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Old 04-26-2010, 09:48 PM   #1
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Default Steelers benefit from Dwyer's fall


4/26/2010 3:31 AM

Steelers benefit from Dwyer's fall
By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer, dlolley@observer-reporter.com

This article has been read 2287 times.

PITTSBURGH - The disappointment was clearly palpable in Jonathan Dwyer's voice.

After leaving Georgia Tech following back-to-back 1,395-yard seasons as a sophomore and junior, Dwyer saw jumping to the NFL as a no-brainer.

That was particularly true after the pre-draft evaluation process the NFL offers underclassmen rated him as a second- or third-round prospect.

Instead, he wasn't selected until the Steelers grabbed him with the 19th pick in the sixth round, the 188th selection of the draft.

The Steelers, who were looking for a complementary runner to Rashard Mendenhall after losing Willie Parker as a free agent, were happy to scoop up a player who was the ACC Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore.

"He's a big kid, with deceptive speed and productivity," said Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert. "And as a junior you still think he hasn't reached his full potential yet."

A number of things worked against Dwyer.

First was Georgia Tech's triple-option offense that made it difficult for teams to evaluate him as a runner.

Then, he ran the 40-yard dash in just 4.65 seconds at the combine, which wasn't what scouts wanted to see from him despite the fact he's a 5-11, 230-pound runner.

Finally, there was news leading up to the draft that he had tested positive for amphetamines at the NFL combine.

Dwyer couldn't do much about the first two things, but he did have a problem with the third.

"The failed drug test was because of medical prescription," said Dwyer, who has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. "It's medicine I've been taking since the fifth grade. Of course, everybody knew that that was going to come up before the combine. All the teams knew about it afterward, just the fact that maybe it wasn't handled the right way in the media aspect. But it's a medicine I still take today, each and every day I wake up, so it's not going to change soon."

For the Steelers, the main concern with Dwyer was him adjusting to an NFL-style offense after playing fullback in the triple-option.

"I think that some of the earlier reports had him going much higher," said running backs coach Kirby Wilson. "But I think as the evaluation period went on, you started to see the things that he needed to work on; that he was not a finished product. When you talk about taking a guy in the first round (or) second round, that guy has to be darned-near a finished product."

The Steelers aren't looking for that from Dwyer, but they would like him to contribute in a manner similar to the runner he replaced at Georgia Tech, Tashard Choice. Choice averaged better than five yards per carry the past two seasons with Dallas in a backup role to Marion Barber.

"This kid has broken a lot of long runs. I think his average was 6.2 (yards per carry) for his career," Colbert said. "There were some signs in there that, in a more conventional offense, this kid should be able to do it. ... We think there is something there that we probably all haven't seen yet. We hope that's the case."

Dwyer certainly feels like he has something to prove to the teams that passed on him again and again.

"All the waiting and everything, not knowing what was going to happen was kind of overwhelming," Dwyer said. "But just knowing that you have an organization that believes in you gives you motivation to go out there and prove all those other people wrong."

Odds and end zones

The Steelers have come to terms with seven undrafted rookie free agents, including former Connecticut standout running back Andre Dixon. Also signed were Virginia Tech nose tackle Cordarrow Jackson, Connecticut defensive end Lindsey Witten, Miami (Fla.) center A.J. Trump, guard Dorian Brooks of James Madison, tackle Ciron Black of LSU, and strong safety Da'mon Cromartie-Smith of UTEP.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers benefit from Dwyer's fall

I like this guy brings a lot to the table
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers benefit from Dwyer's fall

I've heard good things about him, hopefully he can help bring some smash mouth football back to the Burgh.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers benefit from Dwyer's fall

Sounds like we got a steal with this kid.
"A man's got to know his limitations."
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:04 PM   #5

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Default Re: Steelers benefit from Dwyer's fall

I didn't know much about Dwyer when the Steelers drafted him, but I've been checking out some videos and I like what I see. I think he has a lot of potential.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers benefit from Dwyer's fall

he has a pretty wicked stiff arm and for a kid that "doesnt run fast" he looks like he has plenty of football speed to me. he just looks like a foot ball player and that is a good thing.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers benefit from Dwyer's fall

i like the pick. One of the few. Can he block? As much as we want to be a running team. We are not good enough to do that. Not sure we are good enough to chuck it either, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers benefit from Dwyer's fall

What the? So did they sign Ciron Black or not?? All these sources are saying different things
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers benefit from Dwyer's fall

I don't know much about ADD, but from what I've seen of the kid all Ben has to do is hand him the ball and point in the general direction he wants him to run. I think we got lucky.

Simply, The Chief.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers benefit from Dwyer's fall

I don't know much about this young man either, but from what I've read thus far, every other NFL team's losses who passed on him could be our gain!

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