The Pittsburgh Steelers are hurting at running back and fans are afraid they might not have many answers with a rookie-laden offensive line. Could the Houston Texans help by trading them Ben Tate?
Status of Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman key at camp
While most eyes will watch for when number 17 hits the field, the jersey number of Pro Bowl receiver Mike Wallace, coaches will watch how the training camp battle at running back unfolds. The starter from last season in Rashard Mendenhall still hasn't recovered from an injury last season and could start the year on the PUP list. Meanwhile fans nervously wonder if his backup Isaac Redman and third string man Jonathan Dwyer can give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger quality carries. This way he won't have to constantly throw behind an offensive line that could start two rookies in 2012. The job of making it all work is new offensive coÃ¶rdinator Todd Haley. He has a history of making things work at a high level but dealing with injuries is one of the most difficult. He and Pittsburgh Steelers fans might sleep better knowing the team had a reliable runner in place. The question is how far would they go to get one?
Status of Matt Schaub and Arian Foster overshadows Tate
The Houston Texans don't have nearly as many roster questions heading into training camp, especially at running back. Not only do they have arguably the best in the game in Arian Foster but one of the better backups in Ben Tate as well. Experts believe Foster teamed with a healthy Matt Schaub makes this camp and coming season one of most highly anticipated in recent Houston sports memory. Lost in that excitement is what the Texans will do in free agency over the next couple years. Schaub and left tackle Duane Brown are due to play out their contracts this season and Tate could demand more money if he has another solid season easing the workload for Foster. If the team can't find enough salary cap for all three then sacrifices will happen. Given how important quarterback and left tackle are, Tate could find another team before his own contract is up in Houston. Pittsburgh is one place who would love to have him. He has proven playing time in the league but not nearly the wear and tear of other running backs.
The Texans have no reason to deal Ben Tate yet but a strong push from the Pittsburgh Steelers might change their minds. Matt Schaub and Arian Foster can handle the load without him and Steel City fans aren't comfortable with Isaac Redman and a hurt Rashard Mendenhall.