That’s right. Crickets. After one week of training camp, there are no leading candidates for the Isaac Redman Award for the first time in its storied decade-long history. It wasn’t always like this.
Coming into the 2023 off-season, the acknowledged front-runner was Cory Trice, the Omar Khan seventh-round steal who should have been a fourth-rounder but for suspicions of being injury-prone. And then he went and planted his foot the wrong way on Monday and is now going to spend the season on IR. (Aside: What are the odds?)
And then there was Alfonso Graham, the Omar Khan find out of the HBCU Morgan State. At 5’9" and 180lbs, he was going to light up special teams and be the Dri Archer that Dri Archer never was. One tumble on his shoulder and boom! Now he’s going to be waived injured and head to IR.
And finally, there’s the curious case of the fullback Monte Pottebaum. In his short tenure as GM, Khan has shown a keen talent for recruiting mullets, and Pottebaum was the man-beautiful mullet to end all mullets. Three days into training camp and he …. [checks notes] … retires?? The guy’s only 23!
So I went to look at the Steelers’ roster to see who could conceivably emerge from the pack and be 2023’s BTSC Training Camp Hero. After doing some Kevin Colbert-worthy dumpster diving, here’s what I found:
- Spencer Anderson – 7th round utility OL.
- Jordan Byrd – UDFA small shifty WR (that’s shifty with an "f"). At 5’9" and 170lbs, even smaller than Alfonso Graham.
- Tanner Morgan – UDFA camp arm QB. Mason Rudolph’s Worst Nightmare.
- David Perales – UDFA OLB.
- Twelve more rookies who I have never heard of, and probably never will (or to borrow a phrase from Cliff Claven - who are twelve guys who have never been in my kitchen).
It’s back to square one for the Isaac Redman Award this year. Good thing it’s still early. First pre-season game is August 11 where our New Batch has their chance to make their impressions.