In the Thursday night loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers backup running back DeAngelo Williams only carried the football twice for 5 yards. In fact, he only played six total snaps in the game. During his Tuesday appearance on 93.7 The Fan, Ben Roethlisberger was asked if Williams is having any problems accepting his decreased role in the Steelers offense now that starter Le’Veon Bell has returned. The quarterback then went on to explain how on Thursday night Williams showed that he is a total team player and very unselfish.
“This past week in the Ravens game, we had a package that we called, “Tiger” and it was having both backs on the field at the same time and that was a way that “DWill” was going to get his carries a lot in that personnel, because we were going to move Le’Veon around and get “D” some carries,” started Roethlisberger. “And in that game, he went to Coach Haley and said, ‘Hey, you don’t need to call “Tiger” personnel just to get me carries. Like, just don’t do that, let’s just go win the game.’
“And to me, that just speaks volumes for who he is as a person, as a man, as a teammate, and that’s what you want, you want a guy that basically tells coach, don’t call plays just to get me the ball to make me happy. That’s awesome.”
That is indeed awesome and speaks volumes about Williams’ character. He is very comfortable in his current role in the offense now that Bell has returned from his suspension and he’ll do everything in his power to help the team win. Am I surprised by his actions Thursday night? Absolutely not, as I have followed Williams’ career very closely for several years now. He’s a consummate professional for sure.
Last year, the Steelers had the exact opposite of Williams in running back LeGarrette Blount, who was eventually released late in the season as a result of his unhappiness with his role in the Steelers offense. Even mentioning those two players in the same sentence is a slap in the face to Williams.
As far as that “Tiger” personnel grouping goes, as you all know by now, I’d certainly like to see more of that moving forward and especially while Roethlisberger is sidelined with his left MCL sprain. I think that grouping could potentially result in mismatches and big plays because both Bell and Williams can be used not only as receivers, but as ball carriers as well.
We’ll see if Williams winds up getting more playing time Monday night against the San Diego Chargers, but if he doesn’t, I’m willing to bet he’ll be fine with it and especially if the Steelers come away with a win.