PITTSBURGH -- DeAngelo Williams doesn’t have an appreciation for his historic rushing yards pace unless it involves winning.
With 63 yards Sunday in Philadelphia, Williams, 33, can become the oldest running back to hit the 300-yard mark in the first three games of a season. The last to do it was a then-32-year-old Walter Payton with the 1986 Chicago Bears.
When told about the numbers, the Pittsburgh Steelers tailback asked how many victories the Bears got out of those three games.
“Let me know and I’ll tell you how important it is [to me],” said Williams, whose 237 yards is the most for a running back 33 or older through two games of a season.
The Bears won all three games. And the 2016 Steelers are 2-0.
Williams is a big part of that. He's tied for the team lead with three touchdowns, and he’s added 10 catches for 66 yards. The Steelers have had no problems giving him the rock while Le'Veon Bell serves a three-game suspension.
Williams has averaged 29 attempts per game. Bell’s return for the Week 4 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs will likely decrease that workload.
Whatever happens, Williams is enjoying the ride, saying he’s “absolutely” excited about the two playing together again.
“It’s exceeded all my expectations -- I’m having a ball,” said Williams about signing a two-year, $4 million deal with Pittsburgh in 2015. “Coming in with nine years of experience, knowing there’s not a lot left on the clock, it could be four years, five years, two years, could have been one year. I wasn’t sure what I was stepping into. I just knew I wanted to go to a contender.”
Williams called Pittsburgh a "refreshing experience" and a different challenge. After nine seasons with Carolina, Williams said it’s easy to get “stuck in the motions.”
Safety Mike Mitchell, who played with Williams in Carolina, said Williams has stayed in superb shape and the team is happy for his success.
“I’ve never seen him working any harder,” Mitchell said.
Williams has been clear from the beginning he’s not concerned with yardage or touches, only wins.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said that’s what made Williams an "attractive free agent" two seasons ago.
“He came here with one agenda, and that was to win a world championship,” Tomlin said.