Steeler Nation, have Dwyer and Redman missed their opportunity to be a starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
The better question may be, are they now battling one another not for a starting spot but for a roster spot?
The 2012 season may have been Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman’s last window of opportunity to become the Steelers starter and neither running back stepped up and seized that opportunity.
Dwyer led the Steelers in rushing with 623 yards and 2 touchdowns and a 4.0 yard average. Dwyer’s biggest problem in his short career has been conditioning. Too many times last season Dwyer seemed to need a break during games. Head coach Mike Tomlin warned about conditioning at the end of 2011 season by posting a picture of Dwyer in front of the entire team stating if he showed up at camp overweight he would be out of a job.
Though Dwyer has shown flashes of being starter material, he has yet to show the consistency or reliability needed in a full time starting NFL running back.
It looked as though Isaac Redman had a great shot at becoming a starter last season but early injuries to both ankles hampered him all season. Redman ran for 410 yards and only a 3.7 average per carry. Redman has been a reliable back up most of his career but has never stepped up and been a consistent starter. Redman is heading into his 5th year and has not cracked 500 yards rushing in a single season.
The Steelers entered this off-season looking to upgrade the backfield. They also brought in Ahmad Bradshaw for a look. Kevin Colbert had this to say about the state of the Steelers running game before the daft:
“Where we were in the running game last year was indicative of the talent at the position…. That group of players didn’t produce the way we anticipated they would.”
The Steelers ranked a meek 26th in the NFL in rushing so Colbert’s words do not bode well for Redman or Dwyer.
Add the fact that the Steelers chose running back Le’Veon Bell out of Michigan State in the 2nd round of this years draft and the writing may be on the wall for either Redman or Dwyer.
The Steelers did not draft a back that high and of Bell’s caliber to sit the bench. Dwyer was rumored to be on the trade block the day after Bell was drafted.
Other backs on the Steelers roster have special teams skills such as Baron Batch and LaRod Stephens-Howling. Redman and Dwyer are not known to have special team skills.
So you see Steeler Nation Redman and Dwyer are fighting for their NFL lives and the loser could very well be sent packing! Who would you keep?