Mike Tomlin isn’t one who will let the cat out of the bag any sooner than he has too. If there is the slightest doubt about who should play or any reason to think that keeping a decision secret till the last minute will give his team an advantage, he’ll keep everyone in suspense. That’s precisely the plan heading into the season opener in Denver this Sunday night it would appear.
The Steelers Running Back situation has been somewhat of a mystery, in that while everyone assumes that Isaac Redman will start and Jonathan Dwyer will play the Redman role from last season, we don’t know for sure yet. The coaching staff is keeping their plan under wraps, even from the players. Perhaps that’s due to several guys like Isaac Redman talking a bit too much about injuries and playing status during training camp.
There’s a general mindset with this team, with so many new faces and opportunities for playing time, that they may be trying to feel things out a bit early on before they really settle in on a regular rotation. Then again, Running Back by committee is not necessarily a bad thing when you have many talented runners on your team. Todd Haley would appear to prefer that approach overall in his offense.
“As of right now, we’ve been switching out every play [in practice],” said running back Isaac Redman. “It looks like they might want to use us as a group instead of one guy.”
Redman would appear to be the top back after stepping in for injured Mendenhall last season and rushing for 121 yards in the playoff loss in Denver. And, when the Steelers return to Sports Authority Field and open the regular season against Peyton Manning and the Broncos Sunday night, Redman likely will be the starting running back.
But Redman said nobody has told him he is the starter. What’s more, it is possible Jonathan Dwyer, who led all rushers in the preseason and has been the team’s most-improved player, could start against the Broncos. But nobody has told him, either.