Steelers: Trending players heading into week two


The Pittsburgh Steelers have been making quite a buzz around the world of sports since their heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots nearly a week ago. From ageless running backs rushing for over one hundred yards to a ridiculously high streak that can very well continue for a star wide receiver, we will take a look at the Steelers’ most trending players as they prepare for their home opener against the San Fransisco 49ers.

DeAngelo Williams:

When he made his way from North Carolina to Pittsburgh this offseason, it seems that DeAngelo Williams discovered the fountain of youth during the 447 mile trek. After missing ten games due to injury in 2014, the 32-year-old running back shredded the Patriots’ defense for an impressive 127 yards on the ground last Thursday.

Rushing for only 219 yards last season, he more than surpassed half that total in week one .

Thought to only be a place holder for starter Le’Veon Bell during his two game suspension, Williams has taken the initial steps to prove that he is still a capable back that can be called upon to perform well if an incident such as Bell’s week 17 injury last season that put the Steelers in a critical situation when it came to who would be in their backfield were to happen once again.

When asked how he felt about his first game as a Steeler, DeAngelo had this to say:

"“I was just the product of great blocking from the offensive line. They just told me you just got to make that first guy miss, break that tackle, or don’t let one guy bring you down. That was my whole mindset going out there – not one guy was going to bring me down.”"

Brandon Boykin: 

After sending a conditional fifth-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for cornerback Brandon Boykin, Steelers’ Nation felt a rush of excitement at the fact that they would have a talented, ball hawking defensive back on the field to help get their secondary back in shape. When the time came for him to make a difference he was nowhere to be found.

If Boykin had not taken the field due to injury it would have been an understandable reason, but that was not the case. The Coaching staff left a healthy, proven cornerback on the sidelines in favor of Antwon Blake and Cortez Allen.

One player who does not have much experience as a starter and another who has been nothing but a disappointment since being trusted with the future of the position.

This left many Steelers fan, and Boykin himself, very confused as to why they would make a point to claim him from the Eagles and not utilize him when needed the most. Boykin told this to reporters about his lack of time on the field in a press interview:

"“I don’t really know whats going on. I think it will kind of play out, it’s just week one. But I definitely intend on playing at some point and i think that will be a conversation I will have if it continues to go this route, but right know I don’t know whats going on.”"

For the sake of the Steelers’ secondary, we hope we find out whats going on very soon.

Antonio Brown:

You don’t have to know very much about the NFL to know who Antonio Brown is. The touchdown dances, the flashy suits, and the crazy haircuts make the Steelers’ number one receiver a well-known athlete around the world.

One thing that stands out in his career is the impressive streak that he has accumulated in the past couple seasons: 33 straight games with five catches for 50 yards or more.

When you look at it, it is a pretty obscure streak to tally. Considering the fact that Brown stays covered by the rest of the NFL’s best defenders on a weekly basis, it is a very impressive set of numbers. Making a recent appearance on ESPN’s NFL Live, Brown stayed humble about his feat when asked about it with this reply:

"“I don’t tend to think about it. I just go out and try to execute the game plan the best way possible. I run my routes and win matchups and let things fall into place.”"

While modest in his endeavors, it is a streak that is made possible by the hard work and determination he brings to the field every week which has helped form Brown into arguably the best wide receiver in the league.

Ryan Shazier:

While DeAngelo Williams went mostly unchecked in his near 130 rushing yard effort, Patriots running back Dion Lewis would not have the same success thanks to the efforts of inside linebacker Ryan Shazier. After missing more than half of his rookie season due to injury, Shazier is out to prove that he can be one of the best interior linebackers in the league.

Plays such as the one posted here helped hold Lewis to only 69 total rushing yards in the game. Excellent play by Steve McLendon allowed an opening for Shazier to burst through and tackle Lewis behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of yards.

With Lawrence Timmons entering his 30’s after nearly a decade in Pittsburgh, it is nice to see that the Steelers have found his eventual heir to the position once he decides to retire from the game. It is only a matter of time before Shazier is tearing through offensive lines to make more devastating tackles and quarterback sacks.

Next: Three Steelers who need to step up

More from Still Curtain