Pundits have long joked that “NFL”stands for “Not for Long.” The 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers roster appears to embody that idea. Just ask Isaac Redman.
Isaac Redman began the Steelers season as the starter. Injuries limited him in training camp, but that was because the coaches want to keep him fresh. Redman of course started in the Trashing vs. Tennessee, but did not play well.
An injury to Stephens LaRod-Howling forced Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin to shallow some pride and welcome Jonathan Dwyer back, only days after cutting Dwyer. Redman was slated to play vs. Cincinnati, but injured his head on the kickoff. That limited him in action for the rest of the game. Redman got into the game vs. Chicago but was ineffective.
The Steelers deactivated for the victory against the Jets and then the victory over the Ravens.
- Now its over for Redman, at least in Pittsburgh.
Steelers Err in Letting Redman Go
ESPN’s Scott Brown said that the Steelers decision to waive Redman was “inevitable.” Redman was apparently fourth on the depth chart, and had no clear special teams role.
It make little business sense to pay a man 1.3 million dollars to stand on the sidelines in street clothes. But if the Steelers think that this is all that Redman was going to be required to do during the year, they’re fooling themselves.
- As injuries to players like Levi Brown, Marcus Gilbert, Ramon Foster, and Maurkice Pouncey show, lighting can and does strike twice in the NFL.
In three games Le’Veon Bell has clearly shown he is the most talented of the Steelers running backs. Should he remain healthy for the year, all signs point to Bell establishing himself as a feature back. But the phrase “if he can stay healthy” is the operative one. Bell suffered a Lisfranc injury in training camp. LaRod-Howling has already been lost for the year.
Felix Jones is playing well and Jonathan Dwyer is running on every carry as if it is his last chance to show that he belongs in the NFL, which it is. But Isaac Redman has already shown he belongs in the NFL.
- He did it when he scored the winning touchdown vs. Baltimore in 2010.
- He did it with a near hundred yard performance in the 2011 season finale.
- He did it again with a 100 yards in the Tebowing the Steelers suffered in the playoffs game vs. Denver.
- He did it last year when he gouged the Giants for 147 years rushing.
No, Redman is not a starting caliber NFL running back. But over three seasons on the active roster Redman has shown himself to be a gamer – someone who steps up when its all on the line. As a runner Redman showed a motor that did not stop, and his ability as a short yardage back was a true asset to the team. Dwyer has been taking up that role recently, but with Dwyer the issue has always been his commitment and his consistency.
- Redman’s commitment has never been at issue, and Dwyer doesn’t have nearly a “highlight roll” like the one cited for Redman above.
None of the reports comment on the salary cap implications of the move. The Steelers have salary cap issues. If they’re not obligated to pay Redman the balance of his salary for 2013 then perhaps, perhaps the move makes sense from a numbers perspective.
But given his pedigree and the potential for injury, this move looks like a case of the Steelers being pennywise and dollar foolish.
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