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Thread: Redman may not be the starting RB.....

  1. #51
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Redman has come a long way for Steelers

    JUL 29, 2012
    Associated Press


    Now that he's become their starting running back, Pittsburgh Steelers coaches can laugh about how Isaac Redman tanked in his first impression during an NFL training camp.

    As a nervous undrafted rookie from Division II Bowie State three years ago, Redman almost failing the annual first-day-of-camp conditioning test wasn't as funny.

    ''I was out of shape,'' Redman recalled on Sunday at St. Vincent College. ''I didn't really look like too much.''

    Within two weeks, though, Redman was evolving into one of the stars of training camp. Three years after that, Redman is in line to start the Steelers' season opener in Denver Sept. 9.

    Redman has gradually worked his way up the Pittsburgh depth chart and, with starter Rashard Mendenhall on the physically unable to perform list while he continues recovery from a torn ACL, Redman has gone from longshot, unknown rookie to featured back.

    ''It's just crazy how time changes,'' Redman said.

    As poor as Redman's performance was during that conditioning test on the afternoon he reported to his first NFL training camp, all was soon forgotten among coaches and fans when Redman quickly showed his skill for getting into the end zone.

    The 6-foot, 230-pound Redman scored five times in a goal-line drill during a practice that was open to the public early during his 2009 rookie training camp. He scored two touchdowns in the preseason opener for the Steelers, who were then the defending Super Bowl champions.

    The career rushing leader at Bowie State, Redman didn't make Pittsburgh's active roster that season but was signed to the practice squad and dressed for one game.

    ''Fast forward to now, and ... I'm here coming in as No. 1 on the depth chart,'' Redman said. ''I feel like a totally different player, I feel like a professional. I'm taking on a leadership role in the running back room, guys are looking up to me. When I came in I was looking up to Willie Parker and Rashard and those guys, Mewelde (Moore). And now I got a bunch of young guys looking at me for advice.''

    Behind Redman on the depth chart are youngsters Jonathan Dwyer (eight career games), John Clay (two games), rookie Chris Rainey and second-year Baron Batch, who tore an ACL early in his rookie training camp last year.

    Redman briefly was knocked out of practice Sunday, shaken up after a block. The Steelers' most physical back, Redman's early goal-line prowess was a sign of things to come.

    ''It takes a team to hit that guy,'' linebacker LaMarr Woodley said.

    ''You can't just think that when you hit him he's falling down, because he's spinning and fighting for extra yards.''

    Redman made his first career start last season, but it wasn't until Mendenhall went down in the regular-season finale at Cleveland on Jan. 1. He had a career-high 92 rushing yards and a touchdown, but the best was yet to come.

    Making his first career postseason start the following week at Denver, Redman became just the fourth undrafted running back to rush for more than 100 yards in a playoff game.

    Redman's game-high 121 yards on 17 carries perhaps was a factor in Steelers management's decision not to pursue a veteran running back over the offseason. Even with Mendenhall's status in limbo for the start of the season, Pittsburgh let Moore go.

    With only a young stable of inexperienced backs behind him, the message was clear: The Steelers have faith in Redman to carry the load.

    ''Coming from Bowie State, nobody really even thought that I would amount to anything here, so I know any good that I did would probably spark a lot of people,'' Redman said. ''It was a lot easier to impress people then. Now, coming in, everybody's looking at me to be a No. 1 back and all eyes are on me, so it's kind of different from when I first came in until now.''

    Redman irked some veteran teammates three years ago when he spiked the ball after a touchdown during a goal-line drill as a rookie. He earned their respect through his work ethic, aggressive running style and commitment to the dirtier aspects of his job such as blocking.

    ''He sees the hole, he hits the hole, and he runs hard,'' tight end Heath Miller said. ''And I think that's infectious about the whole offense when you see a guy that runs this hard and fights for every yard as hard as he does.''

    During a ''backs-on-'backers'' drill Saturday, coaches lined up the ''main event'' finale as Redman vs. Woodley, who is one of the game's premier pass-rushers. Woodley conceded that, under a format that can be trying on a running back, Redman held his own.

    ''I don't think people fully realize he was a former state champion in wrestling,'' cornerback Ike Taylor said of Redman. ''So he's hard to bring down. And he's got that `man mentality.'

