December 30, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer (27) carries the ball past Cleveland Browns linebacker Craig Robertson (53) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
One of the main concerns for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they entered training camp in 2013 was improving the running game after the traditional “ground and pound” style the franchise has used for decades, faltered last season as the team fell out of postseason contention. But before they can enhance the running game, they have to find a comsistent running back, something they haven’t had since Reshard Mendenhall was carrying the load in 2011.
Running back Jonathan Dwyer says he’s lost 25-30 pounds since weighing in at 265 in the spring. Dwyer was listed 229 lbs last year when he averaged 3.99 YPC while leading the Steelers with 156 carries. The team reportedly placed him on the trade block after drafting Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell, but predictably found no takers. Dwyer believes he has a chance to challenge Bell for the starting role, but he may be battling Isaac Redman for one backup roster spot at training camp.
Even with Dwyer’s dedication to winning the starting role, Bell is younger, much more talented, and already looking like he’s ready to assume the starting role: