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hawaiiansteel
05-03-2010, 09:56 PM
Pittsburgh Steelers Team Report

Did the Steelers find the next, productive Jerome Bettis-like running back in the sixth round of the draft? That's where they selected Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer, who at 5-11 played at 244 pounds last season but has gotten down to 225.

They desperately needed a relief pitcher for starter Rashard Mendenhall, who also will play on third downs. Dwyer could be it, as well as try out to become the short-yardage back.

Twenty years earlier, they drafted a back on the fifth round, Barry Foster of Arkansas. Two year later he set the Steelers' record with 1,690 yards rushing in 1992. And there also was Willie Parker, signed as an undrafted rookie who went on to become their third-leading career rusher before signing this year with the Washington Redskins as a free agent.

Dwyer came out early from Georgia Tech after the NFL committee that advises juniors on their possible draft status predicted he would go in the first or second round.

"Not often do you find 230-pound halfbacks with his ability with the ball in his hands," said Kirby Wilson, who coaches the Steelers' backs.

Dwyer was ACC Player of the Year after he rushed for 1,395 yards in 2008. He matched that total last season. But several factors combined to hold down his draft stock. He is not considered a finished product for the pros because he did not block or catch much running in the Yellow Jackets' triple-option offense close to the line of scrimmage in a 3-point stance.

"It's going to be relearning for him," said Wilson. "It's like getting back on a bicycle and starting all over again."

But he seems a perfect fit for a Steelers offense that is under orders by president Art Rooney II to run the ball more consistently that it did in 2009, when the once-proud Steelers ground game ranked just 19th in the NFL and had difficulty in short yardage.

Mendenhall led them with 1,108 yards and a 4.6-yard average but they also want to use him on third downs. The only other back on the roster with real experience is Mewelde Moore. Frank Summers, whose rookie season ended with minor back surgery, and two players who spent much of last season on their practice squad, Isaac Redman and Justin Vincent, join them.

Dwyer is the only other back they have since added to their 91-man roster.

"This kid's broken a lot of long runs," said Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations. "We think there's something there we all haven't seen yet."

NOTES, QUOTES

Pittsburgh had little depth across the board at linebacker last season and was proven to be weaker inside than anyone expected. That changed in a hurry over the course of a month.

First, they re-signed Larry Foote to shore up their inside, then they drafted two outside linebackers with their first four draft choices Jason Worilds, their second-round draft choice from Virginia Tech, and Thaddeus Gibson, their fourth-round pick from Ohio State.

Neither did they stop there. They took outside linebacker Stevenson Sylvester on the fifth round. He can play inside or out, but they'll probably move him inside.

That all might look as if the Steelers were desperate for outside linebackers. Not when you have three-time Pro Bowler James Harrison, the 2008 defensive player of the year, and LaMarr Woodley, who earned his first Pro Bowl trip, as starters.

But, really, they had nothing behind them. If one of the two outside linebackers had gotten hurt, inside starter Lawrence Timmons would have moved outside. That still might be the case if one of the rookies does not advance quickly enough in the learning process that it takes to convert from 4-3 college end to 3-4 outside linebacker.

At least now, they have Foote back. With the slowing of James Farrior, 35, Foote's return after a one-year hiatus with Detroit was fortunate.

"We like to groom them for a couple years and let them get their feet underneath them," linebackers coach Keith Butler said. "The guys that have been successful here have always been good on special teams for us the first couple years they've been here."

Among those were Woodley, Harrison, Joey Porter, Jason Gildon, Clark Haggans, Mike Vrabel, Greg Lloyd and others. Many of them were college defensive ends who needed time to learn the new position, as will Worilds and Gibson.

"They are two quality, young, 250-pound-ish men, if you will," coach Mike Tomlin said. "Of course, we value that here in Pittsburgh. We believe that's a formula for winning football. They are big guys that can run. They love to play the game in a physical manner. We're looking for those guys to contribute in whatever ways that we ask them."

