On Saturday, Pittsburgh Steelers‘ front office revealed that running back Jonathan Dwyer has been released in order to trim the team down to the NFL standard 53-man roster. Dwyer, now a four year veteran in the league, was projected to be the starter at running back after fellow teammate Le’Veon Bell went down with a mid foot sprain.
Throughout the length of the preseason, Dwyer ran effectively, stating his case for a starting spot. With arguably the best preseason performance amongst the backfield, running wise, the mysterious cut of Dwyer remains the talk of the town.
So why exactly was Dwyer cut?
Felix Jones was brought in after the Bell injury, in hopes of showing flashes of the former explosive runner he was in Dallas. Although injuries have plagued Jones, Felix has looked much like his old self. Could Jones have taken Dwyer’s spot on the roster?
A major weakness in Dwyer’s game is pass blocking. For whatever reason, it’s just not his strong point. The best blocking back Pittsburgh had, Baron Batch, was released during the first few rounds of player cuts. Isaac Redman was recently named the starting back for week one, contrary to the expectations that Dwyer would be the No. 1 man.
So why release Dwyer?
Depth issues are certainly not a worry at running back position for the Steelers’ coaching staff. With the speedy, agile Larod Stephens-Howling and the bruising Redman, both thunder and lightning exist within the group. Obviously, the staff must know something that nobody else does regarding Dwyer and the likelihood of him contributing to the efforts this year.