Take the Gambler’s Advice

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“You got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em, Know when to walk away and know when to run.”

The lyrics to the Kenny Rogers song “The Gambler” of so many years ago should be the anthem that loops endlessly in the gourd of Steelers running back Isaac Redman this week as the Steelers prepare to kick off their run for the Lombardi trophy in Denver.

As i stood on the sidelines of Cleveland Browns stadium watching the young buck bang, boom and bam his way through the Cleveland Browns this past sunday, more than once the thought screamed in my head “Get down!”

I am a big fan of Isaac Redman. His perseverance and rise from tiny Bowie State to become an NFL caliber running back deserves admiration and respect. Isaac has a great work ethic and exemplifies the word tenacity when he runs. He literally is never down until he’s down and the refs whistle blows.

But that can also be a problem, and it was for Redman as he got stripped twice in his 19-carry, 92-yard effort in Cleveland.

The more you get caught up in a scrum and are kept on your feet fighting for a coup’la extra yards, the more opportunity ball-hawking defensive players have to strip the ball. It’s a dicey situation. Fight like the dickens for one or two more yards, or get to the ground and resume the battle on the next carry.

Coupl’a things. Awareness by Redman when he gets stacked up, it’s time to get to the ground (fold’em my friend), and the rest of the guys gott’a get on their horses and “Be around the ball.” Extra effort by the back should be extra effort mirrored by the rest of the offensive unit to run to the ball and be ready if anything pops loose or simply get down there and pick some people off the pile. It’s tough for a defensive player to strip the ball when he’s being gored by a raging rhino weighing over three bills.

Too many times one finds it easy to make a block, then watch the rest of the play from a distance, like the Gambler counting money after a good hand. I have been guilty of this and i know of what i speak.

“You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealins’ done.”