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An important history lesson for you TRUE Steelers fans!

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Old 05-31-2012, 02:27 AM   #1
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Default Dwyer, Batch & Rainey: Three Steelers Late-Round RB "Steals"

Dwyer, Batch & Rainey: 3 Steelers Running Backs. 3 Late-Round "Steals." Only Room for One in the Hearts of Steelers Fans?

by Anthony Defeo on May 31, 2012



Jonathan Dwyer #27 of the Pittsburgh Steelers evades a tackle by Cortland Finnegan #31 of the Tennessee Titans during the game on October 9, 2011 at Heinz Field

The Steelers 2012 Draft drew praise from experts and fans alike for the team's ability to miraculously land Stanford guard David DeCastro with the 24th pick in the first round. Pittsburgh also snagged Ohio State tackle Mike Adams in the 2nd round. There was a bit of a concern about Adams because of "character issues," but most fans were still happy with the pick because, well, he's just so darn talented.

However, the Steelers may have saved their best for the 5th round when they selected Florida tailback Chris Rainey. Rainey, a Combine sensation in February, was considered by many to be one of the steals of the 2012 Draft.

This is nothing new for the Steelers in recent years. If there's a running back out there still hanging around late in the draft, the Steelers have had the presence of mind to steal him away from everyone else.

Just last year, the Steelers selected Texas Tech running back Baron Batch in the 7th round. He was obviously a real steal that late in the draft, and with his ability to write an awesome blog, Steelers fans couldn't wait to witness what this kid had to offer.

Of course, Rainey and Batch aren't pioneers in the "running back who was a late-round steal" department. Nope, that distinction--at least in recent years--goes to Jonathan Dwyer. Dwyer, a third year back out of Georgia Tech, was stealing drafts back when Rainey and Batch were both still knee-high to a tackling dummy.

It's nice that the Steelers have stolen three really talented running backs in the last three drafts, but the odds of all three becoming productive members of the team are pretty slim. I mean, let's face it. Isaac Redman already casts a very huge shadow in the Steelers offensive backfield. You talk about a steal. The guy is an undrafted free agent out of Bowie State who is big, fast (but not so fast that he turns Steelers fans off), and did this to a number of Ravens a couple of years ago.

Redman's popularity in Steeler Nation is almost unrivaled--even by guys who have more than three career touchdowns-- and there won't be room in the backfield for all three of these late round steals. But if one of these guys can endear himself to Steelers fans and become a poor man's Redman, his chances of making the team will increase dramatically.

Join me as I offer each late round steal some advice to help increase his chances:

Jonathan Dwyer

You may be the original "running back who was a late round steal," but this is a "what have you done for me lately" business, and what have you done? Forget about being the steal of the entire 2010 draft, you weren't even the steal of the Steelers 2010 draft. Heck, you weren't even the team's best 6th round draft choice that year. That distinction belongs to Antonio Brown. And in case you haven't noticed, Brown is the Redman of the Steelers wide receivers. Sure, you're the only one of the three who has even played in the NFL, but at 229 pounds, you're dangerously close to Redman's 230. And since he fills the team role as "running back who doesn't dance around like that Mendenhall," there isn't a need for another. The last thing you want to do is threaten Sir Isaac's spot on the roster. That's no way to endear yourself to the fans. Yes, you did have that 76 yard run in the Titans game last year, but you didn't score, and don't think that Steelers fans will just let that go. Sure, Redman got caught at the goal line in the playoff game in Denver last year, but when he gets caught from behind, it shows character. When you get caught from behind, it shows that you're slow and fat. Maybe, like Batch, some non-football type of talent will help endear you to the fans. Do you blog? Maybe you're a closet stand-up comedian. If you can do a mean Mike Tomlin impression, now's the time to let that puppy out of the bag.

Baron Batch

You quickly became everyone's darling last year, and for good reason. The things that you had to overcome just to make it to Texas Tech were truly amazing. And as I mentioned earlier, you're an awesome blogger, and we at BTSC can certainly appreciate that. Steelers fans quickly fell in love with your inspirational stories and your charismatic personality. And once training camp got underway, and you showed your potential, we couldn't wait to see what you had in store for us once the real games started. Unfortunately, you blew out your knee near the end of camp, and you were forced to miss the entire 2011 season. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, at least in terms of your legend. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and your absence from the 2011 roster only made Steelers fans want to see you in action even more. I'd say you're the odds on favorite to truly win our hearts. However, you must be careful with this whole blogging phenomenon. The injury and your continued excellent blogging worked in your favor last year, but another injury could lead to fans calling talk shows and asking, "Don't you think the constant blogging is causing Batch's muscles to atrophy? Do you think that's why he's so injury prone? Isn't there a clause in his contract that states that he must wear a helmet when he blogs?" Also, every blogger must beware of the potential for carpel tunnel syndrome. If it can pose a danger to your average secretary, imagine what it can do to a running back who specializes in catching passes out of the backfield.

