The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely be without running back Rashard Mendenhall for the beginning of the season in 2012, if he plays at all. Mendenhall went down with an injury in the playoffs against the Denver Broncos and now the Steelers could be short at the running back position, even when Mendenhall returns. The Steelers still have Isaac Redman on their roster, who's proven to be a good option, but Cian Fahey of Steelers Depot doesn't think the Steelers can just rest on their laurels with Redman.
Isaac Redman may be able to replace Mendenhall with tough running through the middle and broken tackles to punish defenses. However he lacks the explosive speed of Mendenhall and doesn't break to the outside as well. Redman as a runner has proven himself in a secondary role. However, where Mendenhall's loss really hits the Steelers is strategically.
As Fahey notes, while Redman is serviceable as a running back, he's not nearly as versatile as the Steelers need him to be. Redman isn't close to Mendenhall in terms of catching the football out of the backfield, which is a tactic that new offensive coordinator Todd Haley likes to employ. It's possible the Steelers could look at that style of running back somewhere in the draft or in free agency to fill that role.