Here's a closer look at the Steeler RBs in the second preseason game, against the New York Giants. Did Mendenhall fumble? Did Redman save the world? Did anyone else do anything of note? After the jump, it's a brief breakdown of every offensive play featuring Steeler RBs, just because. (Official play-by-play stats courtesy of NFL.com.)Rashard Mendenhall
Rashard Mendenhall — the actual franchise RB, for those who may have forgotten (ah, preseason) — looked less than stellar in very limited time. His biggest gain was taken away by a fumble. And every time a RB with even the slightest reputation for fumbling lets the ball hit the ground, well, it becomes a talking point again.
1) 1-10-PIT 20 (12:46) 34-R.Mendenhall right tackle to PIT 26 for 6 yards
- Good opening run for Mendnehall behind solid run blocking. (Poor description.)
2) 1-10-PIT 46 (11:22) 34-R.Mendenhall up the middle to PIT 48 for 2 yards
- Stuffed for minimal gain. Is Mendenhall thinking too much about not fumbling?
#3) 3-21-PIT 35 (9:41) 7-B.Roethlisberger pass short right to 34-R.Mendenhall pushed ob at PIT 43 for 8 yards
- After a reception, Mendy makes a move on one player and stumbles out of bounds. Too far away to think about getting a first down.
#4) 1-10-PIT 37 (6:55) 34-R.Mendenhall left end to PIT 30 for -7 yards
- The first play with both Mendenhall and Redman on the field has Umenyiora on Mendy as soon as he grabs the ball.
#5) 2-2-PIT 42 (2:13) 34-R.Mendenhall right tackle to PIT 47 for 5 yards
- Nice, hard run.
#6) 1-10-NYG 35 (:56) 34-R.Mendenhall right tackle to NYG 32 for 3 yards
- Mendy spins (surprise!) out of a tackle for a few yards. It still looks like he's concerned about not fumbling.
#7) 2-7-NYG 32 (:12) 34-R.Mendenhall up the middle to NYG 26 for 6 yards
- Superb burst up the middle for six yards. That's what you want to see.
#8) 1-10-NYG 22 (14:21) 34-R.Mendenhall up the middle to NYG 29 for -7 yards
- Too many Giants in the backfield there. Mendy gets away from one tackler, but not the second. Loss. And Keith Bulluck has roughly 18 bars on his facemask.
#9) 1-9-NYG 9 (12:10) 34-R.Mendenhall right tackle to NYG 6 for 3 yards
- Mendenhall gets a crease and throws himself into a few tacklers. Four-yard gain.
Isaac Redman, aka Red Zone, aka Kal-El
Last preseason, Redman got more buzz than Redman in How High. Yet the Bowie State rookie spent the majority of last season on the practice squad. Redman's buzz returned in the first preseason game, as Sir Isaac chalked up a respectable 4 YPC and one touchdown on some more-than-respectable runs.
#1) 1-10-PIT 34 (2:48) 33-I.Redman right guard to PIT 42 for 8 yards
- From the fullback position, a nice run up the middle. If Redman can really play any FB, the Steelers will have something with this backfield.
#2) 3-1-NYG 26 (15:00) 33-I.Redman right guard to NYG 22 for 4 yard
- Gets the call from the FB slot on 3rd-and-1, and makes it look easy. First down.
#3) 1-10-PIT 22 (14:54) 33-I.Redman left guard to PIT 22 for no gain
- Gets hit early and gets back to the line.
#4) 2-10-PIT 22 (14:22) 33-I.Redman up the middle to PIT 28 for 6 yards
- Makes one cut and goes for a nice six-yard run ... and he's not getting up. Ribs? Kryptonite? Blackmail?
#5) 2-2-NYG 16 (10:43) 33-I.Redman left guard to NYG 12 for 4 yards
- Redman returns! Steeler fans exhale! A run to the left.
#6) 1-10-NYG 12 (10:02) 33-I.Redman left tackle for 12 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
- Isaac "Red Zone" Redman strikes again. He makes one cut, darts up the middle, spins through an arm tackle and drags another tackler to the goal line for the TD. No, these aren't first teamers, but when a player keeps showing his worth like this, over and over again, it means something.
The wily veteran has certainly done nothing to hurt his chances at making the squad. Despite being on the books for nearly $2 million in 2010, Moore looks to have proven that his versatility and experience make him a must-keep for at least one more year.
#1) 1-10-PIT 27 (7:09) 21-M.Moore right guard to PIT 29 for 2 yards
- Gets lit up on his first run after gaining a few yards.
#2) 2-8-PIT 29 (6:31) 21-M.Moore left guard to PIT 34 for 5 yards
- Runs into the line. Somehow gets five yards out of it.