    ''Isaac is just, in a word, tough.''

    NOTES: Monday is a day off for the players. ... WR Emmanuel Sanders was held out of Sunday's practice as a precaution. Last season, Sanders was hampered by a foot injury and the rainy week led to the Steelers practicing on an artificial turf field. ... CB Keenan Lewis left practice early due to a shoulder sprain that will be evaluated. ... LT Trai Essex and rookie RG David DeCastro also were forced out of practice but coach Mike Tomlin indicated they will be back for the team's next workout Tuesday.

    http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/ar...elers/11327812

  2. #52
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Mendenhall, teammates battle through ACL injuries

    LATROBE, Pa. (AP) Seven months to the day after tearing the ACL in his right knee, Rashard Mendenhall said on Wednesday that he's "right on schedule" with his rehabilitation.

    When asked if he has any idea what, exactly, that schedule entails, the Pittsburgh Steelers running back responded, "No, none at all."

    Join the club. After all, uncertainty surrounding recovery from ligament reconstruction surgery is a trend for the Steelers.

    Mendenhall is one of three veteran Pittsburgh starters who sustained torn ACLs in January. Nose tackle Casey Hampton and offensive tackle Max Starks each went down during Pittsburgh's wild card playoff loss in Denver Jan. 8.

    Because of the position he plays and the sometimes-violent pressure placed on lateral movement of the knee by a running back, Mendenhall's recovery is being monitored most closely.

    "He has to cut harder," said Hampton, who is rehabilitating from a torn ACL for the third time, "and have more confidence in his knee before he comes back."

    Hampton said the previous experience he has recovering from that surgery gives him an advantage over Mendenhall. Hampton sustained the injury in 1997 while in college at Texas, and again in 2004 with the Steelers (No. 7 in the AP Pro32). This is the second time he tore the ACL in his left knee; in 2004, it was his right knee.

    Hampton, who was on the field stretching with his teammates for the afternoon practice Wednesday, said Mendenhall will be tentative when he first takes part in contact drills.

    "No question he will be," Hampton said. "And that's how I was when I tore mine, too. That's just how it is because you've just never had it before.

    "I know I'm not going to tear anything again. (Mendenhall) might know it - but might not be as confident, you know what I mean?"

    Mendenhall, apparently, doesn't. The Steelers first-round pick in 2008 said he has heard others talk about the mental block of "trusting" the reconstructed knee to be able to handle the extraordinary stress playing professional football places on it.

    He just says he's not experiencing any of that anxiety.

    "Mentally, it hasn't been difficult at all," Mendenhall said. "It's really just getting your leg back to normal."

    Fellow Steelers running back Baron Batch sustained the ACL injury Aug. 11 of last season. To that point, he had been making an impression as a standout rookie.

    It wasn't until almost a full calendar year later that Batch put on a set of shoulder pads for practice (this past Saturday). Batch said that, going into that practice, he decided he was going to make the same lateral cut he did when he was injured 50 weeks prior.

    "Being able to do that," Batch said, "helps with confidence."

    Tomlin praised Batch for showing no hesitation with the knee. Mendenhall isn't even to that point yet where he would test the knee during practice. Like Starks and Hampton, he is on the physically unable to perform list. Mendenhall has been working out away from the players for the most part, although he has jogged along the back of the end zone during at least one team practice.

    "It's hard to say, as far as percentage or how much I'm pushing things, but everything that we've done so far... has been successful," Mendenhall said. "So just taking steps as we go along."

    Mendenhall had only 928 rushing yards last season before the injury in the regular-season finale, though he did have nine touchdowns. His 13 rushing touchdowns in 2010 ranked tied for second in the NFL; his 1,273 rushing yards that season were fifth-most in the AFC.

    Mendenhall resisted putting any timetable for his return to the practice field, let alone to game action. Hampton said his goal is to play in the regular-season opener Sept. 9 at Denver.

    Starks said he hasn't set a projected return from the PUP list or a goal for suiting up in a game. Starks became a free agent soon after tearing the ACL in his right knee against the Broncos.

    Pittsburgh drafted Mike Adams with its second-round pick to be its left tackle of the future. Satisfied with the progress of Starks' rehabilitation, the Steelers signed him a week before camp began to provide insurance.

