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Steelers Blog

Ready to run with it

Posted by Teresa Varley on November 8, 2012 – 9:10 pm

There is nothing Isaac Redman hates more than standing on the sidelines being a spectator, so when he returned to the field last Sunday against the Giants after being inactive the previous two weeks, it came as a huge relief.

“It felt good to be back,” said Redman, who missed two games with an ankle injury. “I was out too long. I wanted to get back on the field and help the team win. I hate being on the sideline watching everybody go to war and I am not able to help.”

Redman definitely did his share to help against the Giants, rushing for 147 yards and a touchdown in the 24-20 win, turning out the performance he had been hoping for all season.

“When we were behind, and the running backs were down I knew it was going to be mostly me,” said Redman. “I wanted to put it on my shoulders and carry the team when it came to rushing. I didn’t want to let them down even though I was banged up. I just fought through it.”

The team should have Jonathan Dwyer back this week after he missed the Giants game with a quadriceps injury, and Rashard Mendenhall is also gradually working his way back to full health.

Coach Mike Tomlin said earlier this week that whoever is being productive when healthy is “going to get the totes.” That is something Redman likes to hear, knowing it’s up to each back to get the job done.

“That makes you feel better because you know the deciding factor is on you,” said Redman. “If you perform well, you will be in the game and get the ball. It’s who is playing well at the present time and it makes you feel good about yourself.

“You have to take the opportunity and run with it. You have to put your bid in and try to impress the coaches so when everybody is healthy you get your carries and are not sitting on the bench.”

While some might look at the lack of a definitive main guy in the running game right now, Redman thinks it can be an advantage to have three backs that are capable of starting and are all working towards the same goal.

“We are trying to win so at the end of the day I am not selfish saying I want to be the starting running back and carrying the ball 26 times a game,” said Redman. “We have three guys that are capable of being a starting running back and I would like to see all three of us get carries and be able to pound defenses out.

“It’s just scary to see what we can do when all three of us are able to carry the ball at the same time.”

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Giving teams a lot to prepare for

Posted by Teresa Varley on November 7, 2012 – 9:56 pm

Jonathan Dwyer knows when Rashard Mendenhall is healthy that the former number one draft pick will be back in the starting lineup. But even then, he can see everyone getting their shot in the backfield.

“We’ll just be a running back by committee,” said Dwyer. “Whoever has the hot hand gets more of the carries.”

Over the last three weeks Dwyer has had two 100-yard plus games, while Isaac Redman turned in a 147-yard performance against the New York Giants while Dwyer was injured.

Dwyer expects to be back on the field this week, while Mendenhall is also working his way back, possibly giving the team a full stable of healthy backs for the first time all season in a few weeks. If that happens, Dwyer feels the best plan of action is to give everyone a shot at carrying the ball, until someone gets going.

“It’s good to rotate, let everyone get a feel for it,” said Dwyer. “Everybody has a role, whatever that is. Whoever gets that feeling gets the majority of the carries and another guy rolls in when he gets tired. With all of us able to make plays when we touch the ball, who knows what can happen.”

Dwyer credits the recent success of the ground game with getting comfortable with Todd Haley’s playbook and finding running plays that work to the strengths of the backs.

“We just found things we like to do,” said Dwyer. “Coach Haley has a feel for us now. He knows how we are as individuals and he is going off of that.

“I had two big games and Isaac had a phenomenal game last week. It shows how deep the running back position is and teams have to prepare for all three of us and Baron (Batch), Will (Johnson) and (Chris) Rainey. They have to prepare of all of us.”

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Clark, Redman practice; five others don’t

Posted by Teresa Varley on October 31, 2012 – 4:50 pm

Five players missed practice on Wednesday, including running back Jonathan Dwyer (quadriceps), tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle), safety Troy Polamalu (calf), and linebackers Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring) and LaMarr Woodley (hamstring).

In addition, running backs Baron Batch (shin), and Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) practiced only on a limited basis.

There was good news, though, as safety Ryan Clark was a full participant in practice after suffering a concussion against the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

“I got dinged. It was a football play,” said Clark. “I passed my test this morning that I had to take. Practice was another test. You have to make sure none of the other systems linger from having a concussion. I feel good. I am going to continue preparing to get ready for the game on Sunday.”

Also back on the practice field was running back Isaac Redman, who missed the last few weeks with an ankle injury.

“I feel pretty good,” said Redman. “I got loosened up as practice went along. I felt good. There were no problems.

“I am ready to go. I have been sitting out too long. I am ready to get back on the field.”

