Are you ready to see Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams on the field at the same time this upcoming season? There has already been quite a bit of speculation so far this offseason that we’ll see just that in 2016 and Bell said recently he’s looking forward to such a personnel grouping.
“There are definitely going to be packages where me and ‘D-Lo’ are going to be out there at the same time,” Bell said, according Mike Prisuta of steelers.com. “I’m ready for that.”
So how does Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger feel about the prospects of having both running backs together on the field at the same time this upcoming season?
“That was something that we had talked about last year,” Roethlisberger said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to do it. That could be a weapon for us, some two-minute-drill stuff, some no-huddle stuff, to have both of them on the field.”
Roethlisberger is actually wrong. According to our offensive charting from last season, the Steelers offense ran 13 offensive plays that included Bell and Williams both being on the field at the same time. However, only one of those plays included Roethlisberger being the quarterback so that’s probably why he’s saying they didn’t get a chance to do it last season.
Obviously, if the Steelers have both Bell and Williams on the field at the same time it will likely mean there will only be two true wide receivers included in that personnel grouping. Roethlisberger, however, doesn’t look at it that way because of Bell’s skill set.
“But you could count Le’Veon as a wide receiver, the way he catches, what he can do,” the Steelers quarterback told Prisuta. “You put them both in the backfield, you split them out, you do whatever you want with them.”
With Bell currently putting the finishing touches on his knee rehab, there’s a good chance the running back will miss most of training camp and the preseason on the team’s Active PUP list. He still, however, should be ready by the start of the regular season for at least limited work that could include him splitting time with Williams. Regardless of when he’s ready for a full workload this year, it sounds like the Steelers will do their best to get both running backs involved in the offense in 2016 and probably sooner in the season rather than later.
“Whatever it may be, play-action to him, me running routes, I don’t know what it’ll be,” Bell said. “But Coach Haley does a great job of being creative, getting us both involved in the offense.”