Isaac Redman: 'We had some missed assignments' in short yardage situations last year

Gregory Shamus

The Steelers running game may lend itself to stretch runs in a zone scheme, but there will still be times when the offensive linemen will simply have to beat the man across from them. According to Steelers running back Isaac Redman, that happened far too infrequently last year.

Tribune-Review reporter Ralph N. Paulk went straight to heart of one of the bigger issues facing the Steelers in 2012.

A lack of ability to convert short-yardage situations.

Highlighted by a post-whistle skirmish between left guard Ramon Foster and nose tackle Loni Fangupo, he confirms the build-up of this brawl being largely due to the fact the Steelers offensive line cannot back down from a fight this season.

When 10 percent of their carries resulted in negative yardage, it's clear why this group must take on attitude of dominance. According to Paulk, of the Steelers' 412 carries last year, 42 of them resulted in negative yardage.

To Steelers running back Isaac Redman, that was due to mistakes being made, particularly, missed assignments, among everyone involved. It was the offensive line as well as the running backs.

"We had some missed assignments, which is why we were failing sometimes on short-yardage plays," Redman said. "In watching the film, we realized those missed assignments kept us from being as good as we could have been."

Zone blocking scheme or not, sometimes, the heavies up front just have to move people. Knowing which one each is responsible to move, as well as executing that assignment, is important. When one out of 10 carries is going in the wrong direction, it's clear a running game is failing.

To fix that, sometimes, you just have to fight through it.

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