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Mendenhall plans on playing

Posted by Teresa Varley on October 15, 2012 – 7:23 pm

A week ago the Steelers were at full strength at running back, but going into Sunday’s game against the Bengals the rotation there is uncertain.

Rashard Mendenhall, who returned from his ACL injury against the Eagles two games ago, injured his Achilles against the Titans on Thursday night, while Isaac Redman suffered an ankle injury.

Mendenhall, though, thinks he will be ready to go this week.

“I’m planning on being able to play,” Mendenhall said after Monday’s practice. “It’s a little tight. We’re just kind of working through it this week. I’m just taking it day-by-day. It’s not something I’m worried about too much.

“I know we’re both trying to get back. We’ll be day-to-day. Come Sunday night we’ll know for sure.”

Mendenhall said the Achilles injury could have resulted from a combination of favoring other areas coming off the ACL injury, as well as the short week coming back from playing on a Sunday to Thursday. He knows it’s a risk that comes with the game.

“I’m not frustrated at all,” said Mendenhall. “It’s just part of it. I’m going to continue to work. I’ve been in this position before. I’m just going to continue to work out of it. This process is a long process coming off of a major surgery so I’m just continuing to get better with it.

“With every extra day I’m just trying to do everything I can – work out, get extra treatment, different things like that.”

If either Mendenhall or Redman can’t go on Sunday, the Steelers do have a stable of running backs ready to carry the load, including Baron Batch, Chris Rainey and Jonathan Dwyer, who has been inactive since Mendenhall has returned to action.

“It’s just been a numbers game,” said Dwyer. “I don’t play as much special teams as the other guys. I am just preparing for it and am excited to get the opportunity. I just have to do what I have been doing, I try to make some type of play to get the team going and do whatever I can to help us get the win.”

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Timing is right for bye

Posted by Teresa Varley on September 26, 2012 – 8:12 pm

When most of the Steelers’ players looked at the timing of their bye week, coming after just three games, they had some reservations about it being a good time or not. But now that it is here, the timing is just about right.

“At first when I looked at the schedule I thought it was early,” said running back Isaac Redman. “But we are pretty banged up. It will be good to have this week off and get everyone back for the Eagles game.”

It’s a perfect time for players to heal physically, but to also think about things and what they can do to get back in the win column.

“I think we need the time to evaluate ourselves mentally,” said linebacker Larry Foote. “We need to get away and individually we need some soul searching, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Guys need to pick it up, look at themselves in the mirror and see what we can do.”

Foote expects everyone to come back after the bye recharged and ready to turn things around starting Oct. 7 against the Eagles. 

“We have had bad games, but not this early in the season, especially the last game when the offense was on fire and we couldn’t get off the field,” said Foote. “I trust these guys will get it right. I know the character of the guys and the coaches that we will get it corrected.”

He isn’t the only one who feels that way. Receiver Antonio Brown knows it’s frustrating going into the bye weekend with a losing record, but knows the team has the heart and talent to change that.

“We will pick it up,” said Brown. “We are going to get better. We will get guys back after the bye week.

“We are 1-2 and that is not where we wanted to start, but we still have a positive outlook and I think we will be fine.”

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Redman ready to move forward

Posted by Teresa Varley on September 5, 2012 – 7:22 pm

Running back Isaac Redman is hoping to see action this Sunday against the Broncos as he is coming off an ankle injury.

Coach Mike Tomlin has left the door open for Redman, as well as Rashard Mendenhall, James Harrison and Jason Worilds, to play in Denver. Now it’s just a matter of how Redman’s ankle continues to react in practice.

“Everything felt good. I am ready to move forward,” said Redman after practice on Wednesday. “I feel a lot better,” said Redman. “I am still waiting. I don’t know what is going on. Hopefully I can get my body ready for Sunday. That is why I am working hard, being in the training room early, and getting my ankle to 100 percent. It has been getting better every day. I am getting as much treatment as possible.

“I want to play real bad. I just am going to work real hard. I am going to fully practice, do everything, go through the whole practice and hopefully I don’t have any setbacks.”

Redman started last season when the Steelers lost to the Broncos in the AFC Wild Card game, having the best performance of his career with 17 carries for 121 yards, including a career-long 32-yard run.

But the individual stats didn’t mean much after the Steelers lost the game in overtime on an 80-yard touchdown catch by Demaryius Thomas.

“I was visualizing scoring the touchdown as he was running for the touchdown,” recalled Redman. “I wasn’t watching the play. I was on the sidelines stretching, getting my legs together and I heard the crowd go crazy. You have a good game, visualize yourself winning for your team and it’s sad to have it go down like that.”