Pittsburgh gave up little for a starting cornerback when they acquired Bryant McFadden during the draft. They got McFadden and Arizona's sixth-round draft choice and sent the Cardinals a fifth-rounder. McFadden started for the Steelers in 2007 and 2008 and left as a free agent for the Cardinals. He did not play well in Arizona but the Steelers were happy to have him back.

"We jumped at it," said coach Mike Tomlin. "You know what you are getting."

A Steelers official said the organization will support QB Ben Roethlisberger in his rehabilitation.

"We can't defend the behavior or the actions and as an organization we won't," said Kevin Colbert, their director of football operations. "But we do defend his opportunity to make right. And I think that's the right thing to do. This guy has helped us win two championships and he's made some mistakes but he also deserves the opportunity to rectify those mistakes. I know we stand behind his opportunity to do that."

Pittsburgh lists one fullback on its roster and he's never played the position. Demetrius Taylor played linebacker and then defensive end at Virginia Tech, but the Steelers have put him at fullback. He is 6 feet, 275 pounds.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think when you throw in Bryant McFadden and Byron Leftwich, two players we were able to pick up using picks that we acquired this year, we really think this is a nice class and we're anxious to see them go to work." Kevin Colbert, Steelers director of football operations.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

FRANCHISE PLAYER: PK Jeff Reed (tendered at $2.814M); signed tender April 13.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

LB Rocky Boiman was a late edition to try to save their drowning special teams. He's not likely to return.

SS Tyrone Carter won't get a contract from the Steelers again unless hell freezes over.

DE Travis Kirschke, although he turns 36 this year, has been dependable and could re-sign if he does not go elsewhere, especially if they get nothing at the position in the draft.

CB Deshea Townsend thinks he can still start in the league and the Steelers have no plans for him to do that. If he finds nothing of his liking in free agency, they will offer him a contract to return.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

RB Carey Davis (not tendered as RFA)..

OG Darnell Stapleton (not tendered as RFA) was their starting right guard until an injury put him on injured reserve.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (*indicates restricted because of uncapped year): None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

LB Patrick Bailey: ERFA; terms unknown.

QB Charlie Batch: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

FS Ryan Clark: UFA; $14M/4 yrs, $3M SB.

DE Nick Eason: UFA; 1 yr.

NT Casey Hampton: Potential UFA; $21.3M/3 yrs, $11M guaranteed/$6.5M SB.

*OT Willie Colon: RFA; (tendered at $2.521M with first-round pick as compensation); $2.521M/1 yr.

CB William Gay: RFA; (tendered at $1.101M with fifth-round pick as compensation); $1.101M/1 yr.

PK Jeff Reed: Franchise FA: $2.814M/1 yr.

P Daniel Sepulveda: RFA; (tendered at $1.101M with fourth-round pick as compensation); $1.101M/1 yr.

TE Matt Spaeth: RFA; (tendered at $1.101M with fifth-round pick as compensation); $1.101M/1 yr.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

S Will Allen: UFA Buccaneers; $4.4M/3 yrs, $950,000 SB.

WR Arnaz Battle: UFA 49ers; $3.975/3 yrs, $975,000 SB.

LB Derrick Doggett: CFL FA; terms unknown.

LB Larry Foote: UFA Lions; $9.3M/3 yrs, $1.8M SB.

QB Byron Leftwich (trade Buccaneers).

CB Bryant McFadden (trade Cardinals).

WR Antwaan Randle El: FA Redskins; $7M/3 yrs, $900,000 SB.

OT Jonathan Scott: Not tendered as RFA by Bills; $545,000/1 yr.

PLAYERS LOST

WR Joey Galloway: UFA Redskins; terms unknown.

WR Santonio Holmes (traded Jets for 5th round draft choice).

RB Willie Parker: UFA Redskins; 1 yr, terms unknown.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/footb...lers/notes.htm

Oviedo
05-04-2010, 07:54 AM
Dwyer could be the "steal" of the entire draft if he can learn the playbook and adjust to the scheme.

