Will Williams bolster Steelers?
DeAngelo Williams is the newest running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The former Carolina Panther is excited about wearing black and gold next season. With Le'Veon Bell being so dominant during the 2014 season how much playing time will Williams have and will he be effective in 2015?
Bell will possibly be suspended the first two games of the season due to an arrest for possession of marijuana and driving under the influence last year. Those to games maybe the only starts Williams will get for the season unless Bell gets hurt. Bell is an every down running back who is just as lethal in the passing game which is why he will carry the load in 2015(http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/84051/deangelo-williams-saying-the-right-things-after-signing-with-the-steelers).
Williams willingly signed up for a role for which he knew carries would be shared with the rising star back. This is a similar situation to what took place in 2014 with LeGarrette Blount. Blount signed with the Steelers expecting to share responsibilities but it was clear early on that Bell would be the one carrying the majority of the work load. The only game where Blount and Bell split duties was against Carolina. The dynamic of the two running backs during that game was incredible and they helped the Steelers blow past the Panthers. However, after that game Blount was a non factor and was released y the Steelers before the season ended.
Williams was drafted in 2006 by the Panthers and has been one of the most important backs for the franchise for the last 8 seasons. In that time he has accrued 6,846 rushing yards on 1,432 attempts and 46 rushing touchdowns. Williams also has 1,621 receiving yards and scored 7 touchdowns through the air (http://www.nfl.com/player/deangelowilliams/2495979/careerstats). In only two seasons Le'Veon Bell has 2,221 rushing yards over 534 attempts and 16 touchdowns. Through the air Bell has been targeted 171 times and of those targets he had 128 receptions for 1,253 yards and 3 touchdowns (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/stats/_/id/15825/leveon-bell). There is no question that Bell is one of the most prolific running backs the Steelers have seen in awhile but the addition of Williams in the backfield will help Pittsburgh in times of need.
At the end of the 2014 season Bell was the backbone of the Steelers offense and as long as he stayed healthy the Steelers could easily get through the AFC playoffs and to the Super Bowl. Then the unthinkable happened. Bell was injured in the Wild Card game against Cincinnati. Bell's injury left the Steelers with a lackluster and inexperienced backfield. Without Bell the Steelers would lose their next playoff game to their rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. It was clear the Steelers needed to bolster the experience in their backfield in case something would happen to Bell again. Williams was the answer. His experience and success at the running back position will add another threat to Pittsburgh's ground game.