PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Steelers running back Isaac Redman understands head coach Mike Tomlin’s desire for improvement from his backfield, saying after practice Wednesday they simply need to execute better.

“It’s not putting the ball where it needs to be, or somebody getting beat, or missing a block,” Redman said. “A bunch of thing are happening that we’re trying to fix.”

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Having said that, Redman also told 93.7 The Fan’s Eric Hagman on the South Side Tomlin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley seem willing to adjust their playbook in order to increase productivity:

Redman and the rest continue to wait upon the return of top running back Rashard Mendenhall. It doesn’t appear they’ll have to wait much longer, though as Tomlin noted earlier this week, the Steelers want to see how Mendenhall handles contact before deciding on his status for Sunday’s 4:25 game in Oakland.

Mendenhall hasn’t seen game action since wrecking his ACL in the 2011 regular season finale at Cleveland, but he says contact exercises went well.

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“It was cool,” he told Post-Gazette reporter and 93.7 The Fan Steelers insider Ed Bouchette. “It felt normal, it felt natural. I’m still taking it a day at a time.”

Furthermore, he insisted he can be as good, if not better, than he was before that injury:

On a related note, fellow running back Jonathan Dwyer was one of seven Steelers who did not participate in the first practice of the week, as he was nursing a turf toe injury.

According to 93.7 The Fan’s Gregg Giannotti, Dwyer generally feels better and said this instance isn’t as bad as his previous case of turf toe.

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Listen to Gregg on The Fan Morning Show (weekdays 5:40-10:00 A.M.) Thursday on SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan, along with Jim Colony and Paul Alexander, for more Steelers insight.