I think we have to hope that Emmanuel Sanders can have something close to a Mike Wallace-like rookie season or we have serious concerns at WR.

BradshawsHairdresser
05-04-2010, 11:18 AM
More than almost any other position, it's easier for a running back to step in and contribute.
So if Dwyer has what it takes to succeed at this level, we should know before too long.

Sugar
05-04-2010, 11:40 AM
Dwyer could be the "steal" of the entire draft if he can learn the playbook and adjust to the scheme.

I think we have to hope that Emmanuel Sanders can have something close to a Mike Wallace-like rookie season or we have serious concerns at WR.

:Agree

There are some "if's" in there, but it's looking like the young guys will have the opportunity to make an impact.

hawaiiansteel
05-04-2010, 06:29 PM
More than almost any other position, it's easier for a running back to step in and contribute.
So if Dwyer has what it takes to succeed at this level, we should know before too long.



Dwyer is a one-cut runner who doesn't block or catch very well and did not perform well at the Combine. but you're right, we'll know before too long if he has what it takes...

Sugar
05-04-2010, 06:38 PM
More than almost any other position, it's easier for a running back to step in and contribute.
So if Dwyer has what it takes to succeed at this level, we should know before too long.



Dwyer is a one-cut runner who doesn't block or catch very well and did not perform well at the Combine. but you're right, we'll know before too long if he has what it takes...

The thing is that the Combine is pretty much a glorified track meet. It's not even to the level of football in shorts. You're right though, we will see if he has what it takes. So far, he has had it where it counts most- on the field!

Shawn
05-04-2010, 07:18 PM
Dwyer could be the "steal" of the entire draft if he can learn the playbook and adjust to the scheme.

I think we have to hope that Emmanuel Sanders can have something close to a Mike Wallace-like rookie season or we have serious concerns at WR.

I watched Brady make due with very little early in his career. I believe Ben can do the same. Ward, Wallace, Battle, ARE, Miller and Sanders should be more than enough for Ben to do his work. I'm not concerned about WR in the slightest.

Shawn
05-04-2010, 07:20 PM
More than almost any other position, it's easier for a running back to step in and contribute.
So if Dwyer has what it takes to succeed at this level, we should know before too long.



Dwyer is a one-cut runner who doesn't block or catch very well and did not perform well at the Combine. but you're right, we'll know before too long if he has what it takes...

I personally prefer one cut runners. I could care less about the combine. Blocking is mainly taught for a running back if they have the size to sustain a block. A running back doesn't have to be Orlando Pace. I prefer a back who can catch but I'll take a #2 who can just run...and run well.

hawaiiansteel
05-04-2010, 07:29 PM
More than almost any other position, it's easier for a running back to step in and contribute.
So if Dwyer has what it takes to succeed at this level, we should know before too long.



Dwyer is a one-cut runner who doesn't block or catch very well and did not perform well at the Combine. but you're right, we'll know before too long if he has what it takes...

I personally prefer one cut runners. I could care less about the combine. Blocking is mainly taught for a running back if they have the size to sustain a block. A running back doesn't have to be Orlando Pace. I prefer a back who can catch but I'll take a #2 who can just run...and run well.


what worries me about Dwyer is that he will have a very steep learning curve because he was in an unconventional option attack at Gerorgia Tech and was lined up only 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage instead of the 7 yards he will be at in the NFL. also, he only ran in between the tackles and i don't think he has the speed to bounce it outside...but we'll see.

i will be cheering for Dwyer and Isaac "Redzone" Redman to wage a spirited battle for a roster spot. :tt2

Shawn
05-04-2010, 09:06 PM
More than almost any other position, it's easier for a running back to step in and contribute.
So if Dwyer has what it takes to succeed at this level, we should know before too long.



Dwyer is a one-cut runner who doesn't block or catch very well and did not perform well at the Combine. but you're right, we'll know before too long if he has what it takes...

