clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

DeAngelo Williams said stuff about Peyton Manning: Who cares?

New, comments

DeAngelo Williams had some choice things to say about the just retired Peyton Manning's final regular season. Ill-timed? Perhaps, but if an opinion is the worst kind of player conduct involving the Steelers in 2016, it will be a good year.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, I admit, the "who cares?" portion of the title is plagiarizing the article I wrote two weeks ago about excessive celebration. But what's even better about Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams day-long Twitter battle regarding the 2015 season of the just retired Peyton Manning, is that, unlike when William Gay hugs Joey Porter, Williams will not be penalized 15-yards for it.

And even though you may think Commissioner Roger Goodell really is out to get the Steelers, it's a pretty safe bet Williams won't be suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the NFL's player conduct policy.

Was Williams a little tasteless in his initial Tweet of Manning's 2015 season which stated the legendary passer who just retired on Monday "couldn't play dead in a western"? Maybe, but so what?

I'm a huge Manning fan and, regardless of his diminished throwing arm that contributed greatly to a final regular season that included just nine touchdown passes and 17 interceptions, I was hoping he would stick around for another year and play with the Rams, who recently relocated to Los Angeles. The way I figure it, Manning was playing with house money after becoming the first starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams, when the Broncos' defense essentially carried him to a Lombardi Trophy last month; with two rings added to a resume that included every significant passing record imaginable, there was literally nothing Manning could have done to tarnish his legacy.

So, while I am simply a fan, even if I was a member of the sacred NFL brotherhood, I probably wouldn't have gone where Williams did--even if he was essentially right.

Because it's 2016, because it's Manning and because it's March, people in the media quickly latched on to Williams' Twitter battles (it's currently the first thing that pops up when you google "DeAngelo Williams"), and he even appeared on Mike & Mike Tuesday morning to defend his views:

"I wasn't going to hold my tongue because he was retiring. My thing is, what I try to get people to understand is just because a person is accomplished and has accolades don't mean you can't speak your mind about them because they have those accolades."

Even current ESPN analyst and former Steelers safety Ryan Clark (who I'm a huge fan of, by the way), the guy who once outed his former teammates for smoking pot and who once called a group of media members gathered around his locker "turds," sort of admonished Williams' for his critique of Manning, when he appeared on Russillo and Kanell.

Speaking of Clark, what Williams said of Manning's diminished skills beats that heck out of Clark calling the Steelers locker room "fractured" three years ago, after an anonymous player supposedly told Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook that LaMarr Woodley's conditioning left a lot to be desired.

As far as opinions go, one where a player criticizes the skills of a retiring legend is way better than learning about  a running back's conspiracy theory on 9/11 or reading an interview in-which a linebacker uses an anti-gay slur to bash Goodell.

As far as off-the-field behavior goes, I'll take unpopular opinions over hearing about the stabbing of an offensive lineman on the South Side or sexual assault allegations involving the star quarterback.

Williams is a huge wrestling fan (I mean, he follows the WWE around like a teenage girl stalking Justin Bieber), so maybe he just enjoys playing the heel. You've been there. I've been there. It's very easy to get into a battle on social media and, even if you know you should back down, you just can't bring yourself to do it.

Are you embarrassed by what Williams said? If you are, you probably felt better when Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin seemingly put a stop to Williams' Internet war when he Tweeted:

"DWill quit while you are behind! #Really." (Wouldn't you just love to play/work for Tomlin?)

It's nice that Tomlin stepped in to mainly protect one of his men from further backlash, but if you really want to know what a tasteless opinion is, go back and re-visit the things Adam "Pacman" Jones had to say about Antonio Brown faking a concussion, after Vontaze Burfict nearly took his head off in the wild card game.

Anyway, obviously, the there will be no long-lasting impact following Williams' critique of Manning. Why? He wasn't involved in a nightclub incident, he wasn't arrested for a DUI, and he didn't get suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

If DeAngelo Williams' getting into an Internet battle over the legacy of another team's player is the worst thing that happens to the 2016 Pittsburgh Steelers, it will be a good year.