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Dwyer: "I'm glad to be back"

Posted Sep 11, 2013

Jonathan Dwyer talks about his return, while the center position gets plenty of attention.


Running back Jonathan Dwyer was back on the Steelers’ practice field on Wednesday, his first day back to work after being re-signed by the team this week.

“I’m glad to be back, get an opportunity and take advantage of it,” said Dwyer. “They just want me to come back and play the way I play, be consistent. That is what I want to do and do whatever I can to help our team.”

Dwyer was released when the final roster cuts were made, the team opting to keep a backfield of Isaac Redman, Le’Veon Bell, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Felix Jones. When Stephens-Howling suffered a season ending knee injury against the Tennessee Titans last week, Dwyer was brought back.

“It was a crazy experience,” said Dwyer of being released. “I think I was shocked. But that is what happened. All you can do is move on from it and learn from it, learn from the whole process and apply it to your life. I am happy to be back.

“It made me look at the business side of it, but no hard feelings or anything like that. I love this organization and I am glad for the opportunity.”

Dwyer said he kept working out after his release, tried out for several teams and was prepared in case an opportunity arose. He never imagined it would be with the team that just let him go, but it’s the perfect scenario as he doesn’t have to learn a new playbook or adjust to new surroundings.

“I know what I can do, what I bring to the team, the kind of player I am,” said Dwyer. “I believe in my talents and obviously they believe in me if they brought me back.”

* * *

Before he was worked in as a backup center this year, the last time Kelvin Beachum played the position was in peewee football.

“A long time ago,” laughed Beachum. “There is a big difference.”

But it’s something he has quickly adjusted to, and quite honestly he has no choice but to adjust now. With Maurkice Pouncey out for the season, Beachum is starting at center against the Bengals and the expectations will be high.

“It’s very exciting, another chance to start,” said Beachum, who lined up as a tight end to open the Titans’ game. “It’s one of those things you have to take it, run with it and make the best of the opportunity.”

The team also added center/guard Fernando Velasco, who had been with the Titans since 2008. Velasco started all 16 games last season, 13 of them at center, but was released on the final roster cut this year.

“It’s the NFL, it happens,” said Velasco. “The past is the past. I didn’t expect it at all, but it is what it is. I am just happy to be here.”

Velasco said the offensive system he played in with the Titans was similar to what the Steelers run, with the terminology being the biggest adjustment he is going to have to make.

“The coaches are doing a good job catching me up, so are the players,” said Velasco. “There are a lot of really smart guys here. Ramon Foster is doing an awesome job of helping me and just sticking with the playbook and getting familiar with call words and seeing what happens.

“Right now the main objective is to go out there and learn the playbook so that is what I have been focusing on doing.”

 Velasco said he was at church when he got the word about Pouncey’s injury from his agent, who then reached out to the Steelers. He was brought in for a workout, and is happy to find a new home.

“From the moment I walked into the building I felt welcomed,” said Velasco. “This is a historic organization. I had never seen a Lombardi Trophy until I walked into the building and I saw six of them right in front of my eyes. That was special.

“I am happy to be here and just trying to do what I can to help the team win.”


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