Ever since he was drafted in the sixth-round of the 2010 NFL Draft, weight control has always seemed to be an issue for Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer. Every year, however, he has managed to do enough to keep his roster spot, and he even started six games in 2012 on his way to leading the team in rushing, albeit with just 623 yards.
Dwyer was a restricted free agent this past offseason and the Steelers tendered him at an original round level of $1.323 million, which is not guaranteed. During the OTA practices and mandatory mini camp, it appeared as though Dwyer\’s weight was once again an issue for him.
At the conclusion of the last offseason practice, Dwyer again traveled down to Florida to train at Bommarito Performance. He showed up this week for training camp lighter than he was several weeks ago, and the media asked him Monday how much weight he had lost.
“Probably around 30 to 25 pounds,” said Dwyer. “I\’m like 230 right now and hopefully will get down to 225 before this first preseason game.”
Dwyer was asked how he lost the weight, and he went into detail in his response.
“It was dieting and just working hard,” said Dwyer. “I worked out like probably two or three times a day. Sometimes on Saturdays and Sundays too, running hills and doing all types of stuff, not just to lose weight, but be in conditioning. This is definitely the best shape I\’ve ever been in since I\’ve been in the league, and I just want to continue to be the like that the rest of my career.”
Dwyer\’s career, at least in Pittsburgh, is in no way guaranteed right now after the Steelers drafted Michigan State running back Le\’Veon Bell in the second-round of the 2013 NFL Draft, and they signed former Arizona Cardinals running back LaRod Stephens-Howling during free agency. Assuming the latter of the two is a lock to make the roster as a change of pace back and kick returner, that presumably leaves two roster spots for Dwyer, Isaac Redman and Baron Batch to fight for over the course of the next few weeks.
Prior to arriving at camp, Dwyer posted on his Twitter account that he was looking forward to proving all of his doubters wrong once again. Showing up for training camp in the condition that he did is a great start at doing just that, but he still has work ahead of him.
Dwyer said Monday he got a taste of how to play last year, and that he knows what he can do and what he brings to the table.
“I don\’t want to be average; I want to be among the elite,” he said.