Is there value in a diversified backfield?
This isn't your investment portfolio. This is football. And the reasons why Isaac Redman should get even a third as many carries as Jonathan Dwyer right now are suspect at best.
Dwyer had 43 yards on nine carries in Pittsburgh's Week 1 loss to Denver. Redman, the starter, had 11 carries for 20 yards. Dwyer also had a big gainer wiped out by a holding penalty on wide receiver Mike Wallace. If Wallace's guy makes the tackle on that play, it still went for 11 yards.
Week 1 Analysis: | Rewind First Half | Rewind Second Half | Defensive Breakdown | Injury Report | Offensive Breakdown | Winners/Losers | Game Story | Manning
So what is Steelers coach Mike Tomlin saying this week? Dwyer may see an increase in opportunities against the Jets in Week 2.
That's Tomlin-Speak for Dwyer's going to carry the ball early and often. Judging by the Jets' shoddy tackling in a 48-28 rout of Buffalo in Week 1, they're going to be pretty excited to get a chance to stuff what appears to be a struggling running game.
Dwyer is the one breaking tackles right now, not Redman. He's done nothing but produce in every game he's been in, and if there was a reason to take the restrictor plate off the three-year vet and let him run, it's this one.
The Jets' secondary is pretty good. Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was giving turnovers away like they were flu shots last week, but the Jets looked hungrier and hungrier each time No. 7 dropped back in the pocket. But there were blown tackles all over the field. Dwyer does not get taken down easily by one guy. He'll break tackles.
Find cornerback Antonio Cromartie, motion tight end Heath Miller over to his side. Pull the guard, hand off to Dwyer and watch the carnage.
Redman can serve just fine as a substitute in a normal altitude environment. There's no need for them to split carries this week, and this is a team the Steelers should aim to get another 25 or more runs called.