The Preseason Is Bell Answering Season For Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer

Every year when it looks as if Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer might be down for the count, he always gets himself off the mat and answers the bell. In the preseason loss Monday night to Washington Redskins, Dwyer answered the bell both literally and figuratively as he replaced injured rookie running back Le\’Veon Bell after the first offensive possession and finished the game with 68 yards on 14 carries.

Ever since he was drafted in the sixth-round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Dwyer has made the preseason his bell ringing season as he has now rushed for 588 yards on 124 carries dating back to his rookie year. While it hasn\’t been pretty at times, Dwyer has been at his best when his back is against the wall. In addition, he has missed very little playing time due to an injury.

Depending on how long Bell winds up being sidelined by his foot injury, Dwyer could very well could be the running back that the Steelers ask to answer the bell as the starter in the season opener against the Tennessee Titans. In the six games that he started last season, he rushed for 391 yards on 84 carries, and twice he topped the 100-yard mark.

During the offseason, the Georgia Tech product was once again heavily criticized for his conditioning as it looked like the dinner bell was the only bell he had been answering. Dwyer warned everyone not to bet against him again this year, and so far he is once again proving his doubters wrong.

During his post game press conference Monday night, head coach Mike Tomlin said Dwyer had his moments and that he did some nice things against the Redskins. If those nice things continue in the final two preseason games, it will be hard for the Steelers coach not to make him his bell cow running back until Bell is ready to play again. At the very least, it is clear as a bell that Dwyer deserves the opportunity to start the third preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    Bryan: I think Dwyer had 2TOT on special teams last night as well.. is that correct?

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    Dwyer was the only bright spot on offense last night..

  • Mkeller

    I want to get behind Dwyer but his conditioning is always in flux. The problem is he’ll pull it together for training camp then slowly blow up as the season wears on. It slows his feet, limits his stamina to carry the load and contributes to nagging injuries.
    When in shape the guy looks like he can get it done but I don’t trust his effort in the long run.

  • TJimmy

    He needs to be motivated by winning, not just the fear of getting cut.

  • Bryan Shaffer

    Started 6 games last season and topped 100 yds in 2 of them. That’s great, but that means in the other 4 games combined he had 191, or less than a 50 yds/game average. We need consistency.

  • Patrick

    He didn’t do anything any other jabrony back would have done. then he fumbled again

  • Garrett Hunt

    Wheaton? Sanders?

  • dgh57

    DeCastro?

  • Kevin SFIC

    ^ ^ ^ ^ This…and I would add Shark to the list too

  • Christopher Wilkes

    It’s *jabroni, and you’re completely wrong. Dwyer looked great running. He made decisive cuts and had a quick burst. Sure, he screwed up on a couple plays, but considering how poor the O-line played ALL night I think he preformed very well. You definitely can’t excuse the fumble, especially since it led to points, but Paulson also needs to stop getting his ass kicked at the line on just about every play he lines up to inline block. He was thrown directly into Dwyer, forcing him to stumble, and when he tried to regain his balance the ball was popped out. Dwyer is, by far, our best RB despite the drafting of ‘Tinker’ Bell.

  • Guest

    …”offense”

  • Ken

    My thoughts exactly

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Sigh… his conditioning was never a problem. Jerome Bettis HAD a conditioning problem. ANYONE who hit hole like Redman and Dwyer does, get gassed out period. WHY? Not much of blocking done. Back in 98′ and 99′ fans was calling out Bettis and claimed Richard Huntley ought to be a starter (if anyone remember? Even I was around 10, 11 at the time and I remember this) only my concern is Dwyer holding on to the ball.

    Does Le’Veon Bell has potentials to be an every-down pro bowl back? Yes! But Bell definitely isn’t better option at the moment. My grudge against Tomlin was he give up too soon. He put people in the doghouse too soon. Bell has better athleticism, size, is faster, more agile, and much more well-conditioned. Yet Bell couldn’t bounce outside well, know why? He run inside too hard, Dwyer run light when going inside then boom outisde/inside. Dwyer’s vision make him one of better running back in AFC North. WE are no longer the team that can run inside, sooner we accept this fact, easier and lower our expectations will be.

    Point being, EVEN Adrian Peterson will struggle behind this O-line. Sure he can still get 1,200 but with how Tomlin treat his running backs? Haha I don’t think so. Stay with Dwyer until Bellprove otherwise. Not buying the hype at all.

  • Patrick

    23 of his yards came on 3rd and 26

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Shamarko is a safety… not on offense.

  • dgh57

    He’ll get motivated when he decides to grow up and take his job seriously!

