Hold Off Judging Jonathan Dwyer Until He Arrives At Training Camp

Jonathan Dwyer 2012 Steelers OTAOne of the concerns of Steeler Nation that seems to be surfacing coming out the Pittsburgh Steelers first OTA session this week is the weight of third year running back Jonathan Dwyer. His weight has been a concern of Steelers General Manger Kevin Colbert as well, who said back in late February on SiriusXM NFL Radio, “He\’s a big guy and you know sometimes he\’s a little too big quite honestly. He has to keep his weight in check, but he\’s 245 to 255 and he can run.”

Dwyer participated in the first two days of the OTA session this week and was excused Thursday so that he could attend his brother\’s high school graduation ceremony. Most of the fan base concern stems from the video shot of the day one practice that took place on Tuesday. I grabbed a still from that video that shows Dwyer to be a little thick around the middle.

Weight control is nothing new to Dwyer though as he admitted to showing up at training camp last year a little heavy, which led to him having to drop 15-20 pounds pretty fast. When asked about the extra weight he showed up with last summer, Dwyer said, “I was working out a lot right after last season. But then during the lockout, I rested my body and gained weight. The lockout was long, and I didn’t know when we’d come back. I just messed up.” When pressed further as to how he lost the weight he said, ““Just working, man. Working hard … doing extra work in the mornings during camp … running gassers after practice with the rest of the running backs … eating right and not eating after a certain time of day … keeping my calorie count down … just doing the right things. I’m losing weight every day. I’m back on the right track, and it is showing with the way I’m practicing and the way I’m playing.” Dwyer said at that time he was down to around 235-238 pounds.

This off-season has also presented another obstacle for the Georgia Tech product as he was recovering from surgery to repair a broken left foot he suffered late last season and he was not clear of rehab until early February. This of course prevented him from running for a good amount of time and that is certainly something he apparently needs to do keep his conditioning up and his weight down. Dwyer said back in April that his plans were to train with Tom Shaw during the the month of July, but those plans have since changed. He told us on the podcast a few weeks ago that the plan is now to train at Bommarito Performance Systems in Florida alongside teammates Antonio Brown and Lawrence Timmons. Dwyer said recently that ideally he would like to play at 225-230 pounds.

Training camp is still a good couple of months away and there are still two more OTA sessions and a mini camp that will take place over the course of the next three weeks. Following that Dwyer will still have a considerable amount of time to get his weight down. Until then I suggest we all hold off judging him until he reports to Latrobe for the start of training camp. Dwyer knows he has a great opportunity ahead of him to be the backup to Isaac Redman with Rashard Mendenhall likely to start the season on the PUP list. I fully expect he will photograph better at that time.

  • SteelerDave

    Part of being a professional athlete is keeping yourself in shape and eating a proper diet, even when recovering from an injury. The off-season is not an excuse to eat anything you want. These guys are paid very handsome amounts of money for a sport they will be lucky to play eight years as professional.

    I like Dwyer and think he has a ton of potential, he simply needs to learn to be a professional.

  • Cols714

    I love how Steelers fans freak out about everything.
    Wallace missing OTAs!!! OMG he must not be serious about being a Steeler
    Big Ben complains about offense!!!!! OMG he must not be team oriented and loves BA too much

    Dwyer a bit overweight according to a fuzzy photo!!!! OMG get in shape, the season is only 3 months away!!!!!!!!!!!

  • StrengthOfVictory

    You’ll also notice that, in the photo, Dwyer is wearing some kind of band/belt to keep his shirt from getting in the way. And that only serves to highlight his midsection. Not like a lot of the bigger guys in the NFL have washboard abs, anyway. You think Bettis had a six-pack?

  • mokhkw

    What freakout?

    Why wouldn’t we want the players to be in shape, or at OTAs? Can’t recall Ben complaining either, he made comments about it, but didn’t complain.

    If we have high expectations it’s probably because of the 6 rings and 8 SB appearances. As Tomlin has often said, the standard is the standard & we expect nothing less.

    Maybe there’s an affinity between that & winning?

  • Cols714

    Because none of this matters. Ben will learn the playbook, Dwyer will be in shape, Wallace will eventually sign.

    There is no reason to worry about any of this stuff.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    With his body mass he could easily lose 25-35 pounds in the 12 weeks leading up to the start of training camp just by eating better and exercising. He should do Insanity or P90X and then use a more up to date diet plan. They work to get the weight off and build muscle.

  • mokhkw

    In Wallace’s case I think there is to a certain degree – new OC and a new system which everyone on O should be trying to get as many reps in as possible.

    Not for Dwyer yet though. He’s in better shape than he was at this stage last year. He has a golden opportunity that many late round RBs never get, here’s hoping he takes advantage of it.

  • Yoni

    the playbook is absolutely a concern, not just for ben but for everyone.

    there is zero reason for it to be so complicated and it can only make our offense worse.

  • Bobby Bowers

    um… judging from the “pho-toe”… is it pregnancy awareness week already for cryin’ out loud?

  • CR

    I agree! It has become apparent that he lacks discipline, and to an extent work ethic. In addition, it is obvious that this is not something new with him and now I believe why he had a poor combine a couple years ago and why his physique has never looked real solid and more of a natural build. Seems like the guy simply relys to much on natural ability and strength than taking his whole career and physique to the next level through hard work, dedication, and commitment to being a professional. As far as judging is concerned we may have been able to say that in his first year, but this is a pattern and really starting to define who he is. You can know a person by their fruits and when someone has bore the same fruit time and time again there is no judgment necessary.

  • mokhkw

    Easy to learn=easy for the D to work out=easier to defend.

    Do you recall the story about Miami a few years ago when the D would call out the identical play the Fins O was going to run?

  • Cam

    Uhhhh Dwyer went to Georgia Tech.

  • SteelersDepot

    Uhhhh Typo.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I agree…this worries me…and if he gets to a position where we depend on him it could get ugly.

  • Kingmagyar

    The heat and practices at St. Vincent is good to knock off at least 15lbs come July-August.

  • Yoni

    Easier to learn =/= easier to defend.

    The best offensive minds in college (chip kelly, Mike Leach, Dana Holgerson, Gus Malzahn) have extremely simple offensive schemes.

    They win by focusing on execution.

  • Jrobdove

    He is not that far out of shape. Working out with a broken foot is not likely a good option. Inactivity will do that. As long as he is not too far away from football shape he will be fine and has plenty of time to work back into it. Don’t forget he also has some type of learning disorder that he is on medication for and that can also contribute to weight gain. The kid will likely be fine when we get to training camp and will then be ready for the season.

    Sometimes it is just good to let yourself relax and let your body rest for a while. On the other side of that coin keeping in shape has not helped Suggs and quite a few others who are already out for quite some time do to training injuries.