The Pittsburgh Steelers Should Sign Running Back DeAngelo Williams


It’s a well-known fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers are in a need of a backup running back for Le’Veon Bell, especially considering that he is facing a two game suspension to start next season.  In yesterday’s Steelers mailbag with ESPN’s Scott Brown the question of which recently released running back could possibly end out in Pittsburgh to become Bell’s backup came up.  The two names proposed to Brown were former Lions running back Reggie Bush and long-time Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams.  Here was how Brown answered the question.

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"“I can’t see Bush signing with a team that has an every-down back who is as dynamic as Le’Veon Bell.  There just won’t be enough opportunities for Bush after Bell returns from an expected two-game suspension at the beginning of the season.  And the Steelers will be wary of bringing in a proven back for what will be a bit role after what happened with LeGarrette Blount last season.  Williams might be more agreeable than Bush to playing limited snaps.  He isn’t getting younger – Williams turns 32 in April – and the ninth-year veteran might accept a role as strictly a backup if he thinks he has a chance to win a ring.  Williams also has a tie to the Steelers as he and quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner were at Memphis together when the latter was the offensive coordinator, there so there is that.”"

And now I want DeAngelo Williams on the Steelers.  The move really does make a lot of sense for the Steelers if the price is right.  By adding a player like Williams the Steelers can save themselves a draft pick on a running back to focus on other positions.  Also despite Williams increasing age, he may be a good fit to back up Bell if he can stay relatively healthy, which has been a problem for him.

Last year he only played in six games due to ankle and hand injuries and had only 62 carries for 219 yards.  Williams has only ran for over 1,000 yards two times in his career but since 2008 he has been splitting carries with Jonathan Stewart.  Only four times has Williams been able to play all 16 games.

All that being said if Williams became a Steeler he could help the offense in Bell’s absence.  He has always been decent out of the backfield making catches, which was clearly something the Steelers established last year with Bell and his 83 receptions.  Williams has never been close to 80 catches, with his career high being only 33 but in five of his nine years in the NFL he has gone over 20 receptions.

While his running style may not be the same as Bell’s, that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be a failure running behind the Steelers o-line.  Also hopefully his age and his past experience sharing carries in Carolina has allowed him to mature and be fine with having limited touches behind Bell.  If he can do all of those things and the price isn’t too steep from the Steelers perspective why not give Williams a shot?

What do you think Steelers Nation?  Should the Steelers pick up a 32-year-old veteran RB like DeAngelo Williams or find one in the draft?

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