Motivation the key for Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer

Andy Lyons

Running back Jonathan Dwyer is likely to make his second career start for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Following a fatal fumble against the Oakland Raiders, head coach Mike Tomlin benched running back Jonathan Dwyer the next week, which Dwyer said had an impact on him.

During an appearance on 93.7 The Fan FM in Pittsburgh, Dwyer said, "It made me realize I made a mistake and it's something pretty much I won't do again." To make sure the message was loud and clear, Tomlin didn't just bench Dwyer for the team's next game, he marked him as inactive. But that was September.

By October, Dwyer had learned from his mistake. Last week against the Cincinnati Bengals he rushed for an impressive 122 yards on 17 carries. Looking back, the benching gave Dwyer extra drive: "It motivated me a lot."

With Rashard Mendenhall expected to miss another game in Week 8, the Steelers will likely turn to Dwyer to duplicate his impressive performance. The breakout game against the Bengals gave Dwyer some much-needed confidence:

"It makes me believe more in myself. It makes me work harder, so that I can do more and do better. All it does is give more confidence to continue to play the way I play and continue to believe in myself and continue to want to do better every day I step on the field."

Dwyer was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, but never received a chance to be a full-time back.

This week's matchup against the Washington Redskins presents a new challenge for Dwyer. Washington is seventh-best in the league against the run, allowing just 85.1 rushing yards per game.

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