to line up behind FB D.J. Johnson in the I-formation, and pound the rock for a yard or two to get the first down or touchdown. That's it.

    It's a very specialized gig. In order to do it, he does not need to know the whole offense and understanding all of the assignments. He does not have to pick up blitzes and make the right blocks so quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn't get knocked into next week. He doesn't have to run the right pass routes so Roethlisberger doesn't throw silly interceptions. They have Parker, Mendenhall, and Moore to handle all of those things. Redman would only need to be on the field in short yardage situations and carry the ball between the tackles. Perhaps occassionally, they use him as a decoy in short yardage and run a play action pass, in which case Redman's only responsibility would be to pretend that he was carrying the ball between the tackles. I think he could handle that.

    It's not tough. This guy can do it. He showed that he could against our defense in Latrobe (against both 3rd teamers as well as 1st teamers). In preseason games, he scored TD's against Arizona's 3rd teamers and Carolina's 1st teamers, breaking multiple tackles from actual NFL players (not current UPS drivers) on the way to paydirt.

    We kept a guy on the team last year solely for short yardage running last year. His name was Gary Russell. No one expected him to become the next Adrian Peterson, but he did score the first TD in the Super Bowl. If those 7 points we scored there were only 3 because we were not able to punch it in, Santonio's TD catch at the end of the game would have only tied the score instead of won it. Being able to run the ball in short yardage situations is vitally important.

    We have a specialists for a variety of jobs (just return kicks, just long snap, etc.) so why not have a specialist just to run short yardage? I think he'd be better at the job that we ask him to do as opposed to having Frank the Tank trying to learn how to convert to a fullback and whiffing on half his blocks. Summers can learn to be a FB on the practice squad while Johnson takes over the reins at blocking FB with Redman behind him in short yardage situations.

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    Re: Redman isn't solution for Steelers' offense

    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
    Quote Originally Posted by stlrz d
    At the pro level, the running-back position involves more than just toting the ball. It's about knowing the offense and understanding the assignments. It's about picking up blitzes and making the right blocks so quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn't get knocked into next week. It's about running the right pass routes so Roethlisberger doesn't throw silly interceptions.
    Couldn't agree more.

    Of course I'd like to see this kid succeed...he plays for MY team...but it's clear he's not ready for the show yet.
    I couldn't disagree more. Cook suggests that Redman supporters think he is the second coming of Adrian Peterson. Please. Maybe the Bears' Adrian Peterson, but not the Vikings' Adrian Peterson. Does he really think Steeler fans are that stupid? Give us some credit here, man.

    The fact of that matter is that if Redman was active, he would have one specific job and one specific job only. In short yardage and goal line situations, he would have to line up behind FB D.J. Johnson in the I-formation, and pound the rock for a yard or two to get the first down or touchdown. That's it.

    It's a very specialized gig. In order to do it, he does not need to know the whole offense and understanding all of the assignments. He does not have to pick up blitzes and make the right blocks so quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn't get knocked into next week. He doesn't have to run the right pass routes so Roethlisberger doesn't throw silly interceptions. They have Parker, Mendenhall, and Moore to handle all of those things. Redman would only need to be on the field in short yardage situations and carry the ball between the tackles. Perhaps occassionally, they use him as a decoy in short yardage and run a play action pass, in which case Redman's only responsibility would be to pretend that he was carrying the ball between the tackles. I think he could handle that.

    It's not tough. This guy can do it. He showed that he could against our defense in Latrobe (against both 3rd teamers as well as 1st teamers). In preseason games, he scored TD's against Arizona's 3rd teamers and Carolina's 1st teamers, breaking multiple tackles from actual NFL players (not current UPS drivers) on the way to paydirt.

    We kept a guy on the team last year solely for short yardage running last year. His name was Gary Russell. No one expected him to become the next Adrian Peterson, but he did score the first TD in the Super Bowl. If those 7 points we scored there were only 3 because we were not able to punch it in, Santonio's TD catch at the end of the game would have only tied the score instead of won it. Being able to run the ball in short yardage situations is vitally important.

    We have a specialists for a variety of jobs (just return kicks, just long snap, etc.) so why not have a specialist just to run short yardage? I think he'd be better at the job that we ask him to do as opposed to having Frank the Tank trying to learn how to convert to a fullback and whiffing on half his blocks. Summers can learn to be a FB on the practice squad while Johnson takes over the reins at blocking FB with Redman behind him in short yardage situations.
    Nice post
    @_Hellgrammite

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    Re: Redman isn't solution for Steelers' offense

    OK, you can argue that Redman isn't ready for the big stage yet... but, I think it's very difficult to argue, that MEWELDE MOORE is not our best back right now. The guy simply moves chains.

    Yeah, he's not gonna break the game open (like Parker used to). And yeah, he doesn't look the part (like Mendenhall, who's built like a tank).

    But he makes positive football plays all the time. He gets what's there. He catches passes. He blocks pretty well. He is our Kevin Faulk. Like everyone else, I'm tired of seeing Willie tripped up, or run into the pile, for no gain. Same with Mendenhall--he's given zero indication that he is any different than FWP (both seem to lack instincts). Moore has instincts. He can play. Let him start.
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    Re: Redman isn't solution for Steelers' offense

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoe
    OK, you can argue that Redman isn't ready for the big stage yet... but, I think it's very difficult to argue, that MEWELDE MOORE is not our best back right now. The guy simply moves chains.

    Yeah, he's not gonna break the game open (like Parker used to). And yeah, he doesn't look the part (like Mendenhall, who's built like a tank).

    But he makes positive football plays all the time. He gets what's there. He catches passes. He blocks pretty well. He is our Kevin Faulk. Like everyone else, I'm tired of seeing Willie tripped up, or run into the pile, for no gain. Same with Mendenhall--he's given zero indication that he is any different than FWP (both seem to lack instincts). Moore has instincts. He can play. Let him start.
    Why should Moore start? He's perfectly fine doing what he is doing now. Fits his role well and does his job. Would he be more effective with all the starter's carries as well on top of that? I doubt it. That is why you split the workload in the this era of the RB-by-committee. You made the Kevin Faulk comparison, which is pretty much spot-on. Does Belichick see the need to start Faulk because he is so effective on 3rd downs and in the no huddle? Nope. He'll use Maroney and Taylor and Morris to grind out yards as the RB's on first and second down before allowing Faulk to do this thing. Faulk fits his role well, and Moore does the same. He knows what his role is, so we should just let him do that job and be happy with it.

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    Re: Redman isn't solution for Steelers' offense

    Good points RB but what happens when Redman is in the game and the D forces an audible and Redman doesn't know his assignment?

    That's why I agree with what I quoted from the article.

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