Steelers: DeAngelo Williams could be the key
By Jack Tolman
Following last season, the Carolina Panthers decided to part ways with running back DeAngelo Williams, letting him test free agency, trusting their younger running backs over the aging veteran.
At 32 years old, it’s hard for a running back who has never been a pro-bowl caliber player, but with the suspension of Le’Veon Bell looming, the Steelers took a chance on Williams, and signed him to back up their own growing superstar.
Williams was not expected to make a huge impact at all, but simply had the duty of holding the position for Le’Veon until he returned from his suspension, but DeAngelo had a plan of his own.
Against the Patriots in the season opener, DeAngelo rushed for 127 yards, averaging 6.0 yards per carry. In the following week, he rushed for almost 80 yards, and 3 touchdowns. He did more than hold the position for Bell, but secured his role as a trustworthy back up.
For the next few weeks, Williams did a fine job jumping onto the field when the Steelers needed him, but clearly had a back up role, watching Bell crush his opposition from the sidelines.
Then, the Bengals happened.
In Week 8, Le’Veon Bell went down awkwardly, tearing his MCL, and forcing him out for the season. The Steelers budding star, and one of the great playmakers on their prolific offense was down.
With Bell out, it became time for DeAngelo to step up, and show Steeler nation why Pittsburgh management took a chance on him, and he did.
While the Steelers couldn’t squeeze out a win against the Bengals, a 55 yard scamper by Williams displayed his speed, and just how useful he could be down the stretch.
This week, against the Raiders, DeAngelo got his first start since Week 2, and had his best performance of the year.
The veteran speedster ran for 170 yards, averaged 6.3 yards per carry, and had two scores. He was the perfect combination of power, speed, and while he’s no Le’Veon Bell, he’s the next best thing.
In an interview with NFL Network correspondent Aditi Kinkhabwala, DeAngelo Williams said, “Do you want to know why I run like my hair is on fire? Because the Carolina Panthers cut me.”
DeAngelo Williams is set out to prove that his career is not over, and he can still run, and boy has he proved himself so far.
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If he can continue to prove himself to be a dynamic running back, and big part of this offense trying to survive what seems like a meteor shower of injuries, the season can still be saved.