Jonathan Dwyer embraces second chance

September, 12, 2013
9/12/13
10:15
AM ET
PITTSBURGH -- Jonathan Dwyer took to Twitter to voice his displeasure after the Pittsburgh Steelers released him on Aug. 31: “This is just the beginning for me my future is bright and I have a chip on my shoulder and they will regret it”

The Steelers are in the unique position of hoping Dwyer proves them wrong, and does it while wearing their uniform.

Dwyer
Yes, it has already been that kind of season in Pittsburgh. The Steelers will go with a center in Cincinnati who has never started a game there on any level of football. They will also start an inside linebacker who worked as an insurance adjuster and salesman last season, and not as a side job.

Given all of that, it seems like the perfect time for Dwyer to re-insert himself into the equation at running back, less than three weeks after the Steelers deemed their leading rusher last season expendable, at a position where they need all of the help they can get.

Dwyer returned to the Steelers with the chip, he confirmed, firmly in place, but no “bitterness” toward the organization.

“This is my choice. I wanted to come back,” said Dwyer, who worked out for a handful of teams, including the New York Giants and New England Patriots. “I knew I would have another opportunity, and I want to prove myself.”

No situation sets up better for Dwyer to do just that.

He returned to his old locker and reclaimed his old jersey number after re-signing with the Steelers. More significant is the playbook hasn’t changed, much to the chagrin of some Steelers fans, since Dwyer has been away.

There also should be an opportunity for Dwyer, given the abysmal state of the Steelers' running game.

The Steelers have rushed for less than 100 yards in seven consecutive games, according to Elias Sports Bureau, They would tie a dubious franchise record if that streak extends to eight games in Cincinnati.

How much the Steelers will lean on Dwyer will depend on the fourth-year veteran. Coach Mike Tomlin used the word “dependability” when asked what role Dwyer will play in the backfield, a thinly veiled reference to some of the issues the Steelers had with him in the past.

Dwyer had not always controlled his weight, and that is one thing that prompted questions about his commitment to playing football at the highest level.

“I just need to play,” Dwyer said. “Don’t think too much, just play my game and show that I am dependable and that they can trust me. I was upset (at getting released), but at the same time the business is the business, so just learn from it and move on. It feels like I haven’t left, so everything’s all good.”

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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