Steelers notebook: Haley: Dwyer needs to prove himself as a starter
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley suggests fumbles weren’t the only reason Jonathan Dwyer couldn’t secure the starting running back’s job until now. When he carries a couple of plays in a row, Dwyer sometimes signals for a replacement.
“Jonathan’s got to show he can take the bulk of the carries without needing a break or taking a few plays off on the sideline,” Haley said. “That will kind of be what defines Jonathan as his career moves forward. He’s getting a great opportunity. We’ve been excited about some of the things he’s done, and hopefully he goes in and takes this role seriously and won’t let us take him off the field.”
• Just because they make a comfortable living doesn’t mean some Steelers don’t dream of winning the Powerball. Casey Hampton, Shaun Suisham, Drew Butler and Greg Warren kicked in $50 apiece to buy 100 tickets for the $587.5 million Powerball drawing Wednesday. One ticket had four winning numbers — 5, 16, 23, 29 — and was one number away from a $1 million payoff. They had No. 2 instead of 22. They’ll settle for $105. “It was close,” said Butler, the rookie punter. “It is losing, but I am pretty sure it is a cool story because to get those four numbers is like a 1-in-20,000 chance.” And if they had won the big one? “Somebody hit me up on Twitter and said playing for the Steelers was like hitting the lottery,” Butler said. “I would take it and still be playing.”
• Linebackers coach Keith Butler also has some goals for productive but frequently injured linebacker LaMarr Woodley: Do more conditioning work. Woodley (high ankle sprain) hasn’t practiced this week and isn’t expected to play in Baltimore. “The thing I will tell him is he needs to get his hamstrings in shape,” Butler said. “He worked harder than he ever has to get in shape, but he needs to work on his hamstrings.” Woodley missed one game and most of two others with injuries this season.
• Rice said there is no reason the Ravens and Steelers can’t be civil to each other, despite a rivalry that is arguably the NFL’s best. But he can’t see himself going into another team’s locker room after a game, as Clark did to talk to Ed Reed following the Nov. 18 game. “I don’t think I would go into their locker room. I know Ed Reed and Clark have a different relationship. They call each other on the phone,” Rice said. “I just have never been the guy that has been in another team’s locker room. I don’t know what that is like.”