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Steelers to start Dwyer, Mendenhall demoted to third string

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After a disastrous offensive performance in a loss to the Browns, the Steelers appear to be shaking things up at running back.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has promoted Jonathan Dwyer to the starting running back position for Sunday’s game at Baltimore, and demoted Rashard Mendenhall — who has started every game he’s played for the last three years — to No. 3.

The Steelers’ online depth chart lists Dwyer as the starter, Isaac Redman at No. 2, Mendenhall at No. 3 and Chris Rainey at No. 4.

Mendenhall’s demotion is apparently the result of his performance in Cleveland, when he fumbled on two of his four carries and gained a total of just three yards on the two carries when he didn’t fumble. Mendenhall was benched, although the fumbling didn’t stop: Dwyer, Redman and Rainey all fumbled on Sunday, too.

None of the Steelers’ running backs have been particularly good this season, but it’s no surprise that Dwyer has leapfrogged Mendenhall: Dwyer is averaging 4.4 yards a carry while Mendenhall is averaging 3.3. And Mendenhall has one more fumble than Dwyer even though Dwyer has almost three times as many touches.

Against the Ravens on Sunday, the Steelers can’t afford to have their running backs melt down like they did against the Browns.

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41 Responses to “Steelers to start Dwyer, Mendenhall demoted to third string”
  1. therealraiderduck says: Nov 27, 2012 11:42 AM

    Fantasy league dumping commences…NOW.

  2. erikinhell says: Nov 27, 2012 11:43 AM

    Has anyone else had fun this week telling steeler fans, “Don’t drop that”?

  3. sportsmeccabi says: Nov 27, 2012 11:44 AM

    Maybe they can try directly snapping it to Wallace/Brown/Miller?

  4. Steeley McBeam says: Nov 27, 2012 11:45 AM

    Appreciate the early Christmas gifts Cleveland, the Steelers are ready to unleash hell the rest of the way.

  5. steelersteven says: Nov 27, 2012 11:46 AM

    What is Rocky Bleier up to?

  6. geektriumvirate says: Nov 27, 2012 11:47 AM

    now they need to cut him after the season is over, because sadly he’ll be wanting too much money..and he can take mike wallace with him as well

  7. 3yardsndust says: Nov 27, 2012 11:51 AM

    Au revoir, Mendenhall. And you other bums on the team that gave half-hearted effort, please take notice. The exit door is wide open.

  8. dickroy says: Nov 27, 2012 11:59 AM

    When I played high school football our coach had a drill for the running backs. The whole team would form two double lines about 50 yard long.
    Each running back would have to run through the gauntlet with players from both sides striking and punching at the ball. He had so many seconds to get through. He had to do this 3 times in a row before he was dismissed.

  9. steelpenbucs87 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:01 PM

    Dwyer, Redman, and Mendenhall have all been auditioning for a job next year as all of their contracts are up. It appears Mendenhall has been the first horse to fall out of the pack.

    I always liked Mendenhall is a player (off the field is a COMPLETELY different story obviously), but the guy was only able to put it all together for a couple of seasons. Injuries and fumbles made it so a promising player probably won’t ever be a feature back again in this league.

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I like Redman over Dwyer moving forward. I think Dwyer is the better runner, but I think Redman is far better catching the ball (surprising for a heavier back) and in Pass Pro.

  10. sixlombardisinyourface says: Nov 27, 2012 12:03 PM

    Finally no more jitter-bug crap near the hole. His blend of power and speed can’t over come his mental reactions. Dwyer hits the damn hole with all 230 pounds like he’s supposed to.

  11. steelerstom says: Nov 27, 2012 12:05 PM

    Been saying this for two years, let Mendenhall head off to dancing with the stars cause that’s all he does is dance east and west, gain a yd lose a yd. Give me a straight ahead power runner all day (Dwyer, Redman) hit the hole and go. Linebackers are too fast and safeties come up to quick in this league to dance with the exception of a few great backs(Peterson etc). Say goodbye to “Mendy” along with Mike “Fitzgerald money” Wallace unless MW comes back to reality cause I like AB and ES with Cotchery and another young guy much better.

  12. psmith7716 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:07 PM

    It is about time. I agree with the others that we need to cut him and the others who don’t give their all.

  13. earvinmagicjackson says: Nov 27, 2012 12:12 PM

    Fumbles aside, this should have happened a while ago — enter Redman, Dwyer, Walter Abercrombie, whoever. The “loaf of bread” ball security and first-contact crumbling have been a staple for two years.

  14. stoogy says: Nov 27, 2012 12:18 PM

    This rb group you yinzers like to call “The Three headed monster” is the worst group of RB in the NFL. I doubt any of them could make a CFL team!

  15. jeffa43 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:19 PM

    When the light turns green, do you get out of the car and run around it before getting in and driving fwd?

    Hmmmm …. Neither do I, but Mendy on the other hand…

    He gets the ball sees the hole and commence foot stutter!

    Little bus Dwyer! The tow truck! Steeler fans agree!

  16. groess says: Nov 27, 2012 12:19 PM

    Hey Steely McBeam…remember what happened the last time we used the “unleash hell” quote?

  17. Stiller43 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:21 PM

    Bye bye mendenhall and wallace!!!

  18. changeup39 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:22 PM

    Tomlin is not a good coach; Dwyer is by far the best RB on the team and should have been the first-string RB dominating carries a month ago.