I personally prefer one cut runners. I could care less about the combine. Blocking is mainly taught for a running back if they have the size to sustain a block. A running back doesn't have to be Orlando Pace. I prefer a back who can catch but I'll take a #2 who can just run...and run well.


what worries me about Dwyer is that he will have a very steep learning curve because he was in an unconventional option attack at Gerorgia Tech and was lined up only 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage instead of the 7 yards he will be at in the NFL. also, he only ran in between the tackles and i don't think he has the speed to bounce it outside...but we'll see.

i will be cheering for Dwyer and Isaac "Redzone" Redman to wage a spirited battle for a roster spot. :tt2

I don't think the leap will be as big as some might think. Running the ball is running the ball. Reading blocking schemes and the linebackers is the same from 5 yards away as it is from 7. There will be some minor adjustments but I see him getting alot of work this preseason. He might struggle early but I suspect by the end of preseason we will know what he's got.

Pahn711
05-04-2010, 10:54 PM
Wasn't Frank Summers called the "next Jerome Bettis" last year?

Discipline of Steel
05-04-2010, 11:05 PM
Wasn't Frank Summers called the "next Jerome Bettis" last year?

Lets spare Dwyer those type of comparisons. I think of him more like the next Jim Brown anyway.

Oviedo
05-05-2010, 08:18 AM
More than almost any other position, it's easier for a running back to step in and contribute.
So if Dwyer has what it takes to succeed at this level, we should know before too long.



Dwyer is a one-cut runner who doesn't block or catch very well and did not perform well at the Combine. but you're right, we'll know before too long if he has what it takes...

I personally prefer one cut runners. I could care less about the combine. Blocking is mainly taught for a running back if they have the size to sustain a block. A running back doesn't have to be Orlando Pace. I prefer a back who can catch but I'll take a #2 who can just run...and run well.


what worries me about Dwyer is that he will have a very steep learning curve because he was in an unconventional option attack at Gerorgia Tech and was lined up only 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage instead of the 7 yards he will be at in the NFL. also, he only ran in between the tackles and i don't think he has the speed to bounce it outside...but we'll see.

i will be cheering for Dwyer and Isaac "Redzone" Redman to wage a spirited battle for a roster spot. :tt2

Put your money on Dwyer. It won't even be a contest, Redman is career practice squad "meat" and nothing more.

Pahn711
05-05-2010, 04:07 PM
Wasn't Frank Summers called the "next Jerome Bettis" last year?

Lets spare Dwyer those type of comparisons. I think of him more like the next Jim Brown anyway.

Too late. This article already did. But hey, if they continue to do this every year they may eventually get it right.

RuthlessBurgher
05-05-2010, 04:27 PM
SS Tyrone Carter won't get a contract from the Steelers again unless hell freezes over.

:lol:

Steel Life
05-05-2010, 04:54 PM
SS Tyrone Carter won't get a contract from the Steelers again unless hell freezes over.
Glad someone else feels the same way I do...

Pahn711
05-05-2010, 06:34 PM
SS Tyrone Carter won't get a contract from the Steelers again unless hell freezes over.
Glad someone else feels the same way I do...

Heh, I'm not sure I agree with that statement. You mean to tell me if theres an injury or two at safety in the middle of the season they won't call Tyrone Carter? The guy has spent years in the Steelers defense and can play both safety positions, I'd imagine he'd be the first person called. Sure he has seen better days, but in an emergency...

hawaiiansteel
05-05-2010, 06:38 PM
SS Tyrone Carter won't get a contract from the Steelers again unless hell freezes over.
Glad someone else feels the same way I do...

