Did The Steelers Bring Back Van Dyke To Simulate The Speed Of Marquise Goodwin?

The Pittsburgh Steelers decision to add cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke back to the roster on Tuesday was a bit of surprise to me, but perhaps the reason behind the move is to better prepare the defense for the Buffalo Bills offense this week, if it is not primarily a special teams related move.

Let’s face it, Van Dyke was not brought in to play defense as he his way behind thanks to him missing nearly all of training camp and all of the preseason due to a hamstring injury. Being as he is healthy now, could it be possible that the former third-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders was brought back to play wide receiver on the scout team this week in an attempt to simulate Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin?

Goodwin, who has all of eight catches this season, does sport a 21.4 yards per catch average and he can stretch the field with his speed. Four of his eight catches this season have gone for 19 or more yards and both his touchdowns were good from 40 yards out or better.

Back in February at the 2013 NFL Combine, Goodwin posted an official 40 time of 4.27 seconds and that was the second fastest time ever recorded in the history of the event. Just so you know, in 2011, Van Dyke turned in a 4.28 official 40 time.

According to my research, Van Dyke played some wide receiver back in high school, so the position is probably not that foreign to him. Really, how hard is it to run go and post routes?

Goodwin also returns kickoffs and when he is not committing penalties, Van Dyke has used his speed in the past to help out on special teams.

Unless someone from the media watching practices this week confirms that Van Dyke is being used some as a wide receiver on the scout team, consider this thought of mine as blind speculation. It does, however, make sense even if it winds up being way off the mark.



  • Ike will probably wind up on Steve Johnson. Gay runs a 4.51 serious mismatch there. Cortez runs a 4.45 so could be an option. Could Van Dyke be being brought back to match up against Goodwin?

  • dgh57

    Here’s a crazy thought, if that indeed is the case then maybe we’ll uncover a WR in the process!

  • Eric

    I was a fan of DVD to make the team this year and I am glad he is back. It does not matter to me if he is a WR on the scout team for a week or not, the guy is fast and has upside as a CB and I could imagine him at WR to stretch the field. In college he returned 2 KO’s for TD’s ant took 4 PR’s to the house. Everyone that wanted Reggie Dunn to make the team as a KO specialist, should think about DVD and his potential to speed up the secondary and play ST.

  • dgh57

    Possibly, but unless Van Dyke is a fast learner he has missed to much time to be playing defense this soon.

  • steeltown

    Would love for Van Dyke to magically become an option for us in the defensive secondary, especially considering our current depth and Ike Taylors age

    {wishful thinking}

  • Eric

    Townie, DVD did play special teams in 9 Steeler games last year and he got a few defensive snaps against the Cowboys before getting hurt. It would take a few weeks but it might not be all magic.


    And bring Limas back as a CB. God knows he already has the hands to play DB for the Steelers.

  • SteelersDepot

    DVD has never taken a snap on defense with the Steelers. Not one.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    I think we was supposed to get snaps in that game but was hurt on the teams first punt. Not sure if I am right about this so don’t quote me.


    “I think we was supposed to get snaps in that game but was hurt on the teams first punt.”

  • dgh57

    It’s called speculating on a fringe player that has speed which can be used in a lot of areas on the football field. Besides that I didn’t say it had to be done overnight! I also, neither said he could or that we should try him out at WR!

  • Eric

    I stand corrected.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    bring in a CB and take up a roster spot to prepare the team for a rookie with 8 catches? I was thinking that maybe he was brought in to take Sharks spot as a gunner. Maybe Shark is going get more time on defense primarily? They know he is a small dude this could be a move to save his body knowing he will be playing more safety this year, and they like what they have seen enough to think that he his the answer at safety long term. would you agree SD?

  • sean mcmartin

    With the season being over , Why do the Steelers continue the revolving door of the past. The O-line still sucks. Why not try a cast off from a winning program? at any position. Namdi A, just cut by niners. he might be cheap enough for them to sign.

  • SteelersDepot

    Bills will be without Woods likely this week and Goodwin starting to get more reps. 63 of his 121 snaps have come in the last two games.

  • steeltown

    I’m hoping there is more to this than just preparing for Goodwin, im hoping they are thinking long term, not just because we lack secondary depth but also because they have played so poorly of late….

    If we can keep guys like C.Brown and Blake around for special teams play only, then maybe we should keep a guy with a lot of physical ability and try to hone in on his other shortcomings… Woodson liked him and Lake liked him enough to keep him through the offseason….
    {wishful thinking}

  • He is finished “Can’t stop a nose bleed”

  • richheddleson

    I’m more afraid of Spiller……….even with an injured ankle…….

  • Alan Felicia

    He did start 4 games his rookie season in Oakland (2011). Played mostly man coverage. Its not like he’s totally inexperience. I’m thinking coaching staff was more comfortable with Van Dyke as the next CB up. Brown is down and I don’t think coaches were high on either Blake or Greene.

  • Lucus Rodriguez

    I would also add that Dvd has upside. No one has seen him on defense for us. Maybe oakland was using him the wrong way. lake knows how to coach up Dbs look what he did for lewis and gay since he has been back. Everyone knows asahmiuas(Sp) best days are behind him. The niners are a good team for a reason they dont cut good players.

  • steeltown

    I really dont understand the Namdi fascination, he really only ever had ONE great year back in ’05 or ’06 and it was a GREAT one, but since then he has been avg or even well below avg

  • Was living off of reputation & that Stupid Al Davis Contract

    Married to the chick from Scandal though-Giggity


    dgh57, don’t get me wrong. I like the idea!

  • Douglas Andrews

    Have they ever tried Van Dyke on Kick returns? 4.28 40 could he be more explosive than Felix Jones?

  • Josh Knepshield

    Why did we give up on Terry Hawthorne so soon. A 5th Rd pick who was great in college. This guys tape was fantastic when I watched him. I know he was injured but it still doesnt make sense to not even put him on the ps. Another wasted pick I guess.

  • gene mann

    I thought Ike might not be able to play this week and DVD knows the system.but you have a good point

  • JohnnyV1

    Our pass-rush is going to be ridiculously good this week and make Buffalo’s WR position irrelevant in this contest. We’ll have like 10 sacks! j/k

  • george

    do you really think they signed him to simulate a wr that catches 3 balls per game? Thats scary!

  • Jazz

    Ike will possibly have to sith this week out; he sustained a concussion, it would be better if he did. The Steelers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    “…and when he is not committing penalties, Van Dyke has used his speed in the past to help out on special teams.” Thx Dave, just another reason why I enjoy this site and your articles so. I get to come here for free chuckles… oh and Dr. Dooms’ invaluable contributions of opinions, insights and otherwise useless..er, I mean useful… tidbits of knowledgeable walking encyclopedia caliber of information to all things Steelers past, present and future.

  • joed32

    JimWexell said that he had a terrible attitude and wasn’t coach-able. No one else has signed him either.

  • Josh Knepshield

    Oooh. I didnt know that. Thanks, but shouldnt Colbert and co. Have known that with as much planning and preparation they put into the draft? Or are they just that horrible at judging someones character?

  • joed32

    Yes they should, these kids are well coached by their agents about what to say in interviews. But you would think they would ask team mates, coaches, etc. about his attitude. I’m sure they do that for their top picks but by the time you get to the 5th round the players remaining may not have been ones that you intended drafting when the process began.