Redman is hoping his vision for this season is much better, though, and loves the group of running backs the team has that includes himself, Mendenhall, Jonathan Dwyer, Baron Batch and Chris Rainey.

“It should be a great year,” said Redman. “We have a lot of running backs able to run the ball, catch it out of the backfield. I visualize us having a running back corps that is going to be known around the league as one of the best groups of running backs.”

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Door is still open for injured players

Posted by Teresa Varley on September 4, 2012 – 12:19 pm

The Steelers will be without guard David DeCastro and linebacker Stevenson Sylvester this week against the Broncos as they are both coming off surgery, but there is still hope for some other injured players to be on the field Sunday night.

Linebackers James Harrison and Jason Worilds and running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman have not been ruled out by Coach Mike Tomlin.

“They all worked in some capacity yesterday and we are going to leave the door open for all of those men and see where the week takes us,” said Tomlin. “A lot of their availability will depend on how they respond to a workload. We provided a workload for them yesterday. Today is a player’s day off. We’ll see where that takes us as we push into tomorrow and cumulatively throughout the week.”

Safety Robert Golden and cornerback Curtis Brown both practiced on Monday after being injured in the preseason and also could be available on Sunday night.

“Those (two) guys are less likely to miss PT, but some of the other guys I mentioned earlier are closer than others and we’ll just monitor their progress and make the decision as we push forward through the week and base that determination on how they respond to the work,” said Tomlin. “It was good work yesterday.

“I am encouraged by the work of all of those men, particularly the two linebackers who missed quite a bit of time during the preseason in James Harrison and Jason Worilds. I thought A – they were relatively sharp from an assignment standpoint and B – I thought they displayed pretty good overall physical conditioning for a couple of guys that hadn’t logged very much in helmet time in the early portions of the season. I am encouraged by that front.”

The Steelers will be without free safety Ryan Clark, who is unable to play in the high altitude in Denver because of complications he has due to the sickle cell trait.

“That has been our position in the past and will continue to be our position,” said Tomlin of Clark not playing. “Ryan understands that and is supportive of that. I am sure he will be a big supporter of his teammates, not only in the stadium this week but in preparation. He always has been that guy and I expect that to continue.”

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Post-Game Comments: Isaac Redman

Posted by Teresa Varley on August 26, 2012 – 7:51 pm



On rookie OL David DeCastro’s injury and how that affects blocking for the running game:

(DeCastro) is a good player. He was getting better every day. I hope it’s not too serious but around here the next guy up always steps in. Ramon Foster has been doing a great job since he’s been here. The next guy is always going to step up and play big.


On his confidence and calling running plays in goal line situations:

It feels good that they have the confidence in me. I’ve been wanting to get a goal line carry in a game for a long time. It just felt good to be able to get it in.


On his two-yard touchdown run:

It was me and the linebacker, which I knew was going to happen. I just tried to get my pads lowered and give him all I had.


On running behind FB Will Johnson:

Will Johnson is doing a heck of a job stepping in for DJ (David Johnson). He’s getting better, too. Coach Tomlin has highlighted him a couple times in meetings showing how versatile he is. He can catch passes and he’s doing a great job stepping in for us.


On having a fullback vs. a one back system:

I love having a fullback. It varies by what play you’re running really. It’s always good to have a fullback to lead you in there to get up on the linebackers.


On the short week and what they want to improve on:

Just prove that we’re getting better, we weren’t perfect at all. We had a lot of mistakes so when we get back, we’ll get into the lab and fix the little nicks that we have.

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Redman: “I am hungry for some contact”

Posted by Teresa Varley on August 23, 2012 – 4:15 pm

Isaac Redman hasn’t been given his status for Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, but is happy with how he made it through the week of practice as he recovers from a hip injury.

“I have been feeling good, no setbacks this week,” said Redman. “I practiced all week long, I am not sore. I am ready to go.

“I thought I would be sorer from practicing. I wasn’t sure how my body would react. I don’t feel anything right now. It’s like I never injured it.”

Redman is hoping to get on the field and take some hits before the regular season gets underway on Sept. 9 in Denver.

“I would like to get in there a lot. Hopefully I will,” said Redman. “We will see what the coaches say, but hopefully I will get a lot of playing time.

“I want to get some contact. I haven’t really had too much live tackling. I played that one series in the Eagles game and that is pretty much all I have had all summer. I am hungry for some contact.”

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Redman: “I feel 10 times better”

Posted by Teresa Varley on August 21, 2012 – 9:10 pm

Running back Isaac Redman returned to practice on Tuesday, coming back from what tests showed was a hip injury.

