Steelers Sign RB DeAngelo Williams in a Solid Depth Move


On Friday the Pittsburgh Steelers signed DeAngelo Williams. Williams himself announced the news on Twitter according to writer Conor Orr. Williams tweeted

He’s been tweeting at that level of excitement all day. He’s smiling a big grin in most of the pictures. He’s standing next to the Super Bowl trophy case in one holding up seven fingers. This guy’s excited. Jason LaCanfora of reported the deal was for 2 years and 4 million, similar to the deal LeGarrette Blount signed. That however is where the similarities end.

Ed Bouchette of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quotes Williams as saying

"“I want to come in and help them be productive on offense,” Williams said. “Whether that means me coming off the bench, giving the offensive line water, making sure Ben Roethlisberger’s towel is dry so he can wipe his hands and throw the ball better – whatever it takes for us to win a Super Bowl, I’m willing and able to do it.”"

Talk about a great attitude. I really don’t see this guy walking off the field mid-game.

The Steelers were motivated to get a back up RB that fits their style and Williams is motivated to get to a Super Bowl. Williams was a 1st round pick by Carolina in 2006 after a stellar college career with Memphis that culminated in making 1st team All-American his senior year and an NCAA record 34 100 yard rushing games.

His career in Carolina was also impressive as he became the all time leading rusher for the franchise in yards (6,846) and TDs (46). He’s made the Pro Bowl and second team All-Pro. He and Jonathan Stewart were a potent backfield duo for the Panthers for almost a decade.

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Despite his efforts however the Panthers were never able to get to a Conference Championship. Last year his production fell off as he had to deal with injury. So the young, hungry, talented Steelers with all their upside are a great fit for Williams.

Williams is a great fit the Steelers as well. He’s an experienced and talented running back. He’s old enough at 31, combined with his recent injury issues to be ready to accept a back up role. Yet he still has the skills to be an excellent backup and start the occasional game if the need arises. And of course it has arisen already with Bell’s 2 game suspension.

Blount’s style of running was more big back, downfield running. He had a little shake but he was not a threat as a receiver. Williams however has more receiving credentials, not on Bell’s level of course, but who is? He only stands about 5’9″ but packs some power in his stout frame and ran a 4.4 coming out of college.

He’s a great fit for the current Steelers offense. He can catch out of the backfield. He also has the agility and awareness to work with O-line’s assets of pulling and getting up field. He can also return kicks in a pinch.

Overall, its a smart depth building move that should pay dividends as early as the first two games. It also represents one less position we need to draft for. Steelers fans seem to be glad to have him. This is partially because of the relief of no longer being a knee injury away from a team with no running backs, but it has a lot more to do with Williams being a talented, smart veteran with plenty more to show and a great attitude.

He hopes to play in the Super Bowl with the Steelers. The Steelers would like nothing more than to facilitate that and with Williams they’re now in better shape to do so.

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