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Running Back Jonathan Dwyer Could Push Isaac Redman for Playing Time in the Pittsburgh Steelers Backfield

July 7th, 2012 at 11:45 PM
By Mark Mihalko

As the Pittsburgh Steelers creep toward the opening of training camp, everything remains quiet. In fact, the only news to come out recently is the lack of progress between the team and wide receiver Mike Wallace in his contract situation. When camp finally opens on July 27, one position everyone will be watching is running back. While we have written about the potential Baron Batch could bring to the offense, it is another player who could really push Isaac Redman for playing time early in the season in Rashard Medenhall’s absence. That player is Jonathan Dwyer.

'DSC_0203_A' photo (c) 2007, Jessa - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
Of course, Redman deserves first crack at the starting position after a solid campaign in 2011. The 6-0, 230-pound fan favorite runs like a bull and performed well in spot duty recording 479 yards (4.4 YPC) and three touchdowns with his limited reps. However, as with everything on the Steelers, he will still have to earn his playing time and must play with the edge that helped him rise from undrafted rookie free agent to playoff starter.

One player who also flashed some potential in 2011 was Dwyer, who recorded his first 100-yard performance early in the season. For some fans, Dwyer has not developed as they had hoped after the Steelers drafted him out of Georgia Tech. Maybe they are right, but he did come from a triple-option attack that is the farthest thing from a pro style offense, and did need an acclamation period.

Sure, Dwyer did not endear himself to some fans when he came into camp out of shape last season after the lockout, but something changed early in training camp and Dwyer appeared to be on his way until being injured during the 2011 season. Blessed with a solid combination of size, speed and power, the 5-11, 235-pound bruiser may finally be ready to excel in the Steelers system and more importantly may finally have a chance to compete.

Even if Dwyer cannot unseat Redman for early playing time, he should be a perfect compliment as the lead back up as he has many of the same characteristics and skills as Redman. Something the team could use as they try to wear opposing defenses down in the running game.

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Tags: Baron Batch, Football, Georgia Tech, Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, Mike Wallace, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers

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