Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer Set To Train Down In Florida Once Mini Camp Is Over

Last Monday Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said during his press conference that we shouldn\’t read much into the running back rotation currently be used during the offseason practices and that putting the pads on in training camp is when it matters the most. At that time, I speculated Jonathan Dwyer was only being given the majority of the first-team reps because he ended the 2012 season as the starter and on Tuesday running backs coach Kirby Wilson confirmed that to indeed be the case.

“We just start them where we ended,” Wilson said Tuesday after practice, according to a report by Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “There really is no pecking order other than that’s how we ended the season. Guys are jumping in accordingly and rotating themselves. There really is no rhyme or reason to it.”

In an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday night, Dwyer said that despite the pecking order not being firm, he intends on emerging as the starter out of training camp.

“I think I bring experience,” said Dwyer. “I think I know how to play this game, and I\’ve been here for a long time now, and I think it\’s my job to lose, and it\’s up to me to solidify that opportunity for myself and take my play to a whole another level this upcoming season.”

If Dwyer indeed intends on taking his play to another level in 2013, he will likely need to take his weight to a lower level between now and the start of training camp. According to Kaboly, the Steelers former sixth-round draft pick plans on spending the next month down in Florida working out with running backs Matt Forte and Maurice Jones-Drew at Pete Bommarito Performance System.

Dwyer made that same Florida trip last offseason and it worked out just fine for him, but he might need to shed a few more pounds this time around with the Steelers expected to use more of the outside zone in 2013.

“I am going to do whatever I have to do in order to get ready, compete and keep my spot and to become my best,” Dwyer said per the Kaboly report. “This is the way I can take care of my family and take care of my wife and son. This is just another year to prove myself and become better than I was.”

As far as Dwyer visibly tapping out of games last season, the Georgia Tech product once again addressed that issue on Tuesday after already addressing it several times only this time he made it clear that the other running backs also took themselves out of games as well.

“I guess it was because mine was more visible and I put my hand on top of my head,” Dwyer said. “Some guys just run out. I am the one who visually does it so you can see it. I am not a selfish guy. I am not going to take the ball and something bad happens. I am going to go as long as I go. There are many plays where I am out there for a long period of time. People just see when I tap out. You want the bulk of the carries but if you need a blow, you need a blow and then get back in.”

As far Dwyer and the other running backs go as it relates to being on their details thus far throughout the offseason practices, Wilson let it be known that his group has been “near-perfect” thus far. Wilson was also asked after practice to describe what he\’s looking for out of second-round draft pick Le\’Veon Bell moving forward.

“Just the ability to grasp the entire offense, the entire package, from a protection standpoint, ball security, running the right route on pass plays,” said Wilson. “We are looking for all phases from him in order to be able to compete at the highest level. The fundamentals have to be there.”

  • 2443scott

    i think the steelers want dywer around but he hasnt shown he wants to be a every down back some times he runs like he can next time he takes off a play and i feel the steelers pushing dwyer during draft day as a trade was more so see what we can get if nothing then we still gave dwyer you better get your head in game or you be cut …batch hasnt done much and red well he seems to want to go all out every run but lacks following the blocks ….now dwyer is now saying he plans to do better and be the back the steelers want …so my question is why now why is it he needs to be that back this year what about years before ….the reason is he was told by smoke signals from steelers you could be gone and now he plans to be best he can be say steelers say ok we keep him will he then half way through season take off that game again …i think its time to move on from dwyer and batch because down road if bell pans out the money they save from those two will be there to use on bell in few years before he gets to that contract year …

  • steeltown

    I like Dwyer.. he’s shown improvement over the last couple seasons, he’s still very young, he will improve again this offseason and I fully expect him to show up to training camp in shape. I truly hope he makes the 53man

    I like to hear Kirby saying the group has been “near perfect” thus far

  • cencalsteeler

    I agree with Dwyer that his rotating out to get a breather is overanalyzed. The rb position exhausts a player quicker imo. Rotation is key in order to keep fresh legs out there to continue to pound the rock. He is a big framed back, so he probably exhausts himself quicker than a back that is smaller in stature. He was big in college, so there are no surprises there. A rotation of Dwyer and Bell should compliment each other this season. That, along with a dash of Redman and LSH, provides an opportunity to keep defenses guessing and hopefully the chains moving.

  • Mike Sweeney

    Why doesn’t Dwyer workout during the offseason? Overweight again and going to Florida for a quick fix, to workout with all pro rb’s? Maybe he should have this mindset to be in football shape a couple months prior to OTA’s and show the organization he’s serious. I wanna I wanna I wanna to improve each season. hmmmm don’t think so or he wouldn’t be “tapping out”.

  • PA2AK

    I think it’s wild that people expect Bell to come in and be a 1,000 yd starter from day one. I have a good feeling about Dwyers development…his mental maturity has been pushing the physical from how I see it. Dwyer is the guy to beat at this point. He knows the system, and there is certainly something to be said about PB technique. Given Ben’s health is a major priority, better believe the RB getting reps will be capable in that area. Bell should be a great back, but it will take some doing to unseat Dwyer this year.

  • PA2AK

    Amazing that people think either Bell or Jones will be starters right out of the gate. They have great potential and should be much better in years to come than those currently ahead of them. With that said, the guys in front of them have more than a leg up. It will take much more than pedigree and college tapes to be a starter on day 1.

  • lefnor


    There will be a lot of outside zone play, he is in contract year and fat again? Lol.

    4 offseason, 4 bad conditioning and he wanna be the number one back. Are you kidding? He just talks and talks and talks. He should train too.

    This is not a guy to trust. This should be his final season with the Steelers if “standard is standard” means something for Coach Tomlin.

  • Robert Alaniz

    I agree and I think Dwyer is improving but my concerns are his choice of words. Conditioning is part of the position and as Mike said, why is he still not working out or working out more in the off season instead of running down to Florida with one last push to get down to a weight?

    He has the talent. He is not a complimentary back as I read someone say.smh. He is nimble and deceptively quick for his size however, his unwillingness to take conditioning seriously is why they brought in Bell. There are a lot of first round RB’s anyway that have started the first game as a rookie.

    Bell has appeared to everyone who has commented and seen him anyway as seeming to be in amazing shape. He catches the ball very well out of the backfield…..already before he plays a down in the NFL.

    I think Dwyer starts however, if he isn’t killing it and with our improved and healthy line or fading in games; i think Bell will be starting by the 3rd or fourth game.

    Dwyer not making the 53man? smh Unless he comes back from Florida looking like Casey Hampton and can’t even fit his head in his helmet……Dwyer isn’t going anywhere this year guys and you can quote me on that.

  • Robert Alaniz

    I should have said 1st and 2nd round running backs.

  • steeltown

    Agreed..contrary to some peoples belief Dwyer was our best RB last season and you don’t just release or trade your best RB because you recently drafted one. I cant emphasize enough, he’s young turns 24yrs old in July and I for one think his best Football is ahead of him, even if that means as a #2

    In the end arguing about it is pointless though, they’ll compete in camp and preseason, but personally I think he wins a spot

  • PA2AK

    The ‘tapping out’ thing is ridiculous. Guy was gassed…it happens to some…or all RB’s. He’s in a backfield that had a 3-man rotation…that’s what he should be doing if he needs a breather. As far as being overweight…has it been reported that he is well overweight again? I was reading that he still plans on losing weight, but that he is lighter this year than he was at the same point in years prior. I agree though, he does need to put up or shut-up when it comes to conditioning and being prepared for the season. I have high expectations for him this year. He has some good ball in him.