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The answer to the Steelers backfield is already on the roster

I suppose I’m a lone wolf on this one, at least when it comes to the main stream media and social networking world. It seems that everyone is trying to tell me that Isaac Redman isn’t the long term answer at running back for the Steelers.

I keep seeing on twitter and reading on the web how so many, including some of the “experts”, say the Steelers need to draft another running back or find a veteran in free agency because Mendenhall won’t be ready for 2012. People say Redman can’t carry the load, that Rashard is so much better.  There’s no way that Redman can be as effective as Mendenhall, etc. You all know it, you’ve read and heard it too I’m sure.

Sorry, but I just don’t buy into that logic completely. I do not understand how one can say that Redman can’t do the job without giving him the chance.  What has he done that’s so bad to make you think he’s not fit to carry the ball 25 times a game? He’s never had the opportunity to be the feature back for a prolonged period of time, so why hold that against him? Since Mendenhall came to the team he’s been the feature back and Redman just comes in when asked, does his job, and then goes away until called on again.

One of the main arguments that I’ve read is that”If Redman was able to do it; Tomlin would have had him as the starter”. In theory this would be a good thought process, however the Steelers always hang on to established veterans giving them the benefit of the doubt rather than trying a younger upstart player. I’m not suggesting that’s necessarily a bad way to go, many teams do the same thing. Case in point, if Santonio Holmes were still on the team does anything think that Mike Wallace would have been the starter in his second year? More than likey no, because the Steelers would have been hanging onto Ward & Holmes with Wallace as the 3rd option for the time being.

The answer to the Steelers backfield is already on their roster. Spending anything higher than a 5th round pick on a backup runner this year would be unwise as far as I’m concerned.Tthere are too many other needs on this roster right now, as we all know. Give Redman a chance and let Jonathan Dwyer back him up. Bring back Moore if you want for insurance and have John Clay and Baron Batch in reserve.

Redman doesn’t have breakaway speed but I’ll consistent positive yardage every time as opposed to the occasional 20-30 yd. run that Mendenhall can give you when he breaks free.  Rashard is a fine running back; I have no problem with him other than the dancing before he hits the hole on the line. If he is able to return sooner than expected and he can play, so be it. Bring him on and I’ll be waving my terrible towel in support of #34.

Some say that Dwyer is not that good because we haven’t seen anything out of him save for a couple of games, but again it doesn’t mean he can’t be good. They also hold that training camp incident from 2011 over his head, but he’s since overcome that in my book. Maybe he’s not the second coming of Franco Harris and maybe Redman isn’t either. I certainly wouldn’t annoint any of the current running backs on the Steelers roster that type of honor yet. However I’m not ready to admit that neither of them will struggle this year to the point of hampering the offense.

No matter who is the ball carrier for the Steelers this year, the best way to have an effective running game is to have an effective offensive line. Pour your heart and soul into suring up that unit and all parts of the offense will fall into place, including the dreaded redzone deficiencies that plauged them last year.

Basically it comes down to this, until Redman proves me wrong in the regular season that he can’t handle the responsibility, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Isaac certainly is not lacking in confidence, he plays with a chip on his shoulder and that “me against the world” mentality that comes from a guy drafted from a smaller school. He feels he’s more than ready to carry the load and I’m ready to see him try.

 

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