Steelers Film Room: Camp Battles: Jonathan Dwyer Vs. Isaac Redman

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Part 1: Running the Ball

Isaac Redman

When asked about former Steeler Mike Wallace, Mike Tomlin would often call him a one trick pony. Who knows what the motive was behind it, but Coach Tomlin was pretty dead on about this. All you need to do is send Mike Wallace on a fly route and almost always, he would gain at least 50 yards. While Mike Wallace had many other holes in his game, he was very good at this one trick.

In Isaac Redman’s case, after watching about 95% of his snaps in 2012, one could arguably label him a one-trick pony. Like Dwyer, Redman does not have much speed, and quite honestly, he is even slower than Dwyer. I often found him coming slow to the hole, but he does a good job of squeezing through tight spaces. From what I saw, Isaac Redman is a north-south runner that is a dominant runner up the middle. When he was asked to turn the corner and run outside, the play often ended up as a loss because Redman just did not have the speed to turn the corner. When Redman runs up the middle, he is scary. His balance is incredible, and his strength his at a high level. He does well at not dancing before he hits the hole, like a lot of running backs like to do. Finally, one of the most underrated parts of Redman’s game is his spin move. For being a slower guy, he has one of the better spin moves in the league. Many times players will try to spin before making contact with the defender, but what most players don’t understand is that you spin OFF of the defender once you make contact. Redman is one of the better goaline backs, as he displayed in the play I have broken down below.

Coaches Film from NFL Game Rewind

For this play late in the 4th quarter against the Jets, the offense is running a basic goaline off tackle play with the left guard pulling. The Jets defense is running a basic goal line defense where all of the defenders are firing off of the ball, trying to prevent the running back from crossing the goal line.

Coaches Film from NFL Game Rewind

Right from the beginning, the Jets defensive line blows up the right side of the offensive line, which is the direction the play is intended to go. This play is becoming more and more difficult for Redman to make.

Coaches Film from NFL Game Rewind

Redman sees a defender break through, so he prepares to make contact while he double covers the football.

Coaches Film from NFL Game Rewind

Redman runs into two defenders and he looks to be fairly blocked in. The play appears to be over with the safety coming in as well.

Coaches Film from NFL Game Rewind

Redman turns around and redirects to go around the guard Willie Colon. Because fullback Will Johnson was able to kick out the defender, Redman now has a more clear lane to the endzone.

Coaches Film from NFL Game Rewind

Redman puts his shoulder down as defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson tries to tackle him. Redman has such good balance that he stays up.

Coaches Film from NFL Game Rewind

Isaac Redman scores a touchdown as he spins off of Wilkerson, showcasing his power as well as his balance. Another successful goaline play for Redman.

Additional Notes:

After showing a lot of goal line potential in the preseason of 2009, Redman was given the nickname “Redzone Redman.” I can’t agree more after watching his film in 2012. He has the ability to make big plays in the redzone, but to me, he is pretty much limited to that. He lacks the homerun speed needed to break for long touchdowns. He would often get caught from behind because of this.

All I can say is, Redman, if given a role as a change of pace back, can be very dangerous in short yardage situations. His pure strength makes it very difficult to bring him down. If you are looking for a goaline/short yardage back, Redman is one of the best in the league.

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Topics: Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers

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