Now that rookie running back Le'Veon Bell has a stranglehold on the No. 1 job in Pittsburgh, the Steelers have elected to part ways with backup Isaac Redman.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the news:
#Steelers release Isaac Redman . Sign Wilson from practice squad.— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) October 21, 2013
Redman, 28, had been a healthy scratch since Week 4, so it makes sense the Steelers released the Bowie State product.
Now in his fifth year, Redman played a pivotal role as a reserve with 110 carries in each of the last two seasons. This year, Redman was simply phased out of the backfield by the second-round pick Bell and the combo of Jonathan Dwyer and Felix Jones.
On the season, Redman was given just 11 opportunities to carry the ball before the coaching staff quickly looked elsewhere for production.
Did Pittsburgh make the right move?
The release is primarily made possible thanks to the stellar play of Bell, who stands out as one of the only remaining every-down running backs in the NFL.
Bell touched the ball 20 times in Week 7 and accounted for 99 total yards. Since his return three weeks ago from a foot injury, he has averaged 19.6 touches per game as the featured back.
However, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has another theory as to why Redman found himself released:
So why did they cut him? And why had they not dressed him for the past three games?
It may have been what he told me about playing the second game in Cincinnati with a concussion after he was hit in the head on the opening kickoff.
“I had a concussion,” Redman said on Sept. 25. “I was pretty much out of it the rest of the game. I just tried to go back in.”
I asked him how he passed the concussion tests because he went into the locker room to be tested, but later came back and played.
“I said I was all right,’’ he answered.
Redman did not dress for a game after that story and one person who works for the organization told me he was a bleeping idiot for saying it.
Fortunately for Redman, he likely won't go long without work thanks to a variety of teams in need of help at the position. As Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review points out, the New York Giants may come calling soon:
Quite sure the Giants will take a look at Redman.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly_Trib) October 21, 2013
An owner of a 4.1 yards-per-carry career average and a bruiser between the tackles, Redman will find an NFL home rather quickly.
During his stint in Pittsburgh, Redman totaled 1,148 rushing yards and five touchdowns. He has also proven himself capable in the passing game, with 50 career receptions for 408 yards and two scores.
Nearing the age of 30, though, as a running back in the NFL is a critical time in players' careers, so Redman will hope to latch on elsewhere sooner rather than later.
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