Our look into the free agents for the Pittsburgh Steelers has brought us to the running back corps. The Steelers have 3 running backs who will become unrestricted free agents on March 11th and one of them is Jonathan Dwyer.
Jonathan Dwyer was drafted by the Steelers in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Georgia Tech. He saw playing time sparingly throughout his first two seasons and was part of the multi-headed running back monster of the 2012 season. Dwyer was released before the 2013 season kicked off, but was re-signed after LaRod Stephens-Howling suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the first game against the Tennessee Titans. In 2013 Dwyer mainly played a short-yardage back, averaging 4 yards-per-carry and totaling only 197 yards for the season. He also had 8 receptions for 64 yards. Most importantly, Dwyer didn’t fumble the ball in 2013, which was a major problem for him in 2012.
I was surprised at his release last summer. I think that’s one of the moves Tomlin made last year that proved to be a mistake. Clearly he was the better running back between himself and Isaac Redman, who was released by the Steelers mid-season and not picked up by another squad. I feel like both he and Redman had an opportunity in 2012 that they both squandered. Aside from the fact that the Steelers had their regular offensive line woes, it seemed as though the coaching staff was begging for either Dwyer or Redman to insert themselves into the conversation of the next starting running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers and neither of them put up much evidence to back themselves. Now, since drafting Le’Veon Bell, Dwyer’s only hope is to stay on as a backup and situational back, which isn’t exactly a bad gig for him.
I think the Steelers need to think long and hard about the situation their faced with at the running back position. While the offensive line is supposed to improve under new line coach Mike Munchak, the running game needs to get better as well. You’d think that the team will most likely keep two out of the three free agent running backs so they need to determine if Dwyer will be the back they saw in late 2013 or the back with ball security issues from 2012 going forward. Tough call but I give Dwyer the benefit of the doubt here and sign him to be a part of the supporting running back corps going forward.
What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? Do you think Jonathan Dwyer remains with the Pittsburgh Steelers?