“I feel a lot better,” said Redman. “I was getting treatment all last week. I feel 10 times better. It doesn’t hurt me as much, just doing normal things like getting up and getting out of bed. I hope it doesn’t re-aggravate or come back.

“Moving sideways triggered it and it hurt. Right now my movement is feeling good. The trainers did a good job last week getting me ready.”

Redman plans on taking it slow getting back into practice, gradually working his way back with his eye on playing against Denver. But he also knows he still has a lot to prove.

“Around here it’s what have you done for me lately so you don’t want to get too comfortable sitting back not doing anything,” said Redman. “At the same time you don’t want to re-aggravate it and have it linger for the season. 

“I want to do as much as I can do without triggering it, without making it worse. Hopefully each day I can keep getting better and better and I accept that.”

Redman hated being a spectator against the Indianapolis Colts, last week, having a hard time just standing on the sidelines.

“It’s the first game I sat out since I have been here,” said Redman. “It’s hard sitting on the sidelines and not being out there helping the team win. This is my big opportunity and something like this happens.  

“It doesn’t hurt as bad as if it was Denver on Sunday night. That would be a different story. Hopefully I can get back and get ready for the Denver game.”

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Redman hoping injury is short lived

Posted by Teresa Varley on August 16, 2012 – 8:50 am

Running back Isaac Redman practiced on a limited basis the last two days, but is still bothered by a groin injury that seemed to impact him moreso on Wednesday.

“Me and (Jonathan) Dwyer tried to come back,” said Redman before Wednesday’s practice. “We tried to come back and just have two more fresh legs out there and give them a break when we could.”

Redman said while there is pain, he is hoping the injury won’t hamper him for long.

“It hurts a little,” he said. “It’s tough to run right now. It gradually got sore, I thought it was tight, but it just started getting worse. I heal pretty fast so hopefully I can get right past this.”

Redman is expected to be the starter when the Steelers open the regular season at Denver with Rashard Mendenhall still hurt, and he wants to make sure the offense doesn’t miss a beat.

“I expect to play well, play at a high level,” said Redman. “When I am starting I want to be one of the top running backs in the NFL. With hard work I feel like I have a good shot.”

Redman doesn’t know how long the starting job will be his, with much of it dependent on Mendenhall’s status, but that won’t have an impact on his play.

“My goal is to play well no matter what the outcome is when Rashard gets back,” said Redman. “I just want to play my heart out and at a top level so whatever decision the coaches make it’s up to them.”

Redman can see the daily improvement from the offense, and as camp at St. Vincent College winds down he is happy with the progress.

“We are getting better every day,” said Redman. “Everyone is still learning, but they are getting better every day.

“A lot of guys are able to play faster now instead of just going out there thinking. Before when we broke the huddle you saw a lot of guys eyes looking around. Now we are able to play a lot faster.”

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Redman playing it smart

Posted by Teresa Varley on July 31, 2012 – 6:00 am

Isaac Redman knows that he is going to be busy during training camp as the team’s top back with Rashard Mendenhall on the PUP list. So he is making sure he takes care of his body, resting when he has to, getting in the hot tub and one of the most important things…getting in the cold tub.

“You never want your legs to get tired so I am always in the cold tub,” said Redman. “I get in the cold tub before the walk through, after the walk through, trying to stay ahead of the game. I make sure I get in the cold tub.”

While it might seem like an easy way to keep the legs in shape, imagine immersing your body in a cold tub that is about 56 degrees.

“You can never get used to it,” said Redman. “We have a tradition when you get in you have to go all of the way in. You have to dive all the way in with your head and it takes off the initial shock and you can sit down with no problem.”

Redman is apparently doing the right thing because he is earning praise from those who have to bring him down.

“He is a hard runner. You have to wrap him up,” said linebacker LaMarr Woodley. “When you hit him you can’t think he is falling down because he is spinning and he keeps his feet moving forward for yards.”

Cornerback Ike Taylor also likes what he sees in the rugged back.

“He is tough,” said Taylor. “He was a state champ in wrestling. He is hard to bring down. Isaac is tough.”

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Redman ready to carry the load

Posted by Teresa Varley on July 28, 2012 – 6:00 pm

Isaac Redman spent the offseason preparing to carry the load for the Steelers ground game throughout training camp and for as long as Rashard Mendenhall is sidelined with the knee injury he sustained at the end of the 2011 season.

“I have always worked hard, brought everything to each practice,” said Redman. “I know there is going to be a lot more on my shoulders and I will be ready.”

