In a move that appears to be designed to keep both players hungry, Mike Tomlin would not commit to either Jordan Todman or Isaiah Pead as the backup running back to DeAngelo Williams.
Todman has served as the backup since Le’Veon Bell’s injury but with the bye week giving Pead extra time to get acclimated to the offense, Tomlin was again asked about how the #2 would be.
“It’s been fun watching those guys get work,” he said at his weekly Tuesday presser. “At the top of this thing, I said some of the things you do with bye weeks, and provide work for those that needed it. And those are two guys specifically I was thinking about when I said that. We gave them great work a week ago. We’re going to continue to give those guys great work.
One has been here longer than the other but in the big scheme of things, neither guy has been here for an extreme long period of time. It may be one, it may be another, it may be a combination of both depending on circumstance.”
Pead was a second round bust for the St. Louis Rams but is looking to revive his career in Pittsburgh. The Steelers had interest in him coming out of Cincinnati, brining him in for a pre-draft visit prior to the 2012 NFL Draft. He’s yet to be active for a game but logically, the more time he spends with the team, the better his chances are. Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks will really be the first fair shake Pead gets to have an opportunity to grab a helmet.
Ability to contribute on special teams is an important factor, too. Todman has been the upback on kick returns for the season and saw some time on the punt return unit after the team dealt with injuries, notably losing Terence Garvin to an MCL injury. That value may be lessened now that it appears players like Garvin and Shamarko Thomas are set to return but it could still play a factor.