PITTSBURGH -- The return of Le'Veon Bell has kept DeAngelo Williams on ice. After 41 carries for 204 yards through Weeks 1 and 2 while Bell served a suspension, Williams has logged three carries for 8 yards in the two games since.
Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley would like to see that trend change, but he admits it’s complicated.
"I would like to see him carrying it more,” Haley said. “It is difficult though, when you have Le'Veon. Do you give it to him? Do you take him off the field? All those things factor in. It’s something we have to balance and feel within the game for. I’m sure as we go forward, it will continue to work out.”
Bell is considered one of the best tailbacks in the league, so naturally he’s going to see the ball more. But Haley is encouraged by Williams’ assertiveness this season. The Steelers have the flexibility to line Bell out wide. He’s an elite receiver for his position. Perhaps that will result in more touches for Williams.
Bell "never wants to leave the field," Haley said, and with good reason -- he gashed the Ravens for 129 rushing yards last week. Against St. Louis in Week 3, Bell had 132 total yards, including seven receptions for 70 yards.
Bell is simply hard to take out of the lineup because of his versatility. Haley praises Bell's vision, ability to decipher defenses and, like most of the great ones, "he gets stronger the longer he goes." His receiving ability is "what really makes him unique," Haley said.
The Steelers aren't going to cut into Bell's workload much, but you'll probably see more than two carries for Williams, who has proven himself.
The offensive line has to adjust with each back because of differing styles. Center Cody Wallace said Williams is a "hit a gap and go" back. Bell contemplates more.
Sometimes he makes a hole open up that wasn’t there, and he’s able to trick the linebackers into thinking he’s going one way," said Wallace of Bell. Other times, you feel like you’re blocking your guy forever. That’s just how it is ... They are both great runners in their own rights. Lucky to have both of them."