Special teams will be a key


By Teresa Varley

Rookie free agent Isaac Redman has made a name for himself in training camp and the preseason as a goal-line back, but it's going to take more than that for him to make the 53-man roster.

Redman is going to have to be multi-dimensional to stand out and head coach Mike Tomlin let him know that when the two met this week.

"A lot of those roles are determined by other things, to be quite frank with you," said Tomlin. "Is a guy good enough to make the 53? Is he capable of doing some other things? A lot of times, a guy who's a candidate for that position gets an opportunity because he's a functional special teams player. That's not only what gets him on the team, but gets him a game day hat, talking about those 45 guys that wear helmets. Gary Russell was able to get an opportunity to do some of those things for us in the past first and foremost because he was a reliable special teams player. And we're able to get him on the 53 and put him in a game day helmet because he was capable of doing that. Then, he had an opportunity to do some other things.

"I'd imagine, if our goal line runner is anybody other than Willie Parker or Rashard Mendenhall, it'll be because they're capable of doing some other things that put them in a helmet. That's where we are with it."

Tomlin said he wasn't trying to challenge Redman by having the conversation with him, but rather just providing information. He said he does the same with other rookies, such as fellow running back Frank Summers.  

Many happy returns

Tomlin will mix things up in the return game this week, but that doesn't mean he won't go back to Stefan Logan, who was impressive against the Redskins last week. Logan handled all five kickoff returns for a total of 157 yards, a 39.2 yard average, including a 60-yard return. Logan also returned four punts for 48 yards

"I think that Stefan has gotten our attention," said Tomlin. "He deserves an opportunity to be seen again, but also, looking at this game, we're going to give some other guys an opportunity as well."

Among those getting a shot will be rookie Mike Wallace and veteran Mewelde Moore, who hasn't played yet this preseason.

"In the first half of the football game, you'll see Mike Wallace return kickoffs," said Tomlin. "Hopefully it won't be many of them, if you know what I mean. But this is a guy who has a resume in that regard. He returned three or so at Ole Miss. He was a candidate to be a guy in that area. We're going to continue to give him an opportunity. Mewelde Moore may return a punt or two. Other than that, you'll see number 41, Stefan Logan."

Hole in one

Kicker Jeff Reed is questionable for Saturday's game against the Bills after injuring his foot when he stepped in a hole at training camp.

Reed suffered the injury prior to the Redskins game, but still played. If he can't kick against the Bills, Piotr Czech will handle the duties.

"He wanted to get some kicks in a hostile environment on the road in D.C. and did that," said Tomlin. "We got it looked at here the other day and we probably felt it was best at this point to maybe leave him as questionable. We'll see what he looks like as it gets close to game time, but by no means are we concerned about giving Piotr Czech an opportunity to kick for us if need be."

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