Veteran Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams is about to take part in his first training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe and he’ll do so at a weight he hasn’t seen since he came into the league with the Carolina Panthers in 2006.
Williams, who is set to open the 2015 season as the Steelers starting running back while Le’Veon Bell serves his suspension, said Saturday that he now weighs 217 pounds after dropping 13 during the offseason.
So, how did he do it?
“I was just eating healthy and doing what I’ve done in the past as far as lifting weights and running, none of that changed,” said Williams, according to Teresa Varley of steelers.com. “I just changed my eating habits.”
Williams, who also said he now has just 5% body fat, admitted that the decision to drop weight this offseason was a mutual one shared by both he and the Steelers coaching staff.
“It gives me the advantage of Coach (Mike Tomlin) knowing I bought in 100%,” said Williams, per Varley. “He gave me an assignment and I went out and I executed it.”
Williams, now 32, missed 10 regular-season games last season with the Panthers because of various injuries. His 3.5 yards per carry average last season was also the lowest of his career and much like his weight, the hopes are that he will have that number going in the opposite direction this year.
While Williams is expected to be the Steelers starter while Bell sits out, he’ll still likely be spelled some during that span as both Dri Archer and Josh Harris are expected to have minor roles in the offense. Regardless, the fact that Williams lost a considerable amount weight this past offseason should allow for him to be a bit more elusive than he’s been in the last few seasons.
Williams was signed early on in the offseason by the Steelers following his release from the Panthers after the start of the new league year. The Memphis product has rushed for a total of 6,846 yards and 46 touchdowns so far during his career in addition to registering another 1,621 yards receiving and 7 touchdowns.