Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Pittsburgh Steelers [Print without images]

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Isaac Redman atop depth chart

By Scott Brown



PITTSBURGH -- Another strong indication that Isaac Redman will open the season as the Steelers' starting running back came Tuesday morning when the team released its updated depth chart.

Redman is still listed in the top spot with Le'Veon Bell, but LaRod Stephens-Howling, not Felix Jones, is listed behind Redman/Bell.

That is significant because Jones is probably the only other realistic option to start while Bell is out with a mid-foot sprain. Stephens-Howling's history -- and build -- suggest he is best utilized as a change-of-pace runner as well as a third-down back and kick returner.

One change that didn't surprise me but nevertheless caught my eye: The Steelers have Jason Worilds or Jarvis Jones starting at right outside linebacker.

That presumably means the two are still competing for the starting job. Jones, the team's first-round draft pick last April, looks like the real deal, and he practiced on Monday after not playing in the final preseason games because of a bruised chest.

Jones is going to be the starter at right outside linebacker at some point this season. Could it be in the season opener Sunday against Tennessee?

Another rookie moved up the depth chart as fourth-round pick Shamarko Thomas is listed as the backup to strong safety Troy Polamalu, ahead of DaMon Cromartie-Smith. Thomas is another first-year player who is progressing well.

His moving ahead of Cromartie-Smith confirms that the latter made the 53-man roster as a core special-teams player. Robert Golden is listed as the backup to Ryan Clark at free safety.

Wide receiver Markus Wheaton and inside linebacker Vince Williams round out the rookies who have cracked the two-deep depth chart.

Wheaton is behind Emmanuel Sanders at split end while Williams is backing up Larry Foote at left inside linebacker.

On special teams, starting wide receiver Antonio Brown is listed as the No. 1 punt returner with Wheaton behind him. Stephens-Howling is the kickoff returner with Felix Jones backing him up.

New punter Zoltan Mesko is also listed as the holder.