Stat Predictions for Every Pittsburgh Steelers RB in 2012

Nick DeWittAnalyst IJune 19, 2012

Stat Predictions for Every Pittsburgh Steelers RB in 2012

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely have a greater emphasis on their running game in 2012. That could mean that the statistics for running backs will go up across the board, but that may not be the case. How each man fits into the team's plans for that part of the offense will be a key determination made by training camp and the preseason.

    Here's a look at some statistical projections for each of the team's running backs in 2012.

Isaac Redman

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    Redman projects as the team's starter and should be able to handle the majority of the carries. He has never shouldered that big of a load, so it will be tough to project a full season's worth of starting statistics. Extrapolating from his career numbers should give us a starting point.

    I would project Redman to carry the ball at least 20-25 times in each game and I think that he'll also be a player in the red zone and in the passing game as well.

    Here's a look at what I'd project for Redman as the team's starter for all 16 games. I've including statistics for the passing game since I believe he'll be part of that effort as well.

     

    Carries: 352

    Yards: 1,232

    Yards Per Carry: 3.5

    Touchdowns: 9

    Receptions: 25

    Receiving Yards: 155

    Receiving Touchdowns: 2

Baron Batch

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    In my opinion, Batch will end up being the team's secondary running back until Rashard Mendenhall is ready to resume his duties (more on that later). Batch has the chance to fulfill the role held by Mewelde Moore for the past several years.

    Batch's skills are relatively unique on this roster. He's a speedy back who can carry the load as a runner or break out of the backfield and become a good receiver. He should serve as the team's third down running back and he could find his way on in some spread formations.

    Carries: 42

    Yards: 160

    Yards Per Carry: 3.8

    Touchdowns: 2

    Receptions: 29

    Receiving Yards: 155

    Receiving Touchdowns: 3

Jonathan Dwyer

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    Dwyer is built similar to Rashard Mendenhall. He's never carried that kind of load in the NFL, however, so I don't think we should expect him to emerge as a starting candidate at any point this season, although he has flashed some serious skills.

    Rather, I think you'll see Dwyer more toward the goal line and in situations where the team needs a punch up the middle or off tackle. Starter Isaac Redman can do that, but I think the Steelers will use Dwyer to keep Redman fresh.

    I don't see much of a role in the passing game, so I'll leave those statistics out for Dwyer.

     

    Carries: 115

    Yards: 483

    Yards Per Carry: 4.2

    Touchdowns: 3

Chris Rainey

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    Rainey is a unique case. First, he's a rookie, so I don't think that he's going to see a ton of time. He's going to have to work hard just to make the roster. That's within his grasp because of blazing speed and receiving skills that almost put him in the category as a wide receiver.

    Second, he will potentially have a role as a kick returner or punt returner. That brings in a whole new set of statistics. So his case will look a bit different. I'll keep the usual running back lines in there.

    Carries: 22

    Yards: 124

    Yards Per Carry: 5.6

    Touchdowns: 2

    Receptions: 13

    Receiving Yards: 105

    Receiving Touchdowns: 2

    Kick Return Yards: 1,685

    Kick Return Touchdowns: 1

Rashard Mendenhall

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    This is a hard projection. The Steelers are pretty certain that Mendenhall will miss at least the first portion of the season. I don't think he'll be fit or asked to take on a full workload at all unless Isaac Redman drastically falters. That means he'll be relegated to part time duty. 

    I've projected the other statistics to roughly what the running backs would have been given for a workload last season. So anything Mendenhall gets will be in addition to that. Given the potential for an increased focus on the run, that's entirely possible.

    Here's a look:

    Carries: 100

    Yards: 410

    Yards Per Carry: 4.1

    Touchdowns: 2

    Receptions: 9

    Receiving Yards: 78

    Receiving Touchdowns: 1

John Clay

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    I don't have any illusions about six runners making the roster. Clay is almost exclusively a goal line back, so he isn't as essential. I think he'll be kept on the practice squad unless another team is after him. There are many backs who can do the same type of job, so that isn't really likely either.

    I don't have any statistics for him since I don't see him on the roster, so the only thing I can say is that if he makes the roster, expect him to only carry at the goal line.

    That could give him some odd statistics. He would likely have the most touchdowns on the team with the fewest yards and the lowest average per carry.