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    You would probably have said same thing about Isaac Redman, Rashard Mendenhall, Willie Parker, and even Jerome Bettis. Fact: our O-line is VERY mediocre. No push in running game, occasonally they do but you DO not rely on this O-line. Too much of trust have been put into O-line. Its not conditioning- its the beating our RBs take from O-line’s poor blocking. They get hurt, really they do.

  • Mkeller

    Don’t think I would have said Willie Parker and Mendenhall suffered from weight issues or didn’t like to train. I wouldn’t mention Redman as I see him as a marginal RB at best. As for Bettis….you’re kidding right??? It was a Dwyer comment not a commentary on an all time great. I fully agree that the line hasn’t played well in recent years and it has greatly affected the ground game. But I won’t be swayed that Dwyer likes to eat and hates to work out. The guy has proven it with every opportunity including this offseason and last regular season. He ballooned during the regular season. He’s flat out inconsistent and not just as a player.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    How much did he ballooned last season? Was there a credible source toward his weight-gain? I mean from what I remember, he gained BEFORE season started and when he had that 2 100-games no one was complaining but when he wasn’t producing people pointed the finger at his weight. I mean come on. Dwyer didn’t gained like twenty-something, that’s not realistic.

  • Mkeller

    Maybe he was wearing (2) Kevlar vests.

  • Tom oneal

    Bell wasted 2nd rounder.

  • steeltown

    Based on…..?

  • JohnnyV1

    He’s healthy and running pretty well, no one else has both of those things going for them right now.

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    Neither of them really stood out… I believe sanders will be fine I think it was the product of our offense that made him look average.. As for Wheaton he didn’t really impress me at all.. Not on special teams and other then his long catch which was a result in bad coverage more then good route running he didn’t really shine.. Again, with the offensive lien being so bad it didn’t help the QB get the ball to the WRs so I’m no throwing Wheaton under the bus.. Needs work on his routes tho

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    The entire offensive line was atrocious .. I refused to giving anyone props on the OL..

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    Little early for that haha but on the other hand Eddie lacy did look real good last game hahh

  • dgh57

    Whatever Mr. Always Right!!

    I didn’t say anything about him being perfect but I’ll take 2 bad snaps out of 39 total snaps any day!

  • steeltown

    He caught 3 balls for 52yds and had a special teams tackle..I think he played well, wasn’t great in the return game by any stretch but for being a rookie, on the road after missing OTAs and minicamps I think he’s coming along nicely.. 2nd on the Team in rec. yds after 2games behind only E.Sanders

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    I never said he wasn’t going to pan out for us I just said I haven’t been impressed as of yet.. The offense in general hasn’t been good.. Wheaton got a lot of snaps yesterday, he should be leading the team he should be getting more reps in preseason then starting WRs (sanders)… Again with the Qbs having no time to really make some credible throws I won’t pass judgement on any WRs like I said earlier!

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    I am no way dissing Decastro he was clearly the best OL on the field yesterday..OL works as a unit and it looked awful.. DeCastro wasn’t perfect by no means but he also didn’t play much last season..he will be fine but he clearly wasn’t a “bright” spot in the offense like my original post stated.

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    PS.. I never claimed I was always right but thanks for the compliment bud.. I just call it like I see it!

  • Pete

    So much for all those who had Dwyer packing his bags. The Steelers need both Dwyer and Redman especially if Bell can’t get on the field. Howling and Batch can fight it out. Watching Monday Night’s game, I saw some positives and Dwyer was one of them.

  • Pete

    I thought Wheaton played well, especially the 40 yd reception. Sanders also played well in my opinion. Sanders is going to get paid!

    I don’t know how this season is going to go but it’s not looking pretty right now. A couple of preseason games left to go so we’ll see when the Titans come to town what kind of season it will be.

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    He worked out this entire offseason in Florida with Ike,Timmons and a bunch of those guys..I’m pretty sure he’s motivated now. We got a taste of what it takes to be a starting RB and really worked hard this offseason. I think he started to be more mature and focused this offseason

  • Pete

    I agree with the last few lines. Bell has to prove he can 1) stay healthy and 2) run better than the other backs. The O line is young and I thought that would be a problem going into 2013-2014 season. They have to get it together and become cohesive or it’s going to be a really long season. I’ve never seen a Steelers O line this young before and that’s why they are a big question mark.

  • Shea Fahr

    ..like YOU see it…Glad you clarified that for us..Thanks

  • Bob Graff

    Right now the entire Steeler offense is an enigma. Can Ben function in this offense? Do we have a quality RB on the roster? Can the o-line improve? Do we the worst TE situation in the NFL ? Do we really have enough talent at WR to compete with the elite teams? STAY TUNED FOR NEXT WEEK

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    Appreciate the comprehension..

