Steelers' Dwyer intent on losing weight, increasing role
Jonathan Dwyer was projected as a top 30 prospect before the NFL Combine in 2010. After the combine, his stock plummeted as questions about his weight and conditioning arose.
It cost him six rounds in the draft.
A year later, Dwyer arrived at training camp 20 pounds overweight and found himself in coach Mike Tomlin's doghouse. He was inactive for the first four games.
Dwyer isn't about to let his weight cost him another opportunity — arguably the biggest of his life.
Dwyer is set to be the backup running back to Isaac Redman when the Steelers start the season Sept. 9 in Denver. That is, if he comes into training camp in shape.
“I am pretty sure he has gotten it now,” Redman said. “I feel a light bulb went off in his head, and he is going to come to camp ready to go.”
Dwyer's actions are saying the same.
Prodded by two of the NFL's best running backs in Maurice Jones-Drew and Matt Forte — they share the same agent — Dwyer will spend the next four weeks in North Miami Beach, Fla., at Pete Bommarito Performance Systems ensuring he will arrive at St. Vincent College on July 25 in the best shape of his life.
“They asked me to come down, and I see how successful they are and how the training is and felt it was a good idea,” Dwyer said. “I thought to myself that I would be a fool not to go train down there with them.”
LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore, Ahmad Bradshaw and Jonathan Stewart also work out with Bommarito. So do some of Dwyer's teammates, including Antonio Brown and Lawrence Timmons.
“I am just realizing how much it takes to get where you are in this league and how hard you have to work and push yourself,” Dwyer said. “This is my year to prove something to myself, the league, to the organization, that I am worth more than what I was.”
Dwyer started workouts this week and will remain in Florida until the day before camp.
“I know if I come in at the weight I am supposed to be, I will be OK,” Dwyer said. “It is not anybody else's responsibility to come into camp in shape. It is mine.”
Dwyer fought to get into shape during training camp last year. He showed up at 240 pounds, did not finish Tomlin's opening-day “condition evaluation” and quickly found him taking part in the coach's mandated 7 a.m. workouts.
Dwyer lost 20 pounds, made the team and contributed a few weeks later. Playing because of injuries to Rashard Mendenhall and Mewelde Moore, he rushed for 107 yards, including a 76-yard run in a 38-17 win over Tennessee.
“I think I showed a little of what I am capable of doing,” Dwyer said. “Now it is about showing the consistency.”
With Mendenhall likely out until midway through the season because of an ACL injury, the Steelers need depth.
“Dwyer has all the talent in the world,” Redman said. “He can run the ball; he can block; he can catch out of the backfield. With him, it is all about him being able to come to camp in shape.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers rookie says Sam, his former roommate, has changed
- Steelers aim to create more turnovers this year with speedier defense
- Steelers notebook: Shoulder pads get technological boost for Ravens game
- After years of lobbying, Big Ben has Steelers running the no-huddle
- Joe Greene only 2nd player in Steelers history to get number retired
- Steelers hold high hopes for pass defense
- Steelers notebook: Brown calls Sanders’ comments about Roethlisberger ‘terrible’
- Steelers offensive linemen looking to build on strong 2013 finish
- Inside the ropes: Shazier shows off speed
- Steelers hoping that youth movement breathes life into team
- Steelers notebook: Mitchell to miss beginning of training camp