Yesterday, Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer filled in for injured starting running back Rashard Mendenhall. There are those out there who are ver disappointed in Mendenhall’s start so far. Is it the o-lines fault or his own? Now that we’ve seen both Redman and Dwyer have their shares of carries, have they earned the right to continue starting over Mendenhall?
Here’s how their stats break down so far through five weeks: (Carries/Yards/Average/TD’s)
Mendenhall – 58/173/3/2
Redman – 37/156/4.2/1
Dwyer – 11/107/9.7/0
None have great stats except Dwyer. But, the majority of his yards came yesterday on a 76 yard run. For the most part Redman and Mendenhall have been ‘unimpressive.’ I will concede that the offensive line is a factor when looking at our running backs’ performance. But given the circumstances because of our offensive line, who has been performing better? Who will perform the best under these circumstances?
Redman has the better stats in yards per average. He is always moving forward and is not afraid to hit the smallest of holes if it means positive yards. He has more of a Bettis style of running – the legs don’t stop until the whistle blows. He showed some of that against the Titans. Mendenhall is the veteran starter. His average yards is down from last year and he looks very hesitant when he gets the ball – something that is a negative when running behind this offensive line. He has better wheels than Redman, but will he ever get the chance to break one outside?
It’s a tough call in my opinion. Pluses and minuses to both guys right now. Tomlin obviously likes his starter and alludes that he would prefer to stick with him. But if Mendenhall is not 100%, what makes anyone think he will run any better than he already has when he was completely healthy? For the time being, I would think that the Redman/Dwyer combo should continue until Mendenhall shows that he is 100% AND can run the way he needs in order to help move the sticks forward. Mendenhall is the starter, but he needs to find himself again. I don’t think the Steelers can afford that kind of ‘discovery’ on Sundays.
So Nation, I ask you: