He began as one of Steeler Nation's most revered underdogs. Typically those stories fizzle out for whatever reason -- injuries, lack of playing time, the unfortunate reality that they just weren't talented enough to make it in the NFL. For Isaac Redman though, the Rudy story looks like it has real life. Redman again has looked great in training camp, the third straight year that he's looked explosive and impressive at Latrobe. And like he did in '09 and '10, Redman carried it from the practice field to the preseason. Once called the most interesting man in the world, part Dos Equis guy and part Chuck Norris, Redman scored the Steelers lone touchdown in last Friday's loss to the Washington Redskins, a 22-yard score that showed off his quickness and strength.
On Tuesday, before the team was set to close down shop at Latrobe with a team softball game, Redman took a few minutes for an interview on The Fan. I've transcribed most of it for those of you without audio at your disposal.
On looking more comfortable this year compared to last:
"Yeah I'm feeling a lot more comfortable, even from last year. Last year I felt pretty good at camp; this year the game is just slowing down a lot for me."
On the design of the play that he took 22 yards for a score in last Friday night's preseason opener:
"Yeah that's pretty much my favorite play. I love those zone-runs and be able to read to read the defense, be able to cut-back, be able to set my blocks up. You know, that's where I'm pretty good: being able to set my blocks up and reading the zone."
On how much of a difference there's been between each of his first three training camps in terms of his comfort level:
"Well my first year, coming in I was pretty much like a chicken with his head cut off just trying to fit somewhere in and mostly worrying about special teams, where last year I felt like I had a good shot at making the team, to where as now I can strictly focus on football knowing that I'm here where I have a spot on this team and can now just focus on my game and get better as a running back."
What aspect of his game does he feel needs the most improvement at this stage in his development:
"Pretty much I would like to be able to read the defense a lot more. I'm pretty good at understanding where the blitz comes from, but you can always get better at that. You know, understanding when the safeties are coming down, understanding rotations and stuff like that."
Does he feel like he's ready to be trusted with more regular carries in relief of Rashard Mendenhall:
"Yeah most definitely. He had a lot of carries last year. Like I said before, just this preseason I want the coaches just to turn the film on, look at me run and say 'we need to get this guy the ball' or 'this guy's capable of letting us spell Mendenhall a little more than we did last year.' So hopefully after the last preseason game, I hope that I have that impression on these coaches."