Coach Mike Tomlin made it clear during his weekly press conference on Tuesday that while DeAngelo Williams will get the bulk of the work with Le'Veon Bell now on injured reserve, it won't be just a one-man job to replace one of the NFL's best running backs.
"The last time we played without Le'Veon, it's a multi-man job replacing the skill-set of a Le'Veon Bell," said Tomlin. "We're going to look at all of the guys we have at the position and decide what's best. It might be a collection of men, and it probably will be."
In that collection will be newly signed back Isaiah Pead, who was released by the St. Louis Rams on Sept. 29. Pead hit the field with his teammates on Wednesday for the first time, and said it felt good to finally focus on football again.
"It's starting to calm down now and be more football related," said Pead, the Rams second-round pick in 2012. "I am glad to be back playing football with a great opportunity with a group of guys like this. Listening to Coach (Mike) Tomlin talk and that fire that he has when speaking to us. It gets you motivated, ready to go, and I think we are ready to go."
It might take a little time for Pead to be full go in the offense, something that is expected when coming in at this point of the season, but he is preparing full tilt if needed. He said he wants to be on the field contributing sooner rather than later, even if the role starts out small, but he also knows he has some things to learn.
"I feel like I am learning something new every two seconds," said Pead. "I am staying in the playbook, continuing to ask questions even if it's repetitive so I can keep everything fresh in my mind and coach knows I am trying to learn everything perfectly.
"Naturally you want to learn everything right now, as soon as they tell it to you. I am going to do my best at that. Special teams, that is just playing ball. That is something that just being an athlete I can go out and play. As far as learning the plays at running back, you want to get out there, you have to be patient, but you want to be aggressively patient."
Another player who has been patient, and might get his chance in the running back mix is Jordan Todman. Todman was signed prior to the start of the season knowing Bell would be suspended for the first two games, but has only had one carry for 11 yards. He is ready to do more.
"It's an opportunity to show more than the one play I got earlier this year to the team, to show what I bring to the table and am able to do," said Todman. "It's an opportunity for me and this team and I am excited for it."
Todman said he feels more prepared at this point of the season than he did earlier in the year when he was thrown into the mix without much time to prepare, just like the case with Pead this week.
"I am definitely ready. That is my job and that is my goal. I am here every day to be ready, be prepared. I watch film, stay in the meeting room, and take notes. I just want to go out there and play football like any other game."