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PSU_dropout43
08-31-2010, 05:34 PM
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth

by James Walker

AFC North roster bubbles

With teams required to cut down to 53 players by Saturday, it's time to focus on the final rosters in the AFC North.

Expect plenty of chatter internally this week among general managers, scouts and coaches throughout the division on who should make the team. This is always one of the most intriguing weeks of the NFL season.

With that said, here are several interesting players on the bubble in the AFC North:



8. Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Steelers

Analysis: Dwyer made a strong push late for a roster spot in Pittsburgh. After a disappointing training camp, Dwyer led the Steelers in rushing with 89 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's exhibition loss to the Denver Broncos. Running back Isaac Redman has been stellar and secured the third running back job that was intended for Dwyer. Thursday's preseason finale will be vital for the sixth-round pick.

Cut-O-Meter: 55 percent


4. Justin Hartwig, C, Pittsburgh Steelers

Analysis: Hartwig struggled at center last year and lost his job this preseason to first-round pick Maurkice Pouncey. The Steelers believe Pouncey is a star in the making, which leaves Hartwig's future in limbo. Despite the benching, there is no question Hartwig is one of Pittsburgh's best 53 players. That should be enough. But Hartwig also is scheduled to make a little more than $2 million this season. He's being paid as a starting center and that's no longer his role. There's a chance Hartwig could compete at right guard or simply be the first center/guard off the bench in the event of injury. Hartwig's experience and versatility help his case.

Cut-O-Meter: 30 percent

frankthetank1
08-31-2010, 09:43 PM
cutting dwyer would be a mistake if that means keeping summers. both mchugh or johnson can play FB better than summers can. there are a bunch of guys i would cut before dwyer.

hawaiiansteel
08-31-2010, 10:43 PM
cutting dwyer would be a mistake if that means keeping summers. both mchugh or johnson can play FB better than summers can. there are a bunch of guys i would cut before dwyer.


:Agree

after watching that game against the Broncos, there seemed to be no shortage of candidates to get cut.

i would definitely keep a young RB with potential like Dwyer, he was one of the few bright spots we had versus Denver.

Slapstick
09-01-2010, 08:50 AM
If Dwyer plays like he is capable of playing in the Carolina game, I can see the Steelers keeping him on the 53 man but not playing him on Sundays...like they did with Willie Parker in 2004...

flippy
09-01-2010, 10:37 AM
I'm still not sold on Dwyer. I'm also not big on Summers either.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
09-01-2010, 10:57 AM
Put me on the side that says we don't cut anyone we like in favor of Summers. He has done nothing to show me he belongs or that he can do the FB job better than one of our TEs.

I would also prefer to see Redman line up in the backfield at FB rather than Summers.

ikestops85
09-01-2010, 11:07 AM
Put me on the side that says we don't cut anyone we like in favor of Summers. He has done nothing to show me he belongs or that he can do the FB job better than one of our TEs.

I would also prefer to see Redman line up in the backfield at FB rather than Summers.

That was my thought also SFTO. Redmen has proven to be a very good blocker as well as a good runner. He would give us versatility in the backfield and block better than Summers.

Ghost
09-01-2010, 11:29 AM
I posted this in another thread but here in GA Tech land, the local sports guys and folks who watched Dwyer play are literally in shock that he's fighting for a roster spot.

Two guys said if you had told them last season that Dwyer would not make a roster they'd have called you crazy. You saw a bit of that in the last game. I was excited and thought they had gotten a bit of a steal in the 6th. Highly disappointing he came in out of shape but I believe he can play in the NFL (no Peyton) but a contributing back.

Some team in a dire situation at RB could easily snag him off the PS.

phillyesq
09-01-2010, 11:31 AM
Put me on the side that says we don't cut anyone we like in favor of Summers. He has done nothing to show me he belongs or that he can do the FB job better than one of our TEs.

I would also prefer to see Redman line up in the backfield at FB rather than Summers.

That was my thought also SFTO. Redmen has proven to be a very good blocker as well as a good runner. He would give us versatility in the backfield and block better than Summers.

Has Redman been asked to block from the FB position? I've seen him lined up as a FB a few times, but I don't recall seeing him asked to perform as a lead blocker.

I'd put Dwyer on the PS, cut Summers, and add a real, traditional FB that gets cut from another team.

Oviedo
09-01-2010, 11:32 AM
I posted this in another thread but here in GA Tech land, the local sports guys and folks who watched Dwyer play are literally in shock that he's fighting for a roster spot.

Two guys said if you had told them last season that Dwyer would not make a roster they'd have called you crazy. You saw a bit of that in the last game. I was excited and thought they had gotten a bit of a steal in the 6th. Highly disappointing he came in out of shape but I believe he can play in the NFL (no Peyton) but a contributing back.

