Pittsburgh Steelers: 15 best running backs in franchise history

Jerome Bettis, Pittsburgh Steelers. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport
Jerome Bettis, Pittsburgh Steelers. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /Allsport /
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DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers
DeAngelo Williams. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

There have been some great running backs in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here we rank the 15 best to ever suit up in the Steel City.

For years, the Pittsburgh Steelers were considered a team that dominated with the run. That changed over the last decade or so, due to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s emergence as an elite thrower of the football. But even during much of his tenure, the Steel City was all about beating teams up with a physical style of play.

Ever since the days of the “Steel Curtain” defense, Pittsburgh football has been all about being tough on both sides of the ball. With that in mind, it makes sense that there have been some impressive running backs to play for the storied franchise.

Here, we take a trip through memory lane and rank the 15 best running backs to ever line up for the Steelers, starting with a name that made a big impact, despite being on the team for only a short duration.

player. 55. . RB. (2015-16). DeAngelo Williams. 15

Greatest running backs in Pittsburgh Steelers history: #15. DeAngelo Williams

No, he wasn’t with Pittsburgh very long, but DeAngelo Williams had a career resurgence at the age of 32 with the Steelers. He started the first two games of that season, as Le’Veon Bell served a two-game suspension. Williams racked up 204 yards and scored three touchdowns in Week 2.

He was pressed back into full-time action following an injury to Bell — which put him on IR. Williams started the remainder of the season, and in 16 games (10 starts), he finished with 907 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. In addition to his work on the ground, the veteran added 367 yards on 40 receptions.

After an injury-plagued 2014 campaign with the Carolina Panthers saw him net just 219 yards rushing, the Steelers signing of Williams hardly made a blip on the radar. In the end, it proved to be a great move for Pittsburgh.

In all, Williams had 1,250 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns in 25 career games with the Steelers. That puts him in the top-30 all time for both yards and touchdowns in franchise history, which is impressive considering his short tenure with the team.