- Josh Weinfuss, ESPN Staff Writer
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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians must love reunions.
For the second straight year, he'll reunite with a former Pittsburgh Steelers running back. The Cardinals signed Jonathan Dwyer to a one-year deal late Wednesday. He played under Arians in 2011 and 2010 but didn't have a significant role.
Dwyer showed he's capable of carrying an offense's load. He led the Steelers in rushing in 2012 with 623 yards and just two touchdowns on 156 carries when he shared starting duties after Rashard Mendenhall was injured. But Dwyer has spent the majority of his career as a backup, which he'll be in Arizona behind Andre Ellington.
Arians knows what Dwyer's capable of and clearly believes he'd be a good fit to give Ellington and Stepfan Taylor breaks. This isn't a starting opportunity for Dwyer, rather a chance for him to show his veteran savvy and play for a coach who knows him well enough to maximize his value.
There's a good chance this reunion works out better than the one between Arians and Mendenhall because Arians won't rely on Dwyer to carry the load. That torch has been passed to Ellington.