Some team in a dire situation at RB could easily snag him off the PS.

It will be a mistake to leave him off the 53 man roster. He will never stay on our practice squad for the entire season if at all.

Ghost
09-01-2010, 11:35 AM
I posted this in another thread but here in GA Tech land, the local sports guys and folks who watched Dwyer play are literally in shock that he's fighting for a roster spot.

Two guys said if you had told them last season that Dwyer would not make a roster they'd have called you crazy. You saw a bit of that in the last game. I was excited and thought they had gotten a bit of a steal in the 6th. Highly disappointing he came in out of shape but I believe he can play in the NFL (no Peyton) but a contributing back.

Some team in a dire situation at RB could easily snag him off the PS.

It will be a mistake to leave him off the 53 man roster. He will never stay on our practice squad for the entire season if at all.

I agree.

Slapstick
09-01-2010, 02:12 PM
I think the pure blocking FB train has sailed...the Bruce Arians offense isn't going to do it...

They will make do with a RB like Redman or a TE like Johnson or McHugh...

Oviedo
09-01-2010, 02:23 PM
I think the pure blocking FB train has sailed...the Bruce Arians offense isn't going to do it...

They will make do with a RB like Redman or a TE like Johnson or McHugh...

The pure blocking FB has sailed from most of the teams in the NFL. Every successful team uses more one back sets that they do I-formations. How often do you see two backs behind Brady, Brees or Manning? Maybe 10% of the plays.

feltdizz
09-01-2010, 02:30 PM
While I like seeing Dwyer run for some yards lets not fool ourselves. He ran well against 3rd stringers after missing the first 2 games but it wasn't like he broke 5 tackles on the way to scoring a TD.

I don't see how he gets picked off the PS given how many teams passed on him in the draft.

If he gets more touches earlier on Thursday and continues runs all over people then maybe... but I think you guys are looking at Dwyer through the Steeler goggles. It's not like he has 3 preseason games of superb play. Other guys who had similar runs are going to get cut and put on practice squads too.

RuthlessBurgher
09-01-2010, 02:35 PM
I think the pure blocking FB train has sailed...the Bruce Arians offense isn't going to do it...

They will make do with a RB like Redman or a TE like Johnson or McHugh...

The pure blocking FB has sailed from most of the teams in the NFL. Every successful team uses more one back sets that they do I-formations. How often do you see two backs behind Brady, Brees or Manning? Maybe 10% of the plays.

That is true, but even if they are only used 10% of the time, aren't those few plays some of the most important snaps in the game? Being able to convert 3rd and 1 is vital...you either move the chains and keep the drive going, or punt the ball to the other team. Being able to pound the ball in goalline situations is monumental...the difference between getting a TD or FG there is huge...those 4 points could easily be the difference in the game.

We are already quite good between the 20's when we tend to use single back sets ourselves...where we suck is in short yardage and goalline, which is were a fullback would be most useful (I'm talking about a real fullback like Dan Kreider or Tim Lester, not a pseudo-FB like Frank Summers or Carey Davis). I don't care if he's only on the field 10% of the time or less on offense...I just want him to be available when we need him (plus, a good hard-nosed fullback should be able to contribute on special teams as well).

SanAntonioSteelerFan
09-01-2010, 02:37 PM
I think the pure blocking FB train has sailed...the Bruce Arians offense isn't going to do it...

They will make do with a RB like Redman or a TE like Johnson or McHugh...

The pure blocking FB has sailed from most of the teams in the NFL. Every successful team uses more one back sets that they do I-formations. How often do you see two backs behind Brady, Brees or Manning? Maybe 10% of the plays.

That is true, but even if they are only used 10% of the time, aren't those few plays some of the most important snaps in the game? Being able to convert 3rd and 1 is vital...you either move the chains and keep the drive going, or punt the ball to the other team. Being able to pound the ball in goalline situations is monumental...the difference between getting a TD or FG there is huge...those 4 points could easily be the difference in the game.

We are already quite good between the 20's when we tend to use single back sets ourselves...where we suck is in short yardage and goalline, which is were a fullback would be most useful (I'm talking about a real fullback like Dan Kreider or Tim Lester, not a pseudo-FB like Frank Summers or Carey Davis). I don't care if he's only on the field 10% of the time or less on offense...I just want him to be available when we need him (plus, a good hard-nosed fullback should be able to contribute on special teams as well).

Ruth - Please don't cloud the discussion with reasonable points of view! :lol: :lol:

RuthlessBurgher
09-01-2010, 02:51 PM
I think the pure blocking FB train has sailed...the Bruce Arians offense isn't going to do it...

They will make do with a RB like Redman or a TE like Johnson or McHugh...

