Steelers Notebook: Redman's best game no reason to celebrate
Jerricho Cotchery pulls in a pass for a touchdown Sunday against the Broncos' Rafael Bush in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver Sunday.
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DENVER -- Like Denver's Tim Tebow, Isaac Redman had the best game of his short NFL career. Unlike Tebow, he was unable to celebrate it.
Redman ran for 121 yards on 17 carries, joining a list of Steelers to top 100 yards rushing in the playoffs that dates to Franco Harris. He helped put them in position to score their first touchdown with a tackle-breaking 32-yard run to the 1. He also caught two passes for 22 yards, making his second start of the season for an injured Rashard Mendenhall.
"I grabbed him right afterward and told him how proud I was of him," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "He stepped up and played a grown-man's game. He did an awesome job."
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin added:
"It was what we expected. He did a nice job. Not only him, but all the guys in replacement of some guys that went down. Isaac did a nice job."
But Redman's team lost the game and his position coach, Kirby Wilson, lay in Mercy Hospital with extensive burns on 30 to 50 percent of his body after an early morning fire Friday at his home.
"It's tough to lose, especially on the first play of overtime," Redman said. "We tried to play our heart out for coach Kirby and losing leaves a bad taste in your mouth."
A team source told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that what doctors at Mercy Hospital hoped would happen with Kirby in his recovery is occurring but had no other details on his progress.
The Steelers hobbled out of the game more seriously than they entered it, losing several more starters to injuries.
Casey Hampton left in first series with a knee injury. He said he will have it tested today. Brett Keisel left in the second quarter with a groin injury. Max Starks was in and out with a right knee injury, finally leaving for good for the second half.
LaMarr Woodley, who missed six of the previous eight games with a hamstring injury played only a portion of the game, swapping with Jason Worilds at left outside linebacker.
Tomlin was asked if injuries impacted the loss.
"You know better than that. We don't live in that world. We don't make excuses in regards to injuries," he said. The guys we put on the field were capable of doing the job, and the reason we didn't do the job is because we didn't perform. We didn't perform well enough from a coaching standpoint and from a player standpoint."
Before Sunday, the previous time the Steelers lost to a quarterback making his first postseason start was Dec. 22, 1973, against Ken Stabler and the Oakland Raiders. The most recent time the Steelers lost to a quarterback with no postseason experience was Dec. 21, 1947 -- the Steelers' first playoff game -- against Philadelphia's Tommy Thompson. Unlike Tebow, Thompson was a six-year veteran at that point.
Denver scored on four consecutive possessions in the second quarter. It was the first time since Game 15 of 2010 that the Broncos had scored on four consecutive possessions. The Broncos scored 20 second-quarter points Sunday after scoring just 33 second-quarter points in the regular season.
Since 2004, playoff teams that came into the postseason at .500 or worse are 5-1 (.833) in the first round. Before '04, those teams were 0-8.
Teams that are .500 or worse in the regular season are 3-0 at home in the playoffs: Denver on Sunday, Seattle in '10 and San Diego in '08.
"It's very obviously disappointing. I've been on a lot of really good teams, thank God, and I felt this team was up there with them," Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said. "We weren't really able to stay healthy, keep everybody and keep cohesiveness out there like we wanted to, but we had everybody out there [Sunday], which was nice."
• The Broncos came into the game averaging 152 passing yards per game. They had 185 in the second quarter.
• Tebow, almost universally acknowledged as a poor passer, posted the highest passer rating against this Steelers this season (125.6). The next highest was Joe Flacco's 117.6 in the season opener at Baltimore.
• After not allowing a single 100-plus yard receiving performance this season, the Steelers defense gave up 204 yards on four catches from Demaryius Thomas.
There were no surprises for the game.
Steelers -- running back Mewelde Moore, safety Ryan Clark, cornerback Cortez Allen, center Maurkice Pouncey, linebacker Mortty Ivy, defensive end Al Woods, offensive tackle Jamon Meredith.
Broncos -- safety Brian Dawkins, fullback Austin Sylvester, fullback Spencer Larsen, linebacker Mike Mohamed, offensive tackle Ryan Harris, tight end Julius Thomas, defensive end Derrick Harvey.
First Published January 9, 2012 12:00 am