The Pittsburgh Steelers waived running back Jonathan Dwyer over the weekend and head coach Mike Tomlin was asked Tuesday during his press conference if something outside of football led to the team parting ways with their former sixth-round draft pick.
“No, it was really about what we thought the other guys could give us,” said Tomlin. Obliviously we drafted and acquired Le’Veon Bell in the second round and he has that type of pedigree. Isaac Redman has done some nice things situationally for us in short-yardage and goal-line.
“LaRod Stephens-Howling has really consistent hands and showed some third down capabilities and Felix Jones – first-round pedigree – and quickly proved that he can do some positive things in terms of running the football and placing the ball where it’s supposed to go.
“So we based our decisions based on what we see and what guys do and we like the guys that we kept and really, our focus is on those guys.”
There has been a lot of speculation since Dwyer was released and it has included talk about his lack of commitment to his conditioning. While Tomlin didn’t come right out and say it, Dwyer just wasn’t good enough to beat out Isaac Redman for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart and being as he was scheduled to earn $1.323 million this year, the team had no choice but to waive him.
Tomlin also seemed to take a shot at Dwyer when he said that Felix Jones is putting the ball where it is supposed to go thus far during his short time on the roster. Dwyer, as I have pointed out several times during the preseason, wasn’t great at reading his blocks and finding the right running lanes.
In addition, Dwyer was nothing more than an average power runner without any upside. He was not great out of the backfield as a receiver and certainly not a big contributor on special teams in addition. The decision was an easy one for the coaches to make with Dwyer and I am sure they haven’t lost any sleep over it since making it.