Steelers Isaac Redman: 300 Carries Over Or Under?


With Rashard Mendenhall recouping from his knee injury and subsequent surgery, Isaac Redman is expected to be the front runner as the #1 RB for the Steelers offense.  An interesting article from Yahoo! Sports (I use the term ‘interesting’ loosely whenever speaking about Yahoo! anything) discusses (again loosely) the notion of the days of the 300+ carry running back are fading into the rear view mirror of most NFL offenses.

Only two running backs breached 300+ carries last season.  According to Yahoo!, that’s very low from the average of 8.5 between 2000-2010.  Also last year, 19 teams had at least two backs register 100 or more attempts each.  So it appears that most teams are beginning to try and ‘save’ their work horses in order for them to last more than a handful of seasons.  Or, at least that could be the trend taking place across the league.

Head Coach Mike Tomlin tends to ‘run the wheels off of his primary backs.’  Willie Parker had over 300 carries in 2006 and 2007.  Then the wheels indeed came off – in the form of a knee injury and turf toe.  Parker never fully recovered, even after being on the Redskins for a short stint.  Mendenhall ran over 300 times in 2010 – which is a surprising stat considering that Bruce Arians was just about set to throw out any substantial running game.  So, in five seasons, the Steelers had three that saw one back with over 300 carries.  And although Parker or Mendenhall ever really reached the Curst of 370, they still saw their bodies wrecked pretty good – more than likely leaving them susceptible to injury the following season.

Is this a trend in the NFL?  Are teams more inclined to ‘rest’ their feature back by giving them less carries over a season?  Are teams fully adopting a two back system?

Will Isaac Redman, assuming he will maintain the starting job for the entire season, breach the 300 plateau?  If not, will it be of his own doing or new OC Todd Haley’s and how he constructs the offense?