Isaac Redman: "We are going to be dedicated to the zone"

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

The Steelers are amid a transformation from a power running team to outside zone - a concept that utilizes offensive linemen moving in unison to get defensive linemen moving laterally. And early reports are it's a welcomed concept in Pittsburgh.

Make no mistake about it, the Steelers running game is going to look much different this season.

Chalk up Isaac Redman in the large group of Steelers offensive players who welcome the change from power and inside zone to outside zone. He told Tribune-Review reporter Mark Kaboly, "We are going to be dedicated to the zone."

He backed off the strength of that statement somewhat (misdirection, perhaps?) in the same interview.

"We are still going to be a power team, but we are going to have this zone scheme in so we can keep the defense on its heels and keep them running."

Gone are the power staples of Max Starks and Willie Colon. While that's a simple statement on its face, the fact is it can be easily argued the team has been preparing to do this for a while now. The common element of the Steelers' drafts since 2010 was a high pick being spent on an offensive lineman.

Offensive linemen who are selected in the first two rounds usually get to that point because of the elite value of their athleticism. Maurkice Pouncey is arguably one of the most athletic interior offensive linemen in the NFL. First round pick in 2012, David DeCastro, isn't a slouch either.

Second round pick Mike Adams showed flashes of amazing athleticism from the right tackle position in 2012, and Marcus Gilbert is, at least, a huge step up in terms of athleticism over Starks.

Whether the Steelers will run power at all seems more like a situation in which they'd want to mix things up. Throwing a fastball to compliment an arsenal of effective offspeed pitches.

It may seem a bit non-Steelers like, but if the size 20 shoe fits, wear it.

With reports like Redman losing weight to become quicker, and early word that Le'Veon Bell is just as quick as he is powerful, outside zone fits this Steelers team just as well as power running did with Jerome Bettis back in the mid-90s.

It remains to be seen whether it will be comparatively effective, but the first OTA sessions showed a general idea of how the Steelers offense is going to work in Todd Haley's second year as offensive coordinator.


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