Isaac Redman Is Ready to Carry the Load in the Steelers Backfield
It was just three years ago when Isaac Redman was an overlooked running back coming out of Division II Bowie State. Despite being the school’s all-time leading rusher, the 6-foot bowling ball went undrafted. Redman didn’t let that get to him. Instead, Ike has worked at his craft and has slowly worked his way up the Steelers depth chart. When Rashard Mendenhall tore his ACL in the regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns, Redman finally got his opportunity to be the featured back in the Steelers playoff loss against Denver and he made the most of it totalling 121 yards on just 17 carries. His performance convinced the Steelers they didn’t need to pursue another veteran back even with Mendenhall rehabbing his knee.
Now three years after arriving in Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent, Redman is slated to be the starting running back when the Steelers open their season on September 9th.
Isaac Redman joined 93.7 the Fan in Pittsburgh with Vinny and Cook to talk about how he feels as training camp has gotten underway, if he thinks his role has changed now that he is slated to be the starting running back, on the opportunity in front of him to be a starting running back in the NFL, whether it his actually sunk in that he is going to be the starting running back and whether he gained confidence by his performance in the playoffs against Denver.
How he feels as training camp has gotten started:
“Feels good. My body is ready to go, we’re getting this offense down, everything is looking good, the offensive line is looking good so we’re ready to go.”
If he feels his role has changed now that he is slated to be the starter:
“Coming in I’m just trying to take more of a leadership role and try to get these younger guys ready to be able to be in the heat of the battle. We have a lot of young guys that are very talented but we just have to get that mindset and make sure they’re ready to go as far as blitz pickup.”
On taking advanatge of this kind of opportunity:
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity since I was six years old. I’ve been waiting for a long time and I really don’t look at it too much differently. I don’t put a bunch of pressure on myself or get too overwhelmed with anything. Just come out here and take it day by day.”
Whether the feeling has sunk in yet for him:
“Drving up I was thinking about it. Having a bunch of flashbacks of when I got here, not sure if I was going to be able to make the team, not sure if I was going to be around and fast forward to now and through the grace of God I’m the starting running back. Coming in from Bowie State a lot of people never would’ve thought in a million years that this day would come but I always had all the faith in myself and I’m just ready to come out here and show everyone what I can do as the number one guy.”
If his confidence was aided by the fact that he had success in the playoffs last year as the main running back:
“It definitely helped my confidence. I was a little nervous coming in and starting a playoff game, a big game for us and unfortunately we didn’t win but at the same time I did have a pretty good game and to perform like that in the playoffs it gave me the confidence where coming in this regular season if I can perform like this in the playoffs I can perform like that in the regular season and throughout a whole season.”
If the Steelers are using the playoff loss to denver as fuel:
“Absolutely. That was a tough loss. That was tough to take on the chin so we just use that as fuel and use that as motivation all summer to get back.”
Listen to Isaac Redman on 93.7 the Fan in Pittsburgh here