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DeAngelo Williams To Back Up Bell

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They sure don’t have any of those in Carolina.

With the Ben Roethlisberger deal out of the way, the Pittsburgh Steelers can turn their attention to other areas of the roster. Yesterday, they made their second big move of the off-season by signing former Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams to a two year deal. Williams is coming off his worst season as a pro – injuries limited him to six games and only 219 yards in 2014 – although he has two 1,000+ yard rushing seasons, led the league with 18 rushing TDs in 2008, and made one Pro Bowl during his six year career. He should provide quality (and much needed) depth for superstar back Le’Veon Bell.

Let’s just hope this veteran running back works out better than the last one we tried. Last year’s signing of LeGarrette Blount to fill the same role ended in disaster when Blount left the team, apparently disgruntled over lack of playing time, and was subsequently released so he could go win a Super Bowl with the Patriots.

In his introductory press conference, Williams seemed to not only understand his role but completely embrace it. He told reporters he’s willing to do whatever the team asks of him, “whether that means me coming off the bench, giving the offensive line water, making sure Ben Roethlisberger’s towel is dry so he can wipe his hands and throw the ball better – whatever it takes for us to win a Super Bowl, I’m willing and able to do it.” He also promised fans there’s gas left in the tank so when he is called upon to do his actual job – carrying the football – he should provide quality carries in place of useless scrubs like Dri Archer or Josh Harris.

Assuming he does have something left, Williams gives the Steelers valuable insurance in case Bell gets banged up and to provide him a much-needed breather once in awhile. It also frees up the draft as the team need not worry about expending a premium draft pick on a back-up back – not that they couldn’t do way better than Archer and Harris even in later rounds. While the team’s defense still needs a lot of work, the Blount fiasco in many ways was the catalyst for the Steelers season ending loss to the Ravens so I’m very happy to see DeAngelo Williams in Black and Gold.