    The affable Starks has often been on the sidelines during practices at St. Vincent College.

    "It's been day-to-day," Starks said of the rehabilitation, "just testing everything to make sure we're not rushing it too soon."

    Starks is ahead of the pace he was on last season, when was unsigned until Oct. 5. He started at left tackle four days later and kept the job the remainder of the season.

    NOTES: QB Ben Roethlisberger revealed he has a minor torn rotator cuff injury sustained in a loss to Baltimore in November. Other than not throwing as much prior to practice, Roethlisberger has not been limited by the ailment. When asked if Roethlisberger's arm causes the team any concern, Tomlin answered, "None." ... S Damon Cromartie-Smith was taken off the PUP list and practiced for the first time on Wednesday. ... LB LaMarr Woodley did not practice, but is not injured. Tomlin said he is giving days off to selected veterans who have history of injury to "preserve" them. ... RB John Clay (groin) and RB Chris Rainey (heat exhaustion) did not finish practice.
    http://stats.sfgate.com/fb/story.asp...ef=hea&tm=&src=

  3. #53
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  4. #54
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    Hampton, who was on the field stretching with his teammates for the afternoon practice Wednesday, said Mendenhall will be tentative when he first takes part in contact drills.

    "No question he will be," Hampton said. "And that's how I was when I tore mine, too. That's just how it is because you've just never had it before.
    A tentative Mendenhall is not going to be an effective Mendenhall. The kid already had tentative tendencies when picking a hole to run through. Plus, Mendenhall has not shown the ability to break from that first tackler and one has to wonder if this injury will exacerbate his tendencies.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    A tentative Mendenhall is not going to be an effective Mendenhall. The kid already had tentative tendencies when picking a hole to run through. Plus, Mendenhall has not shown the ability to break from that first tackler and one has to wonder if this injury will exacerbate his tendencies.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. That's precisely what I have been saying all along.

  6. #56
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    FWIW, in the games i saw this preseason, the OL was doing a much better job of opening some holes for the RBs

    if that is indeed the case, im excited to see what medny can do with that. if he continues the spinning stuff then he probably wont be back next year

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ-STEELER View Post
    FWIW, in the games i saw this preseason, the OL was doing a much better job of opening some holes for the RBs

    if that is indeed the case, im excited to see what medny can do with that. if he continues the spinning stuff then he probably wont be back next year
    Absolutley. Any hesitation on Mendy's part was largely due to a lack of holes to run through primarily because of the crap interior line play. Colon should help that. Unfortunately Foster will still be on the other side. Run left...a whole lot.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  8. #58
    Hall of Famer Sugar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Absolutley. Any hesitation on Mendy's part was largely due to a lack of holes to run through primarily because of the crap interior line play. Colon should help that. Unfortunately Foster will still be on the other side. Run left...a whole lot.
    I think this is a fair assessment. Mendy is a good RB IMO, but he was trying to find a hole instead of trying to make one. That's his style, so hopefully if there actually is a hole to hit, he can do it.

  9. #59
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Absolutley. Any hesitation on Mendy's part was largely due to a lack of holes to run through primarily because of the crap interior line play. Colon should help that. Unfortunately Foster will still be on the other side. Run left...a whole lot.
    ??? Run left?

    We would have run left a-plenty if DeCastro was healthy, because DeCastro dominated at Stanford by pulling left from his RG spot and leading the RB through the hole on the left side. Without DeCastro out now, we won't likely be doing much of that at all anymore. We should, however, continue to run G-power to the right side, since Willie Colon has displayed the ability to pull right from his LG spot and eliminate defenders on the second level.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    ??? Run left?

    We would have run left a-plenty if DeCastro was healthy, because DeCastro dominated at Stanford by pulling left from his RG spot and leading the RB through the hole on the left side. Without DeCastro out now, we won't likely be doing much of that at all anymore. We should, however, continue to run G-power to the right side, since Willie Colon has displayed the ability to pull right from his LG spot and eliminate defenders on the second level.
    You obviously have a copy of the playbook that I didn't get but the intent of my statement was run behind Colon not Foster. If that is G-Power then G-Power their asses all day long.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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