The pure blocking FB has sailed from most of the teams in the NFL. Every successful team uses more one back sets that they do I-formations. How often do you see two backs behind Brady, Brees or Manning? Maybe 10% of the plays.

That is true, but even if they are only used 10% of the time, aren't those few plays some of the most important snaps in the game? Being able to convert 3rd and 1 is vital...you either move the chains and keep the drive going, or punt the ball to the other team. Being able to pound the ball in goalline situations is monumental...the difference between getting a TD or FG there is huge...those 4 points could easily be the difference in the game.

We are already quite good between the 20's when we tend to use single back sets ourselves...where we suck is in short yardage and goalline, which is were a fullback would be most useful (I'm talking about a real fullback like Dan Kreider or Tim Lester, not a pseudo-FB like Frank Summers or Carey Davis). I don't care if he's only on the field 10% of the time or less on offense...I just want him to be available when we need him (plus, a good hard-nosed fullback should be able to contribute on special teams as well).

Ruth - Please don't cloud the discussion with reasonable points of view! :lol: :lol:

Sorry about that...I'll go back to what I do best then...posting funny pictures. :P

http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/funny-pictures-nuts-birds.jpg

http://www.motifake.com/demotivational-poster/0801/ninjas-demotivational-poster-1201803218.jpg

http://www.fresnobeehive.com/archives/assets_c/2009/02/fail-owned-pork-fail-thumb-400x300-17186.jpg

flippy
09-01-2010, 03:45 PM
I think the pure blocking FB train has sailed...the Bruce Arians offense isn't going to do it...

They will make do with a RB like Redman or a TE like Johnson or McHugh...

The pure blocking FB has sailed from most of the teams in the NFL. Every successful team uses more one back sets that they do I-formations. How often do you see two backs behind Brady, Brees or Manning? Maybe 10% of the plays.

That is true, but even if they are only used 10% of the time, aren't those few plays some of the most important snaps in the game? Being able to convert 3rd and 1 is vital...you either move the chains and keep the drive going, or punt the ball to the other team. Being able to pound the ball in goalline situations is monumental...the difference between getting a TD or FG there is huge...those 4 points could easily be the difference in the game.

We are already quite good between the 20's when we tend to use single back sets ourselves...where we suck is in short yardage and goalline, which is were a fullback would be most useful (I'm talking about a real fullback like Dan Kreider or Tim Lester, not a pseudo-FB like Frank Summers or Carey Davis). I don't care if he's only on the field 10% of the time or less on offense...I just want him to be available when we need him (plus, a good hard-nosed fullback should be able to contribute on special teams as well).

James Harrison likes to hit people. And he's got a low center of gravity. I bet he'd relish the opportunity to take out LBs.

Slapstick
09-01-2010, 04:19 PM
There are lots of offenses that use a player in the more traditional FB role than the Steelers do...

The problem is that the Steelers are not one of those teams and will not be as long as Bruce Arians is calling the offense...

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
09-01-2010, 04:56 PM
Here's my take on the FB issue. I believe they gave the shot to Summers to be that guy. But the more and more I watch the Tomlin-Arians driven offense...And the more the identities of the young players take shape...I believe the Steelers will not have that true blocking FB. Arians wants "football" players on the field at skill postions. Meaning all can run, block, & catch...All need to be accounted for by the defense. It is the league trend it seems. For the limited number of plays the Steelers would need a true FB in the Bronco package...The Steelers have their FB in Doug "Bronco" Legursky.

To comment on Dwyer. Probably a real accurate number at 55%. I don't believe he did just enough to be on the 53 just yet. Good production in the last game could put him on. If he doesn't stand out, he could be headed for the PS. My personal wish would be he will do enough in the last game to make the Steelers keep him on the 53 to avoid another team stealing him. There is such a thing as momentum, building confidence, getting on a roll....I believe that is the direction this could be going. Some of his actions during the last game showed me that the smoke actually was coming from a fire. I think Dwyer was possibly being too hard on himself struggling through camp or maybe feeling a little sorry for himself. More than likely the latter which comes with the imaturity. But he seemed to get a hop as things started rolling right...I hope this continues.

From what I'm gathering from some media close to the Steelers is they are impressed with the youth and might lean towards taking a chance on 2 QBs while Ben is out. Perhaps extending the evaluation period for some bubble players who they normaly would release & tuck away on the PS. They go with Lefty & Dixon for 4 games and El serves as the emergency QB. Opening a roster spot and extending evaluation period for a player like Dwyer, Sylvester, or Butler. But if Dwyer puts up something like 12 carries for 28 yards...Don't expect him to earn a spot on the 53. You take away his 40 yd run he still average 4.1 a carry. That is still some solid production no matter who you are running against when you go over 10 carries. Duplicate it again...I think the Steelers will continue to let him come into his own.