You know who’s been flying under the radar the past week or so? Jonathan Dwyer. Remember that guy? With the news of Maurkice’s ascendency, and Mork Florio’s absurd theory turning out true*, I lost track of Dwyer. Primarily because reports had him packing on 20 pounds before training camp, cloud-watching at practice, no-showing in limited snaps against the Lions, and then coming up lame the last week in Latrobe before missing the Giants get-together.
Jake Plummer once warned oft-injured Maurice Clarett that, “You can’t make the club from the tub.” So I just figured Dwyer had sealed his fate by half-assing his way through training camp. I still feel that way except now Dwyer has returned to practice and he expects to suit up against the Broncos. The problem is that Isaac Redman couldn’t have had a better preseason to date, and if Pittsburgh decides that they want Dwyer on the final 53, it means a couple things:
1. They will to go without a proper fullback and cut Frank Summers. Which means that those duties will fall to the tight ends and Doug Legursky. In theory, I’m fine with entrusting the job to those guys, but I’m less thrilled by the idea of Dwyer taking up a roster spot when he will probably contribute very little during the season.
2. They will keep five running backs: Mendenhall, Moore, Redman, Summers and Dwyer. This somehow makes less sense than 1. because it means one less roster spot for Crezdon Butler, Kraig Urbik, Sunny Harris or Stevenson Sylvester. In which case, I vehemently oppose it.
I suppose Dwyer could play lights-out this week and next, making Pittsburgh’s decision a little tougher. My problem is that if the guy didn’t give a shit midway through training camp, is there any reason to believe he does now? And going back to the whole running back fungibility argument, Dwyer would have to absolutely dominate the next eight quarters of meaningless organized football just to be in the “You know what? Let’s put in him on the short list of guys to consider” conversation.
I hope Dwyer succeeds. Just as long as it doesn’t affect the roster standing of other young guys, all of whom play positions more important and harder to fill than running back. Which, I suppose, actually means that I hope Dwyer doesn’t succeed. Okay, how’s this: put him on IR and let’s have this discussion again next summer. By that time, the NFL will have an 18-game schedule and the rosters will be expanded.
* I’ve given up trying to make sense of Mork Florio. He considers the news that Dennis Dixon will take some first-team reps as vindication for his hare-brained theories. Never mind that the Steelers wanted to stunt Dixon’s progress just last week. They have since seen the error of their ways thanks to Mork’s sound reasoning (please disregard Stan Savran’s on-air bitch-slapping). Our hats are off to you, sir.