We Have a Jonathan Dwyer Sighting

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.

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  • FW

    Our bud Dwyer seems like quintessential practice squad material at this point.

    Florio’s inferential ability is, in a word, stunning. Once he gets past the nugget of rumor and starts his spin, you pretty much know it’s wrong. As in, Terry Bradshaw dead wrong.

  • Randy Steele

    If Dwyer truly showed up to camp fat and out of shape, he sealed his fate. Heck, Isaac Redman got cut last year because Tomlin didn’t like the shape he was in, despite the fact he had a pretty awesome pre-season.

    Dwyer will get the ball this week only because the coaches don’t want to take a chance that any of their more valuable running backs will get hurt. If Dwyer is lucky, he makes the practice squad.

  • RoB D

    Dwyer : You can’t teach desire and he seems to be lacking that quality. I think most Steeler fans have already moved on and as Ryan notes, we have a lot of other positions to fill out. Maybe its Dwyer is just a guy who doesn’t understand the stakes. Or what kind of opportunity he had to make a team that isn’t exactly overflowing with Pro Bowl level talent at the RB position. That’s what really bites about this situation for the casual fan. Wasted opportunity by an athlete with the requisite skill set to possibly make an NFL team.

    Now watch him run rampant on the Broncs and mess with our minds! LOL…

  • Cols714

    I’d keep him over Summers. Summer is supposed to a FB in this offense. The problem is, he doesn’t look very good whenever he tries to block someone.

    Dwyer will probably just end up on the practice squad. If he doesn’t, it’s not that big of deal.

  • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

    Cols,

    The only thing about Dwyer over Summers is if that’s the roster math, I’d rather forget both of them and keep some combination of Hills, Urbik, Butler, Sylvester and, of course, Antonio Brown.

  • Bigswa

    Dixon taking 1st team reps hasn’t been confirmed.

  • Cols714

    I totally agree.

  • Tiger6123

    Scott’s not the Answer?
    I do not know how anyone can call Willie Colon our best OLM when in the last two years he is responsible for over one third of the sacks. So now if he played for new Steelers’ line coach Sean Kugler at Buffalo, was signed in the off season and every one was talking about him starting at right tackle would you be writhing about how bad he played for his passed team? Scott played for a bad team and some times when a player moves to a better team with better coaching they just play better also why would you want to sign with a team that is rebuilding when you could play for a team that can make it to the playoff’s and maybe just maybe get to the supper bowl. Don’t be so hard on him give him a chance you just might be surprised.

  • FW

    Not sure I want to hang my hat on Scott. A R5 out of Texas, where he preceded Hills, he played 2 years in Detroit and 2 in Buff, though no stats for 2008 there. Two bad teams admittedly, but good linemen play for bad teams (see Thomas, Joe: Cleveland Browns), showing skill and want-to. That latter seemed problematic for Scott in previous stops, and he was injured a bit IIRC.

    14 GS, 15 penalties, 16 sacks allowed. Not sure how you explain a penalty and a sack per start as the function of playing on a bad team. Perhaps he does just need a fresh start, but it would appear the Hotel has RT locked and Scott, Hills, and Foster are merely in the rotation as backups.

  • Blitzum

    I think keeping Dwyer, if and only if he goes light out, is safer only because the other guys have a better chance of staying on our practice squad. I don’t see teams knocking down Crezdon Butler’s door. Urbik and Harris concern me more. I think Sylvester has a future but could make the practice squad.

    all that said I see little hope of us seeing the guy we had hoped we drafted running the ball these next two games.