The Pittsburgh Steelers displayed a laughable rushing attack last Sunday against Tennessee. How do they propose to fix this problem? By starting the same guy who shat the bed last Sunday!
Yes, Isaac Redman will start at running back Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.
And herein lies one of the big problems with the Steelers. Nobody has talked more than I have about what a bunch of arrogant, lazy, self-serving posers they have on that team. However, nice guys don’t win football games. Talent does.
Unfortunately, one of the hallmarks of the Mike Tomlin regime is the rise of the Try-Hards. Tomlin finds guys who are short on talent but try very hard and he becomes determined to make them into starters. More often than not, these Try-Hards end up contributing very little while more talented players idle on the bench. If you’re running a college program, rewarding Rudy is fine – if you’re trying to win games in the NFL, you play the guys who’ll help you win.
Isaac Redman has been a Steeler for three years. He’s never demonstrated he’s anything more than a good short yardage back and capable backup. Yet Tomlin likes that he’s a hard worker – never mind anybody undrafted out of football powerhouse Bowie State had better work hard if they expect to get a second look – so the Steelers continually use him as the featured back in a foolish quest to reward one of the teacher’s pets.
“Obviously he played a bad game. He’ll be given an opportunity to redeem himself.” said Tomlin at his weekly press conference. Why? Why should he be given an opportunity to redeem himself? What in his three year history here leads anybody to believe he’ll suddenly morph into the second coming of Barry Foster?
“That depends on his dependability. We’ll play it by ear and see how he looks on the practice field and in the classroom.” responded Tomlin when asked about plans to use newly re-signed Jonathan Dwyer. And therein lies the proof of my Try-Hard hypothesis. Dwyer doesn’t kill himself at practice or makes doodles of naked women while watching game tape so Tomlin thinks he’s a slacker.
According to the team’s latest depth chart, Dwyer is already buried behind Felix “Zero Carries” Jones as third string back. Considering they only have three healthy backs, that doesn’t bode well for his playing time. No, I don’t think Dwyer is the next AD but I do think he’s a helluva lot better than iRed and probably a more capable runner than Jones, too. At some point, you gotta worry less about rewarding blue collar effort and start paying attention to actual performance on the field.
In the meantime, Principal Tomlin will be too busy handing out detentions to notice his running game is an absolute embarrassment.