Chris Rainey

You, sir, are the newest "running back who was a late round steal," and much like the youngest sibling who gets away with more, this could work to your advantage. You'll obviously have at least one year to prove you were worth the 5th round pick that the Steelers spent on you. The only problem is you're extremely fast. You might be thinking that will work to your advantage. But you're not from around here. You don't know Steelers fans. In Steeler Country, a back who runs a 4.3 40 is someone who should be a receiver, especially if he is only 5'8 and 180 pounds. Even if you break off a 90 yard run, unless you run over a few defenders, it probably won't impress us very much. Just ask Willie Parker. From what I've heard and read, you are pretty funny and quick-witted. This could win you some fans, but it could also work against you. When things are going well, you're quick-witted and a good sound-byte that reporters will naturally gravitate to. However, when a reporter asks you for the 1000th time if you'd benefit from a move to receiver, you could quickly become "bitter and sarcastic" if you answer the question with any sort of venom. Also, I'd get rid of your Twitter account if I were you. Trust me. No amount of speed will be able to out-run a controversial Tweet.

Well, there you have it. Which one of these guys has what it takes to win us over and increase his chances of making the team? Only time will tell.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...ree-late-round
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Dwyer, Batch & Rainey: Three Steelers Late-Round RB "Steals"

lol pretty funny.

i'm gonna go out on a limb and say batch and rainey make the team, but dwyer gets cut.

i like dwyer, but his offseason work ethic might be his downfall. and to add to the fact he doesn't bring much to the table that redman or clay already don't. he's not a good reciever out of the backfield, and not a great blocker either, which makes him less useful than batch & rainey as a 3rd down back.

from what I hear, batch is a great blocker in the backfield, which makes him almost a lock for the 3rd down rb position if he can stay healthy.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Dwyer, Batch & Rainey: Three Steelers Late-Round RB "Steals"

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Originally Posted by Fire Arians View Post
lol pretty funny.

i'm gonna go out on a limb and say batch and rainey make the team, but dwyer gets cut.

i like dwyer, but his offseason work ethic might be his downfall. and to add to the fact he doesn't bring much to the table that redman or clay already don't. he's not a good reciever out of the backfield, and not a great blocker either, which makes him less useful than batch & rainey as a 3rd down back.

from what I hear, batch is a great blocker in the backfield, which makes him almost a lock for the 3rd down rb position if he can stay healthy.
I agree. For me , if given the choice for a 4th back it would be Clay.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dwyer, Batch & Rainey: Three Steelers Late-Round RB "Steals"

I had some high hopes for Dwyer when we drafted him but not so sure now.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dwyer, Batch & Rainey: Three Steelers Late-Round RB "Steals"

How can anyone consider Dwyer a steal? He hasn't done anything. Every team passed on him for a reason. Arian Foster was a steal not Dwyer
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dwyer, Batch & Rainey: Three Steelers Late-Round RB "Steals"

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How can anyone consider Dwyer a steal? He hasn't done anything. Every team passed on him for a reason. Arian Foster was a steal not Dwyer
Actually none of them has done anything to earn the subject title.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dwyer, Batch & Rainey: Three Steelers Late-Round RB "Steals"

I am excited when I hear about Rainey. He just might be one of those guys that hides behind his huge linemen and bursts into the backfield like a Jones Drew or Darren Sproles. Hey, one can dream can't they?
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dwyer, Batch & Rainey: Three Steelers Late-Round RB "Steals"

Quote:
This is nothing new for the Steelers in recent years. If there's a running back out there still hanging around late in the draft, the Steelers have had the presence of mind to steal him away from everyone else.
This approach makes so much more sense than drafting RBs with high picks. The Steelers appear to have learned their lesson.

After what we've been through here in Pittsburgh, it's obvious that the infrastructure for a running game needs to come first - the running back can be added later. If your offense is well-designed and your OL is NFL-caliber, then it's not hard to find a back to execute. And if not, it doesn't much matter who you have at RB. Once you hit a certain level of competence, the RB doesn't matter all that much, unless he's truly exceptional.

But what are the chances of being able to identify a truly exceptional back? Look at Mendenhall vs. Redman - if you watched their performances, and didn't know who was the first round pick and who was the undrafted free agent, you'd probably guess wrong. And look at this exciting group of young backs, looking for an opportunity - gotta believe that there are several competent backs there, and maybe one of them is a gem.

Personally, I'm psyched up to see what Rainey can do, because I love watching those little guys!!! But I'd like to see one of the other backs step up and provide power and solidity. We haven't seen enough yet to know who it might be; it should be fun to watch the competition.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dwyer, Batch & Rainey: Three Steelers Late-Round RB "Steals"

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Originally Posted by Steelers>NFL View Post
Actually none of them has done anything to earn the subject title.
Agreed.....
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dwyer, Batch & Rainey: Three Steelers Late-Round RB "Steals"

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Originally Posted by Steelers>NFL View Post
Actually none of them has done anything to earn the subject title.
I would consider redman a steal. undrafted rookies generally are lucky to even make the practice squad. this guy has been a solid backup / short yardage runner, and possibly full time starter duty this year.

the other 2 haven't done anything to be called a steal though and I would agree with you in their cases.
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