The Steelers were not exactly “set” at the running back position when Le’Veon Bell was healthy. Now that the rookie is set to miss an extended period of time with a foot injury, Pittsburgh’s situation at running back became much more murky.
Unsatisfied with their depth at the position in the form of Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, and LaRod Stephens-Howling, the Steelers traded outside linebacker Adrian Robinson to the Eagles for Felix Jones.
I cannot say I blame Pittsburgh’s brass for the move, although losing Robinson does hurt the Steelers from a depth perspective at outside linebacker. I do see the departure of Robinson meaning one of two things though: the team has confidence that Chris Carter can turn the corner in his third year, or Alan Baxter has provided them with enough confidence for him to stick on the 53-man roster during his rookie campaign.
I for one don’t know how much productive football that the former Arkansas speedster has left in him, especially after he went through such an injury-plagued and underwhelming stint in Dallas. Overall, the 22nd overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft rushed for 2,728 yards and 11 touchdowns during his five-year career, but he could never quite win the starting job outright for the Cowboys.
At least to me, the addition of a running back who can catch the ball and chip in on special teams does not hurt the Steelers at this point in the preseason. Thus, a trade like the Jones-for-Robinson one does not bother me very much. I do hope that it sends a message to Redman and Dwyer that they must step up their performances this fall. Otherwise, those two will be left out in the cold when their contracts expire following the 2013 campaign.
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