Redman is well aware all eyes will be on him, and while he knows the coaches have faith in him, he still understands he has to prove himself on a regular basis.

“I feel like the coaches know the type of player I am,” said Redman. “I just have to prove it day in and day out. I have worked hard since I have been here. I am going to come out and show them I have gotten better and come out and perform.”

Redman plans on seizing the opportunity while Mendenhall is out and continuing to compete for playing time when he returns.

“He is working hard. I am working hard,” said Redman. “He knows the type of player I am and that I can hold it down until he gets back.

“There is always competition when you are playing football. Each day you are competing. All of the running backs, we are out here competing against each other. Once the season starts there is always going to be competition each time you step on the field.”

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Redman plans on visiting Wilson

Posted by Teresa Varley on January 10, 2012 – 4:10 pm

Isaac Redman plans on visiting running backs coach Kirby Wilson, who was injured last Friday in a fire at his house.

“He had surgery yesterday, the first of many,” said Redman. “Coach Tomlin talked to us and said that he was strong enough to get through surgery. That’s a good thing.

“We can go see him and talk to him. I talked to his family. I am going to visit him and his family later today.”

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Post-Game Reaction: Isaac Redman

Posted by Teresa Varley on January 8, 2012 – 11:00 pm


On how he felt after the final play of the game
“Your heart kind of drops. It’s just unfortunate to fight back and fight as hard as we did to come back and to end it like that leaves a sour taste in your mouth.”

On whether he was surprised by Tebow’s performance
 “He wins games. The guy is a winner. He played real well out there tonight. I wish him luck for the rest of the season.”

On where this loss ranks with the hardest ones of his career
“When you’ve got that feeling like the offense is going to have another chance to get back out there on the field, and to look up and see a guy running down the sideline kind of takes a lot out of you.”

On whether the loss hurts more because they were playing for Running Backs Coach Kirby Wilson
“It definitely does. Probably the reason we fought so hard like we did—we’ve been fighting all season, fighting a lot of injuries, but then Coach Kirb going through what he’s going through, it kind of sucked that we couldn’t bring the game ball home for him.”

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Steelers Playoff Diary – 1/3

Posted by Teresa Varley on January 3, 2012 – 8:18 pm

Tuesday, January 3
The day started off the same way it ended, with snow falling in Pittsburgh. It was one of those days that keeping up with snow removal wasn’t an easy task. The Steelers field crew did an admirable job of clearing the field bright and early, even though there wasn’t practice. But as the day wore on, they were back at it again as the field was once again covered.

There was some big news coming out of the practice facility on Tuesday, particularly during the Mike Tomlin press conference. Tomlin announced that safety Ryan Clark won’t play in Denver because of the dangers involved with having the sickle cell trait and playing in the high altitude. Tomlin said Clark was okay with the decision, as both sides know it’s for his safety and that is definitely what comes first.

With Clark out, Ryan Mundy will get the start.

“In a nutshell, he is starter capable,” said Tomlin. “He has proven that. We are comfortable with what he is capable of doing. Not only him, but we also have a great deal of confidence in Will Allen as well, who is also another veteran backup safety with starter experience. They are both quality special teams players. We have no reservations of what those guys are going to be able to do for us if called upon.”

Anthony Madison was in on Tuesday signing with the team. Madison received a warm welcome from his teammates and was thrilled to be back.

“These guys are like family. I kept in touch with a lot of them,” said Madison. “They are good solid people, from the players to the coaches to the staff. They are people you want in your corner. To see Greg Warren, (Casey) Hampton, all of the guys, it’s always great to have a warm welcome.”

Tuesday was the players’ day off but you would have never known it. There was a steady stream of players in and out of the practice facility all day, some getting treatment, others working out in the weight room and some getting in a little extra film study. They all know how important this week’s game is and everyone wants to take advantage of every minute they can to prepare.

While Clark won’t be playing this week, he will be hosting the Steelers Huddle Show taping at Heinz Field on Wednesday night with special guest Antonio Brown. Stop by and check it out.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out what Hines Ward had to say about his 1,000th career reception, you can do so by watching a one-on-one interview with him. He also said that he has plenty more left in him.

“I don’t want to retire. I don’t want to play for another team,” said Ward. “I still have two years left on my contract so I want to take it year by year.”

Don’t miss what else

he said about retirement…or lack of it.

LaMarr Woodley tries to hide from the camera

Isaac Redman works out in the weight room
Today was Steelers Digest day…the latest cover. Get your subscription today

Coach Tomlin’s Press Conference

Setting up for the Mike Tomlin Show and Hines Ward interview

Snow at the start of the day … and the end of the day

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