Are Steelers Set at Running Back for 2015?


The Steelers will have Le’Veon Bell back in the starting position at running back and recently signed veteran DeAngelo Williams. Are they set for the season?

The 2014 season saw the return of the Steelers running game after a few abysmal years of running-back-by-committee.  Part of it can be credited to a less porous, more effective front line coached by newly hired Mike Munchak and Le’Veon Bell’s breakout season.

One dark point was seeing LeGarrett Blount, the veteran who was supposed to help mentor Bell, got fewer and fewer hand-offs and leave in a less-than-gracious manner.  It worked out for him I guess.  He has a 2014 Super Bowl Championship ring.

I digress…

With Bell’s injury, which was followed by an air-sucking collective from the whole of Steeler Nation, many started to wonder if the Steelers were at it again with no clear plan for back-ups to their star players.  It does seem to be a trend.

Josh Harris got some time in the last few games and showed some promise, but it was clear to me that if the Steelers only ever focus on “first team” type of practice scenarios, any future injury to Bell would be nearly as dooming as an injury to Roethlisberger.

Harris was recently interviewed for and as Kim Meyers notes in her post, he has a great outlook.  Outlook is only part of the battle.  He needs some development and first-team reps with Big Ben to really see if he fits.

The Steelers signed DeAngelo Williams to provide some veteran presence on the team.  It’s clear that Williams understands his role, something the Steelers were expected to emphasize after the Blount mess this offseason.

Speaking of, that mess is still pending resolution. The Steelers 2015 season will start with some sort of suspension for the star running back.   So, what’s the plan?  The plan cannot be to “limp along” until Bell gets back.  It just can’t.  The season is too short.

I think Williams and Harris are good additions but either the game plan has to adjust or there needs to be another workhorse running back to turn to because neither are Bell.

Are the Steelers Running Backs set for 2015? Nope. I don’t have faith that with a 53-man roster they can do much about Bell’s absence for whatever suspension he gets. I think it is going to hurt the season UNLESS they successfully adjust the game plan.

I think the Steelers game plan adjustments have very rarely been successful when they need to factor in strengths of opposing teams or to adjust for injury.  How do you explain the losing teams that consistently gave the Steelers a run for their money last season?

Let’s hope Bell’s absence does not become a factor in a Steelers’ season where they get behind and never catch up. Let’s hope they find a way to adjust without Bell and then bring him back stronger than ever.  Let’s hope.

Next: Steelers 2015 Success Rests on Defensive Front Three

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