PITTSBURGH -- Isaac Redman accomplished nearly everything a seventh-string running back can hope to do while trying to win a job with the Super Bowl champions. He made an impression, and he did it twice.
Redman, an undrafted rookie from Bowie State playing long after the starters for both Super Bowl teams left the field, scored twice in the fourth quarter and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals 20-10 in a preseason opener Thursday night.
Neither team scored a touchdown until rookie Joe Burnett intercepted a pass by third-teamer Brian St. Pierre, a former Steelers backup, and returned it to the Arizona 3 to end the third quarter. Redman scored on the next play, and scored on a 5-yard run about seven minutes later to end an 80-yard drive led by No. 3 quarterback Dennis Dixon.
Redman, a power back who hasn't hesitated to take on some of the Super Bowl champion's best linebackers in blocking drills, is listed as Pittsburgh's No. 7 running back, yet he also scored twice in goal-line situations during the team's only game-like night practice of camp last Friday.
"This team prides itself on being able to find those free agents that are capable of playing," Redman said, referring to finds such as the undrafted Willie Parker and James Harrison. "Hopefully I can be that next free agent. I knew I had to make an impression, or I might not even make it to the first [preseason] game.
Arizona's only touchdown was fourth-string quarterback Tyler Palko's 20-yard pass to Onrea Jones with 3:30 remaining. Palko, a three-year Pitt starter, completed his first five passes for 59 yards but was intercepted on his next series and Steelers rookie Piotr Czech kicked a 44-yard field goal. The Cardinals attempted 49 passes, completing 26 for 281 yards, with Matt Leinart going 8 of 14 for 83 yards.
"The only thing I didn't like was we had chances to make plays and didn't," coach Ken Whisenhunt said.
Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner each played two series -- make that 1½ for Warner -- and neither produced a point before the backups took over in the second quarter. Warner went 6 for 10 for 53 yards and Roethlisberger was 4 of 6 for 33 yards, and neither looked all that rusty.
"Overall, without looking at film, I think it was OK," Roethlisberger said. "I think we had a couple of plays with a few breakdowns, but it just felt good to go against somebody other than your own guys."
Warner was pulled during the middle of a drive early in the second quarter after the Cardinals moved from their own 21 to the Pittsburgh 46. The drive stalled after Leinart took over, even with backup Steelers defenders on the field, and Arizona punted.
"I felt like we moved the ball and did what we wanted to," Warner said. "It seems like this game came pretty quick. When we were in the locker room, we were thinking, 'Man, it is here already.'"
Sweed, trying to win the No. 3 receiver's job vacated by Nate Washington, later hooked up with Charlie Batch on a 45-yard pass play to the Cardinals 39 that led to Jeff Reed's 50-yard field goal. Sweed drew cheers while making two catches for 56 yards in his first game at Heinz Field since, while wide open, he dropped an apparent TD pass in the AFC Championship Game against Baltimore.
"I just wanted to catch the ball -- and hold on to it," Sweed said.
Santonio Holmes, the Super Bowl MVP after catching Roethlisberger's game-winning TD pass in the final minute of the 27-23 win over Arizona on Feb. 1, caught one pass in brief playing time. So did former Pitt All-American Larry Fitzgerald, whose two second-half TD catches in Tampa nearly rallied the Cardinals to a Super Bowl upset.
Batch played briefly, going 1 of 2 for 45 yards, and probably was glad he did. He broke his collarbone in the exhibition opener against Philadelphia last season and missed the season.
|Undrafted Isaac Redman makes the most of his situation and scores two fourth-quarter TDs. (AP)|
|Thurs. Aug. 13||Final|
|ARI - Pass: T. Palko (8-15, 103), Rec: S. Breaston (5-52)|
PIT - Pass: D. Dixon (10-19, 112), Rec: S. McDonald (6-69)
|FG||Jeff Reed 50 Yd, 7:43. Drive: 6 plays, 57 yards in 3:13.|
|FG||Neil Rackers 29 Yd, 0:00. Drive: 3 plays, 47 yards in 0:38.|
|TD||Isaac Redman, 3 Yd run (Piotr Czech kick is good), 14:56. Drive: 1 play, 3 yards in 0:04.|
|TD||Isaac Redman, 5 Yd run (Piotr Czech kick is good), 5:26. Drive: 12 plays, 80 yards in 7:24.|
|TD||Onrea Jones, 20 Yd pass from Tyler Palko (Neil Rackers kick is good), 3:30. Drive: 5 plays, 59 yards in 1:56.|
|FG||Piotr Czech 44 Yd, 1:41. Drive: 4 plays, -1 yards in 0:23.|
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|B. St. Pierre||4/10||42||0||1|
|Complete Player Stats|