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Steelers notebook: Slimmed-down Redman optimistic for 2013

| Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Steelers running back Isaac Redman is brought down by the Ravens' Bernard Pollard during the second quarter Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

At the end of last season, Steelers running back Isaac Redman looked in the mirror and wasn't happy.

“I didn't like the weight I was,” Redman said Wednesday at the end of the Steelers' second of 10 organized team activities.

So Redman did something about it.

He spent the offseason with speed and agility specialist Ron Jones in Tampa, Fla., working on transforming his body.

“The goal was to get more explosive and get quicker, faster and to drop weight,” Redman said.

Redman dropped 10 pounds — he was listed at 230 last year — and wants to get down another five. Redman plans to return to Tampa following minicamp in mid-June to resume his workouts with Jones.

Redman, who turns 29 in November, signed a $1.323 million restricted free agent tender last month. He will be an unrestricted free agent next year, which contributed to his decision to get in better shape.

“For my team and my career, I know I have to perform at a high level this year,” he said.

Redman battled injuries last year that kept him out of two games and limited him to 110 carries for 410 yards. The shared duties with Jonathan Dwyer and Rashard Mendenhall. The Steelers lost Mendenhall to free agency but used a second-round pick on running back Le'Veon Bell to strengthen the position.

“I am all for competition and am ready for the competition,” Redman said. “I've worked hard, and it's going to show this year. I am here to compete.”

Hamstring slows Jones

Rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones is dealing with a hamstring injury that has limited him during the first two OTA sessions.

“I kind of tweaked it in rookie camp,” he said. “I think it started when I tripped running my 40 at pro day. Everything is good, and I am going to continue to work and grind.”

Brown set to lead

Antonio Brown is the No. 1 receiver on the field. He knows he needs to be the No. 1 receiver off it despite being the youngest (24) of the top four at the position — Emmanuel Sanders is 26, Jerricho Cotchery is 30 and Plaxico Burress is 35.

“I have to set the tempo and set the standard around,” Brown said. “That's what I am ready to do. I understand the tradition and how things need to be done.”

New faces

With 58 of 90 players being under age 26 and 49 having two years or fewer of NFL experience, Ike Taylor said he looks around the locker room and barely recognizes anyone.

“There are a lot of new faces, but a lot of new faces need to help us to get where we want to get,” Taylor said. “We have to realize that at some point in time that we are going to have to rely on these young guys.”

Taylor is the second-oldest defensive starter behind Brett Keisel and fourth-oldest player on the team behind Brian Moorman (37), Burress (35) and Keisel (34).

Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mkaboly@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

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