PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Maybe his praise of a rookie’s 34-yard effort against the Jets didn’t mean much, but Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin plotted a distinct course for his running game by cutting veteran running back Isaac Redman today.
Redman, 29, who joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2009, and ran for 1,136 yards from 2010 through 2012, gained just 12 on ten carries through three games before missing the last three due to injury.
He was concussed during a kickoff in a Week 2 Monday night loss at Cincinnati, and he had not played since. Team officials were, presumably, displeased with an interview he gave 93.7 The Fan and Post-Gazette Steelers insider Ed Bouchette in which he claimed to have played hurt that night. Redman had also lost two fumbles in a season-opening loss to Tennessee.
What this means is that 24-year-old Jonathan Dwyer, who has gained a reputation for playing games like his job depended on each carry, just might have found that much sough-after job security. The Georgia Tech product only ran once for four yards, but it was for a third-down conversion, and he provided solid protection for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on a 19-yard scramble in Sunday’s last-second win over the Ravens.
It also means an increased workload for first-year back Le’Veon Bell. He ran for a game- and season-high 93 yards on 19 carries Sunday, and has registered 239 yards from scrimmage in his first three regular-season games.
As Bouchette pointed out earlier today on “The Fan Morning Show” (weekdays 5:40-10:00 A.M. on SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan), the Michigan State youngster could have easily hit the century mark–which, unfortunately, has become a more rare feat for Steeler tailbacks–had free agent Felix Jones not gotten his reps late in Sunday’s game.
It also means, oddly enough, the Steelers have cut each of their top three rushers from last season–Redman, Dwyer, and Rashard Mendenhall–within the past year.
To replace Redman on the active roster, the Steelers activated linebacker Kion Wilson from their practice squad.
Wilson, 26, has five total tackles in four games since joining the team as a free agent.
The Steelers travel to Oakland to take on the Raiders, another 2-4 team trying to escape the bottom of its division, just after 4:00 Sunday on KDKA-TV.