#3) 3-3-PIT 34 (5:46) (Shotgun) 4-B.Leftwich pass incomplete short left to 21-M.Moore
- Can't quite get to a pass from Leftwich, who is described as "kind of slow of foot" by the NY color commentator ... "kind of?"
#4) 1-10-PIT 17 (4:18) 21-M.Moore right tackle to PIT 20 for 3 yards
- Your run-of-the-mill off-tackle run for three yards. What would football be without it?
#5) 1-10-NYG 44 (:53) (Shotgun) 21-M.Moore left end to NYG 27 for 17 yard
- Big gain off a draw. Nice play call, good run.
#6) 3-1-NYG 1 (:12) 21-M.Moore up the middle to NYG 1 for no gain
- Stuffed on a run up the middle on third down with no timeouts at the end of the half. Bad play call? Sure. Would it happen in the regular season? Unlikely. We hope.
#1) 1-10-NYG 37 (12:56) 28-J.Vincent right end to NYG 35 for 2 yards
- Comes in early after Redman's brief injury. Cuts back for a few yards.
#2) 1-10-NYG 24 (11:24) 10-D.Dixon pass short right to 28-J.Vincent pushed ob at NYG 16 for 8 yards
- Gets a pass out in the flat from Dixon. Picks up a chunk. Well-designed play - a run-pass option sprint to the flat for Dixon, who must have heard Arians' voice in the back of his head as he decided to dump it.
#3) 1-10-PIT 18 (8:17) 28-J.Vincent right guard to PIT 23 for 5 yards
- Nifty little run for five yards.
#4) 1-10-PIT 30 (7:16) 28-J.Vincent up the middle to PIT 48 for 18 yards
- Justin Vincent gallops through a gaping hole for a big gain. A big time back probably gets by the safety in that situation, but why am I picking on Vincent? It was a fine run.
#5) 2-10-PIT 16 (11:44) 28-J.Vincent left end to PIT 25 for 9 yards
- Listen ... we're into the fourth quarter now. Do you care that Justin Vincent just made a nine-yard run...
#6) 3-1-PIT 25 (11:02) 28-J.Vincent right tackle to PIT 23 for -2 yards
- ... or that he followed that up with a loss?
#1) 1-9-NYG 9 (4:38) 38-D.Wright up the middle to NYG 2 for 7 yards
- From the depths of the roster and into the game (and your hearts), it's Dwayne Wright! I respect guys like Wright. He's been on four rosters in four years. Still plugging away.
#2) 2-2-NYG 2 (4:02) 38-D.Wright left tackle for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
- Wright into the end zone. Up and down the roster, the o-line has looked really solid tonight in run blocking.
#3) 1-10-PIT 35 (5:42) 38-D.Wright right tackle to PIT 38 for 3 yards
- Wright picks up a few yards ... or does he? No, just kidding. He does. I was trying to introduce a touch of late drama.
#4) 1-10-NYG 44 (3:04) 38-D.Wright up the middle to NYG 38 for 6 yards
- Hey, it's another run.
#5) 2-4-NYG 38 (2:29) 38-D.Wright up the middle to NYG 35 for 3 yards
- Wright sidesteps a tackler in the backfield and dives forward.
#6) 3-1-NYG 35 (2:17) 38-D.Wright up the middle to NYG 32 for 3 yards
- The Giants call timeout, but Wright doesn't care. He picks up a first down. He will end this game on his own! (Someone's gotta do it.)
#7) 1-10-NYG 32 (2:00) 38-D.Wright right end to NYG 36 for -4 yards
- But not yet. He's nabbed for a loss and the two minute warning is upon us.
#8) 2-14-NYG 36 (1:56) 38-D.Wright right end to NYG 29 for 7 yards
- One cut and a forward lunge, for a decent gain.
I would love to see Redman get a first quarter drive all to himself next game. Why not?
As a whole unit, the backs averaged 4.12 YPC tonight. Mendenhall had the worst numbers, but a couple of seven-yard losses are to blame. He looked solid. Yes, we'd all like to see him rip off a 50-yard TD run, but perhaps highlights have clouded our minds. We can see that he has the ability to explode.
Jonathan Dwyer seems like a distant afterthought now, but I'm not willing to write him off yet.
By the way, expect to see more of my name and contributions on the site. Not every post will be like this. (Rumor has it I may be writing something soon in defense of Steely McBeam.) But hey, it's the preseason. Let me "round into form."
Phil Dzikiy is a journalist, blogger and Steeler fan, among many other things. Visit him online at phildzikiy.com or follow him on Twitter @phildzikiy, if you're into that sort of thing.