Tha Sports Junkies 101

Steelers Will Be Better Without Le’Veon Bell in First Three Games

Le'Veon Bell Deangelo Williams Ll Phil via


The Pittsburgh Steelers will start the season with Deangelo Williams at running back, and it’s better that way.

As the suspension became official last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers will look to veteran running back Deangelo Williams to carry the load in their first three games. A professional in every aspect of the word, Williams will be more than ready to help the Steelers high powered offense fire on all cylinders.

Last year, the Steelers lost running back Le’Veon Bell to an injury he sustained against the Cincinnati Bengals. When he went down the Steelers turned to Williams to be the starting running back, and he delivered. He carried the ball 14+ times in the 8 of 10 games without Bell, and eclipsed 100+ total yards in 7 of those games. He even tied the Steelers single game record with 3 rushing touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Steelers offense tied for first in points per game last season, but they were even more efficient with Le’Veon Bell off the field. Averaging 28.9 points per game in his absence in comparison to 17.3 points per game in the games he did play.

With the news spreading about Bell’s suspension, Steelers players were all asked about the impact it would have for the first three games. Ben Roethlisberger was one of the first players to comment on the situation.

The good news is we have done it before. We have DeAngelo Williams out there. We know what we are getting from him. I’m happy he is here, and I am excited that we have a player like him that will be out there for the first couple of games that Le’Veon won’t be out there for.

Ramon Foster also commented on the entire appeal process as well.

There’s a lot of things that should be cleaned up with that process, but getting one knocked off is better than having the whole four. So we’ll just have to correct him. I’m sure he’s feeling a certain type of way about it and we’ll just adjust accordingly.

In no way are the Steelers particularly excited to be starting the season without one of the best players in the entire league, but their second option is a pretty good choice. Williams will be entering his 11th season in the NFL and his second with the Steelers.

They begin the season against the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football, a team who was 20th in rush defense last season. In week two they face the Cincinnati Bengals, a team that has taken Bell out for the season twice in his career. So it will be good to give him a break against a team that will definitely be ready to take everyone out after the Steelers ended the Bengals season last year in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. They will have a tough test against the Philadelphia Eagles in week three, where Williams will have to have his best game of Bell’s absence.

Le’Veon Bell will be the better running back of the two by seasons end, but to be able to start the season with a veteran guy in Williams will help the Steelers establish their offensive goals for the season. It will also give Bell a chance to sit back and hopefully understand that his choices effect more than just himself.