Tomlin Resolute on Run Game, Redman

Isaac Redman loses ball (Bridge/USA TODAY Sports)

Mike Tomlin will stick to his guns, and his running back, Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers' coach also updated injuries.

He's not going all Chip Kelly pedal-to-the-metal style, nor will Mike Tomlin spread his Steelers into four wides and pitch it around the yard all night.

Nope. After Sunday's debacle, in which his Steelers gained only 32 yards on 15 carries, against one of the worst run defenses in the league, Tomlin remains determined to make his running game work.

Even if he doesn't have a back.

Or a back who can rush for more than the 9 yards on 8 carries that starter Isaac Redman gained Sunday.

Redman also fumbled twice, losing one inside the Tennessee 5-yard line, but Tomlin still has confidence in Redman as a starter.

"Absolutely," said Tomlin. "Obviously, he played a bad game. A lot of us did. He will be given an opportunity to redeem himself. We will see where that takes us."

So Redman will apparently start Monday night in Cincinnati over Felix Jones and the just-resigned Jonathan Dwyer.

The other halfback, LaRod Stephens-Howling is out for the year with a torn ACL, and rookie Le'Veon Bell, who's now missed two preseason games and the opener, hasn't even begun dressing for practice.

"Le'Veon Bell is continuing to work his way back," Tomlin said. "I haven't gotten an update in terms of what he is doing today, but we will be interested in seeing what he is capable of doing, particularly as the week goes on."

Jones, Tomlin said, "needs to continue to learn." And Dwyer must prove his "dependability, his ability to get up to speed with the game plan and things. ... Obviously, I don't anticipate that being a major problem but we'll play it by ear and see how he looks on the practice field and in the classroom."

With so many question marks at the position, and in the execution of the running game, Tomlin was asked why he wouldn't prefer to "spread the field and use short passes as your running game?"

"I think a consistent running game is really important, not only to be good offensively, but to strike a balance," Tomlin said. "We haven't been able to do that to this point. Obviously, we are working hard to do so."

As for the rest of the offense, tight end Heath Miller "will continue to work his way back," Tomlin said. "We will increase his work this week, and we will really have a better understanding of where he is after a full day's work on Wednesday."

And at center, Tomlin said Kelvin Beachum, the converted tackle, will remain the starter at center as the staff learns more about Fernando Velasco, the just-signed center-guard who started 16 games for the Titans last season.

Defensively, the Steelers are hoping for improvement in the ankle injury suffered by cornerback Cortez Allen. Late last season, with Ike Taylor out with an injury, Allen covered Bengals star WR A.J. Green man-to-man.

While Green caught 10 passes for 116 yards, he didn't score a touchdown and Allen intercepted two passes and forced a fumble. However, the Bengals won, 13-10, and knocked the Steelers out of the playoffs.

"He won't work at the beginning portions of the week," Tomlin said of Allen. "But we will try to increase his activity towards the end of the week and see where it takes us."

With buck inside linebacker Larry Foote out for the year, mack ILB Lawrence Timmons will wear the speaker helmet and make the play-calls in the huddle and the changes before the snap. Foote will be replaced by Kion Wilson, who made two tackles when he stepped into the game in the fourth quarter Sunday.

"Because (Timmons) is calling the signals doesn't mean that he'll be playing buck," Timmons said. "He's capable of calling signals from mack like he did in that football game."

The only other injury concern is placekicker Shaun Suisham, who hurt his hamstring in pre-game warm-ups Sunday. The Steelers signed 12th-year veteran Shayne Graham, but Tomlin said of Suisham, "It's not a significant (injury). He has a chance."

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