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Arizona Cardinals GM: Jonathan Dwyer can get the tough yards

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer (27) stiff-arms New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty during a run in the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Jonathan Dwyer was not the biggest name on the free agent market.

The running back had a respectable four-year run with the Pittsburgh Steelers after being selected in the sixth round of the 2010 draft out of Georgia Tech, but his career totals of 971 yards and two touchdowns are not exactly eye-popping.

But the Arizona Cardinals are not looking at the 5-foot-11, 229-pound Dwyer to be their lead back.

No, he just needs to complement what the team already has at the position.

"[Bruce Arians] is very familiar with him," Cardinals GM Steve Keim told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday. "He's a big banger. He's more similar to a Stepfan Taylor in terms of physical tools.

"He's not a nifty or a change-of-direction type athlete. He's a big downhill banger who can get you tough yards after contact."

At the very least, Dwyer would appear to be short-yardage insurance. Last season, Rashard Mendenhall led the Cardinals with eight rushing touchdowns, most of which came from near the goal line. That does not appear to be a great role for Andre Ellington, and Taylor is unproven.

Enter Dwyer, whom Keim and the Cardinals are excited to have on board.

"We liked him coming out of Georgia Tech and he's had some success in Pittsburgh," he said. "Once we work with him this offseason and continue to get his weight down a little bit, I think he's a guy that could do some good things for us."

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