  • sean mcmartin

    I have always thought The Steelers never knew if Mendenhall was great or not..his offensive line was always sub par. The Steelers knew this and have drafted high picks on Offense. looks like Colbert missed on O-line picks, pouncey Decastro excluded

  • dgh57

    “The entire offensive line was atrocious…I refused to giving anyone props on the OL..”

    How is anyone supposed to get anything else out of that quote but dissing Decastro? If a player has only 2 bad snaps out of 39 total snaps in my book that’s a “bright” spot and I’m going to give him CREDIT FOR IT!!

    If you want to be BLIND to that go ahead be my guest!

  • JC Chuta

    Why do I have a feeling that Le’Veon Bell will be injury prone similar to Osama Mendenhall? How the heck did he get hurt on that play??? Geez, if he gets hurt on such an irrelevant tackle, imagine what injuries he’ll sustain in a real game, specially against the Ravens!!!

  • paltel

    Tell me what did Dwyer weigh in game one of 2012 versus game sixteen of 2012. I doubt that you have any factual information to back up your assertions about Dwyer’s eating or training habits.

  • paltel

    Other than your baseless slur, who says he is not motivated to win?

  • dgh57

    There were reports Dwyer showed up at the OTAs up to 260 pds. I even saw a short film clip of him in the background and he looked rather plump. From the end of OTAs to the start of TC he did workout with Ike & Co. and that’s why he showed up at TC in shape, but I don’t think so for the whole off season. There are articles written on this subject on this website.

  • Mkeller

    The guy is on a 1 year non guaranteed contract and showed up at OTAs weighting 260. Does that sound like a disciplined man to you? He’s battled weight issues since he was drafted. Not sure the team would divulge to me what he weighed in December of 2012 but he was noticeably bigger. I know he’s a Steeler so he must be awesome. I get it…if its draped in black n gold you can’t help but to over value it. They just exhausted a 2nd round pick on a RBI!!!!! If Bell and Redman were healthy he’d be gone and his 1.3 mil would be used to sign some scrap heap o-line depth. He struggles with his weight. Hit him up on twitter and ask him why. I don’t have the answer. All I know is eats too much and runs too little.

  • Mkeller

    He showed up at OTAs weighing 260. Don’t believe he was working hard all offseason. Not knocking the guy I just don’t think he has the will power to stay focused on his weight.

  • charles

    Fair questions Bob. I think the Oline is taking more of a hit than they should. Second game only. It looks like Pouncey got bouncied. He had a bad game. The Oline will gel. Paulson has great reciever potential but he needs to quit taking advice from Whimpey and start taking it from DeCastro.
    Ben did look lethargic.
    How many sacks did we ring up?
    The rookies kicked a–.

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    Regardless, hes never been so slim and hes ready to roll? He showed up to training camp in the best shape of his life. Take it for what its worth. Not only that, he looked Good with a very crappy day by the offensive line

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    Listen, Offensive line was trash yesterday. It was very clear. That does not mean they all suck. Maurkice Pouncey is a pro bowl center. He got man handled by Barry Cofield. That doesn’t mean he sucks ha it means he has a bad game. AGAIN from my Original Post the only “Bright” spot in a very Dull offensive performance was Dwyer who made something out of nothing. DeCastro played decent he had a holding call against him and missed a few blocks. AGAIN, this doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a BRIGHT future. Im just saying he had an OK game not a BRIGHT game…

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    260 lbs? Source? Bet’s you don’t have it.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    He also had another 23 yard run, and added 2 catches for 12 yds on 3 targets, which is an improvement to his receiving performance in the first game.

  • paltel

    You have failed to offer any proof. Get back to me when you have something tangible to offer beyond the hot air being expelled from your balloon.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    for now….

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Steelers have 4 quality RB on roster…fantasy football nightmare but it could really benefit black and gold if starting O-Line comes together, and I think they will. I’m perfectly OK with Bell being inactive for the first few games until he proves he healthy and better than Dwyer/Redman.

    Steelers have by far the worst TE situation in the NFL without Heath. Can’t believe we didn’t pony up a few bucks for Dallas clark, although maybe he knew he’s be on the bench before September ended. Paulson should be cut and sent to practice squad. Not sure who should be starter…I’d say add another tackle on the end of the line but we really don’t have one worthy of NFL paycheck.

    Brown, Sanders and Wheaton are definitely talented enough…either Haley will design some plays to get them the ball, or Ben will create a play…or, Ben will be under a pile of rubble and WR talent won’t matter.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    ? I went to same high school with him, knew him through middle school- never he once had played offense.