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Steelers film session: Dwyer proving to be Bus-like

| Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, 10:44 p.m.
Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer stiff-arms the Redskins' London Fletcher in the third quarter Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, at Heinz Field. Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers running back Johnathan Dwyer plays against the Redskins' at Heinz Field Oct. 28, 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review
Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis puts a hit on the Redskins' Joshua Morgan at Heinz Field Oct. 28, 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review

Jonathan Dwyer has been compared to future Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis because of their similar running styles.

One hit wouldn't typically bring down Bettis, and Dwyer is proving he rarely goes down on the first hit, either. That again became evident Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

Dwyer rushed for more than 100 yards in his second consecutive start, and a lot of those yards came after he was initially hit.

Dwyer (5-foot-11, 229 pounds) carried 17 times for 107 yards, 68 coming after first contact. Add that to the 114 of his 122 yards coming after contact in a win over Cincinnati on Oct. 21, and that's 71 percent of his yards in his two career starts coming after contact.

Dwyer's biggest yards-after-contact play against the Redskins came in the first quarter, when he cut back and raced 15 yards untouched before running over safety Reed Doughty to gain another 19 yards.

Dwyer is averaging 4.1 yards per attempt after contact — second best in the league behind Buffalo's C.J. Spiller, who leads the league at 4.7 yards. No other running back in the NFL average more than 3.3 yards per attempt after contact.

Other observations

• The Redskins apparently didn't believe it would benefit them by putting pressure on Ben Roethlisberger, thus adding pressure to their already suspect secondary. Washington sent more than four pass rushers only four times in 30 non-goal-line situations, and Roethlisberger made them pay when they did send more than four. Roethlisberger completed 3 of 4 passes for 47 yards in those situations. The only incompletion was a drop by Emmanuel Sanders.

• Mike Wallace, who caught seven passes for 62 yards, is averaging about 7 fewer yards per reception compared to two years ago, and that lack of sending the speedy receiver deep continued Sunday. Wallace had passes thrown to him of 8, 3, -3, 13, 5, 9, 7, 3 and 10 yards.

• The Redskins add elements to their read/option scheme every week. However, against the Steelers, the option wasn't a big part of the game plan, especially when it came to Robert Griffin III. Only eight option runs were called (seven went to Alfred Morris), five passes off the option and two designed run calls for Griffin — a quarterback draw and an option read around right end.

• The Redskins were initially credited with 10 dropped passes — Santana Moss four, Josh Morgan two and Leonard Hankerson, Chris Cooley, Evan Royster and Darrel Young one each. In reality, they had seven, but a lot of those were aided by Steelers' defenders. Will Allen tipped one and dislodged another. Keenan Lewis' hit on Morgan forced him into a drop. Brett Keisel got his hand in the way of Royster, prompting him not to hold onto a pass. And tight coverage from Cortez Allen and Ike Taylor forced Moss into a drop. Add two poor passes — one to Morgan and another to Moss — and it looked a lot worse for Redskins receivers than it really was.

• Lewis had one of the best games. He allowed two catches for 23 yards and recorded three pass defenses and two impressive tackles — one on Morris behind the line of scrimmage and the other on a quarterback draw that kept Griffin out of the end zone.

• James Harrison didn't play a competitive snap in nine months because of a knee injury before returning in Week 5. Since then, he missed one snap, and that came against the Redskins. Harrison has been on the field for 243 of the Steelers 244 snaps since his return.

• Want to know how good Maurkice Pouncey is? All you have to do is look at the third-quarter direct snap run by Chris Rainey. Pouncey pulled and slammed into DeAngelo Hall 5 yards downfield, helping Rainey pick up 19 yards. Also impressive was rookie Mike Adams, who was 8 yards downfield knocking London Fletcher backward.

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