Hard Hat Award (Wild Card Game, @ Denver)
Stillers RB Isaac Redman is the winner of the weekly Hard Hat Award, given to the Stiller player who best embodies the iron-tough, hard-as-steel attitude of the steel workers inside the blast furnace of a still mill.
After rotting on the bench for a vast majority of the season, Ike got to start in place of the injured Rashard Mendenhall, and Redman responded with a career game. He rushed 17 times for 121 yards, and caught 2 passes for 21 yards.
Redman�s stellar effort went well beyond the stat sheet. Time and time again, he moved the chains with clutch 3rd down carries, showing tremendous instinct to burrow, slice, lunge, and backpedal his way for the needed yardage. Red had a superb read and slice for 13 yards on 3d & 1 late in the 1Q. He then had a superb inside run on 3d & 2 in the 3Q, busting tackles and nearly scoring a 33-yard TD. Red had a tremendous 28-yard run up RG in the 4Q, and a good run on 3d & 1 midway 4Q, gaining 4. Overall, Redman had the best game by a �33� for the Steelers in Denver, since Merrill Hoge�s epic performance in the Jan. 1990 playoff game, an effort that, had the Hard Hat Award existed, surely would have won Hoge The Hat.
Very few other Stillers were in consideration for the coveted weekly award. Will Gay had a solid game. Yes, he allowed the 2Q TD pass, although the coverage was adequate and it was an unbelievably lucky pass and catch. Gay saved a TD by stopping Royal at the 3-yard line in the 2Q, and then busted up a pass in the EZ soon thereafter. Heath Miller had a strong overall effort. That was about it. It bears repeating that there is almost always -- if not always -- a strong correlation between the number of players in consideration for the Hard Hat, and if the team won or lost. Simply put, Hard Hat kind of football leads to victory; pansy football (a term used here long before Troy Pola popularized it) leads to defeat.
Kudos to Redman for winning the Hard Hat Award. Wear the Hard Hat proudly, Ike!
Previous 2011 Hard Hat Winners:
Game # 16, @ Clev: Brett Keisel and Antonio Brown
Game # 15, vs. St. Louis: Rashard Mendenhall and Antonio Brown
Game # 14, @ San Fran: No One
Game #13, vs. Clev: Ben Roethlisberger and James Harrison
Game #12, vs. Cinci: Antonio Brown and Curtis Brown
Game #11, @ KC: Jason Worilds
Game #10, @ Cinci: William Gay
Game #9, vs. Balt: James Harrison and Max Starks
Game #8, vs. N.E.: Heath Miller and Ike Taylor
Game #7, @ Ariz: Antonio Brown
Game #6, vs. Jax: Troy Polamalu
Game #5, vs. Tenn: Ben Roethlisberger and Max Starks
Game #4, @ Houston: James Harrison and Troy Polamalu
Game #3, @ Indy: James Harrison and Troy Polamalu
Game #2, vs. Seattle: Mike Wallace and Troy Polamalu
Game #1, @ Balt: No One