Heh, I'm not sure I agree with that statement. You mean to tell me if theres an injury or two at safety in the middle of the season they won't call Tyrone Carter? The guy has spent years in the Steelers defense and can play both safety positions, I'd imagine he'd be the first person called. Sure he has seen better days, but in an emergency...


i would rather the Steelers bring Carnell Lake out of retirement than bring Tyrone Carter back.

http://www.thepeoplescube.com/red/richedit/upload/2kba58f20bbe.jpg

Pahn711
05-05-2010, 07:18 PM
SS Tyrone Carter won't get a contract from the Steelers again unless hell freezes over.
Glad someone else feels the same way I do...

Heh, I'm not sure I agree with that statement. You mean to tell me if theres an injury or two at safety in the middle of the season they won't call Tyrone Carter? The guy has spent years in the Steelers defense and can play both safety positions, I'd imagine he'd be the first person called. Sure he has seen better days, but in an emergency...


i would rather the Steelers bring Carnell Lake out of retirement than bring Tyrone Carter back.

http://www.thepeoplescube.com/red/richedit/upload/2kba58f20bbe.jpg

Why was he so terrible besides the fact that he is not Troy Polamalu? I don't think he can be blamed for all the Steelers secondary problems last year, the dude even won a defensive player of the week award.

hawaiiansteel
05-05-2010, 08:34 PM
SS Tyrone Carter won't get a contract from the Steelers again unless hell freezes over.
Glad someone else feels the same way I do...

Heh, I'm not sure I agree with that statement. You mean to tell me if theres an injury or two at safety in the middle of the season they won't call Tyrone Carter? The guy has spent years in the Steelers defense and can play both safety positions, I'd imagine he'd be the first person called. Sure he has seen better days, but in an emergency...


i would rather the Steelers bring Carnell Lake out of retirement than bring Tyrone Carter back.

http://www.thepeoplescube.com/red/richedit/upload/2kba58f20bbe.jpg

Why was he so terrible besides the fact that he is not Troy Polamalu? I don't think he can be blamed for all the Steelers secondary problems last year, the dude even won a defensive player of the week award.


by no means was TC the cause of all of the Steelers' secondary problems last year, there was plenty of blame to go around (Gay, Ratliff, Mundy, Burnett, etc.)

i just think that at this point of his career TC is more of a liability than a solution.

Pahn711
05-05-2010, 08:55 PM
by no means was TC the cause of all of the Steelers' secondary problems last year, there was plenty of blame to go around (Gay, Ratliff, Mundy, Burnett, etc.)

i just think that at this point of his career TC is more of a liability than a solution.

Obviously he wouldn't be an ideal solution when we have guys like Clark and Polamalu. But this guy who wrote the article saying hell would freeze over before he got resigned is just absurd. In the rather likely event of serious injuries, Carter is probably our best free agent option.

hawaiiansteel
05-05-2010, 09:02 PM
by no means was TC the cause of all of the Steelers' secondary problems last year, there was plenty of blame to go around (Gay, Ratliff, Mundy, Burnett, etc.)

i just think that at this point of his career TC is more of a liability than a solution.

Obviously he wouldn't be an ideal solution when we have guys like Clark and Polamalu. But this guy who wrote the article saying hell would freeze over before he got resigned is just absurd. In the rather likely event of serious injuries, Carter is probably our best free agent option.



let's hope it never comes to that, i don't need to see that bad movie all over again.

NorthCoast
05-08-2010, 09:00 AM
Dwyer could be the "steal" of the entire draft if he can learn the playbook and adjust to the scheme.

I think we have to hope that Emmanuel Sanders can have something close to a Mike Wallace-like rookie season or we have serious concerns at WR.

I watched Brady make due with very little early in his career. I believe Ben can do the same. Ward, Wallace, Battle, ARE, Miller and Sanders should be more than enough for Ben to do his work. I'm not concerned about WR in the slightest.

I agree. No different than what Flacco has in Baltimore where they have lacked a dominating outside WR for many seasons. You have to play the cards you are dealt. And I think this is a prime opportunity with Ben out and thin WR corps to get back to a power running game. Believe me, there is no way Ben will argue the point when he returns. He knows he will have to swallow some pride considering his current status with the Steelers management.