Why Did Steelers Release Redman?

By Ed Bouchette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 4 years ago

Good morning,

The Pittsburgh Maulers were my first beat with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the old USFL pro football team that existed for one season, 1984. My competition was Ron Cook at the Pittsburgh Press.

The two of us still joke about the many mishaps and seemingly foolish decisions that team made in its one season. One of them came when they cut their team captain, another when they cut a player their general manager had not long previously called the best long snapper in the league.

The Steelers this season are pulling some Maulers-like decisions, especially their move yesterday to cut Isaac Redman, their starting running back to open this season and last.

Before the start of the season, they cut Jonathan Dwyer, then signed him back after their first game.

Was it something they said?

How can the decision-makers bounce back and forth between those two running backs, unable to determine apparently which they favor – or maybe, which one they do not like at the moment.

With Dwyer, they grew tired of his seemingly immature approach to his profession. His weight ballooned, he was late for meetings, etc. But as soon as LaRod Stephens-Howling was hurt in the first game, they signed him back.

Redman, on the other hand, was the good soldier who would do anything they asked. Plus, he ranked highly in the league for gaining yards after contact, and he did gain 147 yards last Nov. 4 in New York against the then-reigning Super Bowl champions.

Those 147 yards still are the most recent time one of their backs topped 100. It’s also the most yards rushing for them in one game in the past four seasons. He also had 121 yards rushing in the playoff game at Denver, one of the few bright spots from that game.

So why did they cut him? And why had they not dressed him for the past three games?

It may have been what he told me about playing the second game in Cincinnati with a concussion after he was hit in the head on the opening kickoff.

“I had a concussion,” Redman said on Sept. 25. “I was pretty much out of it the rest of the game. I just tried to go back in.”

I asked him how he passed the concussion tests because he went into the locker room to be tested, but later came back and played.

“I said I was all right,’’ he answered.

Redman did not dress for a game after that story and one person who works for the organization told me he was a bleeping idiot for saying it.

Tuesday, they cut him. You make the call.

Onto some stuff:

--- The Steelers have now made 20 roster moves to their 53-man roster since after the first game of the season. Since their cutdown to 53 the week before the first game, they have made 28 roster moves.

--- Cornerback Isaiah Green, since Sept. 2, has first made the 53-man roster, been cut, signed to the practice squad, signed back on the roster, cut, signed back to the practice squad and signed back to the roster.

--- Two players they have added to their 53-man roster during the season were hurt before they ever played a game. Levi Brown somehow tore his triceps in warmups before his first game and went on injured reserve (did someone get a photo of him in his Steelers uniform for posterity?). Richard Gordon no sooner was signed last week to be their fourth tight end that he wound up on the injury report with some sort of toe problem (they managed to beat the Ravens without him).

--- Like Dwyer and Redman, the Steelers do not seem able to make up their minds between Stevenson Sylvester and Kion Wilson. Wilson made the team over Sylvester, who was cut before the season began. Then, on Oct. 9, Wilson was cut so they could sign Sylvester. Yesterday, they signed Wilson again to replace Redman.

--- Chat today at 1:30.