  19. yeeeeeep says: Nov 27, 2012 12:25 PM

    queue the fat lady for their season

  20. steelerdynasty2010 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:31 PM

    FINALLY!!!! now about that qb situation…….. oh, and please let mr. “always quitting on the play” wallace know he can start gauging that fair market value now.

  21. yinzgotsix says: Nov 27, 2012 12:38 PM

    All 4 of these backs are worthless. Comparing Dwyer to Bettis is laughable.

  22. dcsportsfan24 says: Nov 27, 2012 12:39 PM

    Dwyer is poop, ever since GT he’s just fat and slow

  23. cd_ridge says: Nov 27, 2012 12:40 PM

    Rashard’s contract year has been a bust. I do not think that he will be getting any more money from the Steelers.

  24. riverhorsey says: Nov 27, 2012 12:51 PM

    Mendenhall will wake up if he wants to play.

  25. sixlombardisinyourface says: Nov 27, 2012 12:52 PM

    The only problem with Dwyer was seen two weeks ago when he kept waving to the sidelines to swap out after two runs. How can an NFL caliber RB be doing that in a game ? Was he sick or was there something else wrong that day ?

  26. blacknyellablacknyella says: Nov 27, 2012 12:59 PM

    i’ll be glad to see mendenhall go. been saying it for three years. he doesn’t seem to have a personality that gels with this, or any other, team. he’s aloof. poetry, jazz dance, obscure tweets . . . see ‘ya, mendy. redman has impressed me more than dwyer to this point but, whatever. they seem similar. there will be a lot of changes in the next two off-seasons (polamalu, harrison, mendenhall, wallace, foote, hampton, keisel . . . ). fortunately, we still have a franchise qb, solid young wr’s, and our o-line is improving. we might need to win shootouts in the coming years.

  27. ravenution says: Nov 27, 2012 1:02 PM

    Ravens denote the Stillers to third string in the AFC North!!!

    The veil of the Steel Curtain has been torn by a big black bird!

  28. cabby782 says: Nov 27, 2012 1:08 PM

    What ever happened to John Clay?

  29. jamomma says: Nov 27, 2012 1:18 PM

    Two weeks ago Dwyer was afraid of getting broken and stabbed by the Ravens. I’m sure he is looking forward to playing this weekend.

  30. holeinone09 says: Nov 27, 2012 1:21 PM

    I recall another time in the past where Tomlin publicly benched Mendenhall, and it got his attention and he performed much better subsequently. Maybe this will help, I don’t know. He had a very poor game, and I have no problem letting Dwyer or Redman start over him at this point.

    Now, if AB can come back, they can sit Wallace. He is really having a poor season, after his holdout. And it seems he doesn’t have any fire at all when running his routes. There is no fight for the ball at all. He is going through the motions IMO.

  31. steelerben says: Nov 27, 2012 1:34 PM

    Dwyer has been their best back all season. Big back, quick feet, north and south runner. Use him to hammer the defense and then bring in Rainey to change the pace.

    We should never have let Moore go.

  32. stoogy says: Nov 27, 2012 2:04 PM

    u mean moore the guy that got cut by the colts? He is awful too

  33. ziggy26 says: Nov 27, 2012 2:17 PM

    At least Dwyer’s fumble was the result of a great “helmet-on-ball” tackle by the Browns defender. Redman and Mendenhall coughed the ball up pretty easily.

    Honestly, the RB doesn’t matter too much. Willie Colon and Pouncey were creating massive running lanes, and the backs were picking up two or three yards before contact. With Colon out, it’s going to be tough sledding.

  34. Steeler's Will-enator says: Nov 27, 2012 2:27 PM

    stoogy says:
    Nov 27, 2012 12:18 PM
    I doubt any of them could make a CFL team!

    I doubt you’ll ever make more than minimum wage.

  35. ravenator says: Nov 27, 2012 2:44 PM

    Steelers are finished. Fans know it players know it

  36. steelerben says: Nov 27, 2012 3:25 PM

    stoogy says:
    Nov 27, 2012 2:04 PM
    u mean moore the guy that got cut by the colts? He is awful too


    93 first downs and 9 TD over four seasons. Yeah, you don’t want that kind of production out of a third down back.

  37. blacknyellablacknyella says: Nov 27, 2012 4:20 PM

    moore was a solid third-down back for us. i actually thought our offense was more effective, at times, with him in the game than mendenhall. i would be happy to see him back but we’re using rainey. unfortunately, rainey is too small. seems to get hurt and/or fumbles every time he is contacted.

  38. joewilliesshnoz says: Nov 27, 2012 4:30 PM

    Wish that somebody would bench Tomlin . .

  39. Nofoolnodrool says: Nov 27, 2012 4:42 PM

    Must not be much going on in mugger city because all their trolls are on this board. Explain something to me trolls…why are you so worried about a team that is not relevant , is old and slow. Some of you set phone widgets to alert you of steeler articles. Sounds like a bunch of losers without a life or job or

  40. randallflagg52 says: Nov 27, 2012 5:56 PM

    Mendenhall want’s everyone to know that we don’t know the full story.

  41. troysmithsghost says: Nov 28, 2012 6:28 AM

    Doesn’t matter who they start, that awful Ravens defense couldn’t stop a nose bleed. Another 200 yard give away on the ground coming up!

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