The headline over the Steelers notebook in today’s Post-Gazette reads: Dwyer runs into a RB controversy.
There can be no controversy, though. Jonathan Dwyer is now the team’s starting halfback. There is no way that Mike Tomlin can start anyone else right now. The coach often says that things will work themselves out and now they have as Dwyer emerged from a runner-by-committee into the clear starter after two consecutive 100-yard games, the first by a Steelers back in four seasons.
Unless Dwyer is hurt – Tomlin said his right quad tightened on him late in the game – for anyone else to start against the New York Giants would be the controversy. Dwyer has done it; the others simply have not.
Dwyer has 299 yards rushing and a 5.2-yard average. Isaac Redman is next with 127 yards rushing but only a 2.5-yard average. Rashard Mendenhall has 74 yards and a 3.9-yard average.
Mendenhall and Redman have been hurt and both have had good games. Mendenhall ran for 68 yards on 13 carries against Philadelphia and caught three passes for 33 yards including a 13-yard touchdown that day. Redman became the first Steelers back in 42 years to have over 100 yards receiving in a game, against Tennessee with 105 on four receptions.
But Dwyer has clearly been the best and most consistent runner. He’s big at 235 pounds and he reminds at least one of his teammates of . . . Jerome Bettis.
“He’s just hitting it, man,’’ guard Willie Colon said. “He understands where he needs to be, he’s reading the blocks, he’s doing a great job and when he gets outside he’s keeping his feet alive and making plays. It feels good to kind of see him step forward, it kind of reminds you of The Bus a little bit. I’m proud of him.”
Bettis was a little bigger than Dwyer, but not by much when he was young. He also had famous quick feet and Colon, who called Bettis’ quick feet “amazing,’’ said Dwyer has those as well.
“I think he does, I really do. The thing about Dwyer, when you see him hit outside, he may get stuck, he keeps his feet alive and he takes it up and hits it north. A lot of backs don’t have that ability, so it’s good to see.”
By hearing the players’ comments after the game about Dwyer, MT could lose the locker room if he started anyone else at halfback in New York.
Onto some little stuff:
--- Guy sent me a Tweet that read: “Despite the win, the 1934 Steelers uniforms are still hideous.’’
Me: You then could call it an ugly win.
--- Not many ’34 throwbacks spotted in the stands yesterday.
--- Someone needs to have a little talk with Antonio Brown about showboating.
--- YOU: Suisham has been incredibly accurate this year. Even his one miss was on target, but short. What are his chances of making the Pro Bowl or All-Pro team due to his accuracy (and not total points)?
ME: He obviously has a chance but it’s tough for someone from the Northeast to make it because of the weather conditions in which they must kick in the final two months of the season.
--- YOU: Is it just me, or is Todd Haley's play calling MUCH less predictable than BA's was?
ME: Maybe, but then you had five seasons to figure out Bruce Arians and just seven games watching Todd Haley call them.
--- YOU: While not a factor for the Steelers this year, from both a
humanitarian and future seasons persepctive: any idea how David
ME: Yes, he’s on injured reserve and rehabbing his knee daily at the Steelers facility.
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