2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Beachum to start, Dwyer back as Steelers regroup

By WILL GRAVES - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-10 16:26

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Mike Tomlin stressed to Jonathan Dwyer when the coach cut the Pittsburgh Steelers running back 10 days ago that the decision to release the team's leading rusher in 2012 was not a personal one.

``We kept the guys that we kept because of the things they did, not because of the things Jonathan didn't do,'' Tomlin said.

No hard feelings, apparently.

Dwyer practically sprinted to the team's practice facility after the Steelers re-signed him on Monday. A day before, the Steelers lost LaRod Stephens-Howling for the season due to a knee injury. While allowing it may take Dwyer a day or two to get back up to speed, Tomlin didn't rule out Dwyer playing a significant role when Pittsburgh (0-1) travels to Cincinnati (0-1) next Monday night.

``I don't anticipate that being a major problem,'' Tomlin said, ``but we'll play it by ear and see how he looks on the practice field and in the classroom.''

Dwyer's presence couldn't hurt after the Steelers managed just 32 yards on 15 carries in an uninspired 16-9 loss to Tennessee last week. Isaac Redman lost two fumbles and ran for just nine yards on eight carries while Felix Jones - who surprisingly beat out Dwyer for the final roster spot - spent most of the day on the sidelines.

Tomlin insisted he remains confident in Redman's ability as a starter while rookie Le'Veon Bell recovers from a sprained right foot. Center Maurkice Pouncey will undergo surgery on Thursday to repair torn knee ligaments in his right knee and won't play until 2014 after teammate David DeCastro fell on him less than 5 minutes into the game.

``Losing Pouncey was a blow to the group, not only in terms of what he's capable of, but emotionally, the manner in which it happened,'' Tomlin said. ``Hopefully, we'll put those things behind us and execute at a high level, a winning level.''

The Steelers signed veteran Fernando Velasco on Monday but utility lineman Kelvin Beachum will get the first shot at replacing perhaps the most irreplaceable player on the roster. In addition to being a captain, Pouncey made the blocking calls at the line of scrimmage and served as the big brother to a group filled with second and third-year guys still learning their craft.

Now the group will have to go it alone while also bringing Velasco - who started 16 games for Tennessee last season - up to speed. Titans coach Mike Munchak said Velasco will ``do great.'' At the moment, merely doing ``OK'' would be an improvement for a group rattled by one of the more miserable openers in recent memory.

Losing early, however, hasn't been a major issue for the Steelers through the years. The 2002 team dropped its first two games and went on to make the playoffs. Five years ago Pittsburgh muddled through a 15-6 loss to at Philadelphia but ended up winning the franchise's sixth Super Bowl.

Tomlin stressed there were encouraging signs even amid all the disappointment. The defense allowed just 229 yards, including just 2.7 yards per carry. When given time - not always a given - quarterback Ben Roethlisberger managed to complete 21 of 33 passes.

``We had our chances at the end of the game,'' Tomlin said. ``We had an opportunity to get the ball at the end of the game. We didn't do it. All of those things are things to build from I think.''

If anything, the Steelers can take solace from the fact the three other teams in the AFC North stumbled on the first weekend of the season. As bad as Pittsburgh looked, it also didn't lose any ground.

Pittsburgh split two games with the Bengals last season, winning in Cincinnati before losing at the gun in Week 15, a defeat that knocked the Steelers out of the playoffs.

The postseason remains a distant speck on the horizon for the Steelers. Then again, the same can be said for the rest of the league. It was a bad week, but it was just a week.

``The good thing about the NFL is redemption Sunday, or Monday in this instance, is only a short number of days away,'' Tomlin said.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 17 08:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo's quick decision making and accuracy fit well with New England's playbook that includes quick-rhythm passes as part of the foundation, and Bucky Brooks [ More ]

Zach HockerMay 17 04:42p

The New Orleans Saints have signed free-agent PK Zach Hocker (Dolphins).

Joseph RandleMay 16 07:32p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has the skills to lead the team's backfield in 2015 but he'll need to work on his off-field issues, according to Jon Machota of [ More ]

Matt CasselMay 15 07:52p

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel is likely to enter Week 1 of the season as the team's backup quarterback, in the opinion of The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci. He [ More ]

Santana MossMay 15 07:12p

Free-agent WR Santana Moss (Redskins) is not ready to hang up his cleats and retire this offseason. 'I'm a free agent right now, you know how they do [ More ]

Robert TurbinMay 14 05:32p

Seattle Seahawks RB Robert Turbin (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason, according to sources. No timetable was disclosed for his recovery.

Tom BradyMay 14 03:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has officially appealed his four-game suspension.

Greg SalasMay 13 02:23p

Free-agent WR Greg Salas (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions Wednesday, May 13. Financial terms were not disclosed.

John ConnerMay 13 12:03p

Free-agent FB John Conner (Jets) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, May 13. FB Corey Knox was waived to make room for him.

Tom BradyMay 13 10:03a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension could be reduced significantly, and possibly overturned, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Brady has put together a renowned legal team to appeal his suspension.

D.J. SwearingerMay 12 05:22p

Free-agent SS D.J. Swearinger was officially claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, May 12.

Fred JacksonMay 12 03:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson may not make the final roster if the Bills end up keeping only three running backs, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. RB LeSean [ More ]

Lance MooreMay 12 01:23p

Free-agent WR Lance Moore (Steelers) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.

Justin BlackmonMay 12 11:02a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was denied reinstatement by the NFL this offseason, according to The Associated Press' Mark Long. It's unclear whether Blackmon failed a drug test or [ More ]

Joseph RandleMay 12 10:42a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could see the bulk of the carries as the season weighs on, in the opinion of beat writer Todd Archer. Archer pegged Randle for [ More ]

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 11 09:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start while QB Tom Brady serves his suspension for 'DeflateGate'. Brady was suspended four games by the National Football League [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 11 07:12p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will appeal his four-game suspension, according to his agent.

Tom BradyMay 11 05:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has been suspended four games for his involvement in the deflated-football incident in the AFC Championship. In addition, the Patriots will lose their [ More ]

D.J. SwearingerMay 11 04:12p

Houston Texans SS D.J. Swearinger was officially released Monday, May 11.

Carey SpearMay 11 01:22p

Cleveland Browns PKs Travis Coons and Carey Spear will compete for the kicker job this offseason, and the competition is wide open at this point, according to special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.

Garrett HartleyMay 11 01:12p

Cleveland Browns PK Garrett Hartley was released Monday, May 11.

Kyle ArringtonMay 11 10:32a

New England Patriots CB Kyle Arrington was released Monday, May 11, according to a source. The team left the door open for him to return.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group