Only four teams finished with fewer rushing touchdowns than the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012 as not one running back on the roster managed to finish the year with more than four yards per carry. The poor rushing performance by the team was certainly part of the reason for Rashard Mendenhall's departure from the Steelers and likely impacted Jonathan Dwyer's status on the team as well.
Dwyer's release in final cuts was a surprising one for many, including even the Steelers coaching staff according to a report, considering the fourth-year back led the team in rushing in 2012 with 623 yards.
Now, in Dwyer's absence, Isaac Redman is ready not only to start for the Steelers at the position, but to dominate the crowded Pittsburgh backfield. Redman told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he hopes to make it difficult for the team to give any other player time in his place and that he'll give the Steelers coaches reason not to go with a back-by-committee approach.
Dwyer is gone (even Baron Batch is gone), and Felix Jones has entered the mix. After two better-than-mediocre performances in the final two preseason games against Kansas City and Carolina, respectively, Jones may very well have simply taken the job away from Redman.
The tub-bound Redman may have the luxury of being named to the Steelers roster while bound to a cold-water-holding apparatus, but that doesn't give him a starting job, either.
Coolong may be right already too. Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Saturday that Jones is the favorite to start the season opener against the Tennessee Titans after rushing for 56 yards on 14 carries against the Carolina Panthers in preseason.
Jones, a first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, accumulated 2,728 yards and 11 touchdowns in five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, but was ultimately a disappointment who was never able to fully secure the team's starting job. In Pittsburgh though, he may have secured the job without much of a performance at all.