I want to prove that I am a starting running back in this league, … I have been working hard even though I only had two carries in a game. I have been practicing, I just haven’t been playing. I want to prove that I worked hard all summer and that I am a starting running back.
Isaac Redman is in the middle of the final year of his current contract with the Steelers, and the veteran running back definitely appears motivated to shine during the 2013 campaign.
Despite the fact that Redman was listed as the “co-number one” at the running back position with Le’Veon Bell last month, a stinger sustained before Pittsburgh’s second preseason game sidelined him for the team’s final three contests. Although Redman will be the team’s “number one” running back with Bell sidelined, he is simply not content with having the starting gig. The bruising Redman wants to take advantage of it.
Last fall, it looked like the starting job was Redman’s to lose after he set career highs in rushing yards (479), rushing touchdowns (three), and receptions (18) in 2011. The former Bowie State star even capped off the year with a tremendous performance during Pittsburgh’s postseason loss to Denver (17 carries, 121 yards, two catches, 21 yards).
Unfortunately for Redman, injuries and inconsistent play forced him to share his starting gig in 2012 with the likes of Jonathan Dwyer and Rashard Mendenhall. The Steelers’ running game was such a liability last fall that their struggles essentially forced the front office to burn the 48th overall pick on Bell in April.
With Bell injured though, the starting running back job belongs to Redman for however long he can keep it. His comments above illustrate how much he wants to take advantage of his current opportunity, and I am sure that he wants to illustrate to the rest of the league that he can be a viable starter in case the Steelers’ brass decide to move on with Bell after the 2013 season is finished. Pittsburgh’s running game was nothing short of dreadful last year in terms of productivity, so it is nice to see Redman motivated to become the “every-down back.”
I just hope that the offensive line can do Redman and the other backs some favors this fall by being a competent blocking unit in front of them.
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