It’s hard to believe that just one year after he led the Pittsburgh Steelers in rushing that Jonathan Dwyer could be the odd man out in the race for a roster spot at running back. I had a nice conversation with Steel Blitz Blog last night via Twitter and we both came to the same conclusion. The math just isn’t adding up for Dwyer to make the 53-man roster.
Le’Veon Bell is clearly the number one back despite being a rookie. I even surmised that the Steelers could be giving him the veteran treatment already by limiting his preseason game action. Could be completely wrong there but it sure looks that way on the surface.
Free agent signee LaRod Stephens-Howling made it quite obvious against the New York Giants that he’ll be making this team. He proved that not only will he be a potential third-down back but can perhaps carry the load for short periods of time as well.
That leaves Redman, Dwyer and third-year man Baron Batch.
Both Redman and Dwyer have very similar contract situations right now. They are scheduled to make about $1.3 million this year and are both in the final year of their respective deals.
Batch makes much less and has a role that extends beyond just running back. Batch is also a valuable special teams player and that fact alone may keep him around ahead of Dwyer despite him not being nearly the runners they are.
While I credit both Redman and Dwyer for coming into training camp in shape and ready to compete, I believe Redman offers the Steelers just a little bit more than Dwyer does. He blocks better, pass protects better and catches the ball better out of the backfield.
I have more faith that Redman can be a full-time back should something happen to Bell than I do Dwyer. If that sounds like a knock on Dwyer it is. How often did we see him last season needing a blow after two straight carries?
I know a lot of people will clamor for Batch to be the one to get cut and I get that. Batch doesn’t do much in terms of exciting anyone offensively but he does serve a purpose cheaper and more effectively than Dwyer.
Injuries can still happen and things could change drastically over the next couple of weeks but right now I see Dwyer looking elsewhere for work.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.