The Pittsburgh Steelers wanted to get a veteran running back via free agency, and they got their man in former Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams. The addition of Williams certainly rounds out the Steelers' depth chart at the running back position, but how should the fan base feel about the depth at such a crucial position within Todd Haley's dynamic offense?
There isn't much which needs to be said about Le'Veon Bell. In 2 seasons in the NFL he has solidified himself as one of the premier running backs in the game. His versatility and vision are just two of the many traits which have fans clamoring to grab a No. 26 jersey as soon as physically possible. Unfortunately, entering the 2015 season there is a caveat of Bell's looming suspension which will likely take place at the beginning of the season.
Reports say the suspension will likely be two games, and this is where DeAngelo Williams enters into the equation. The Steelers were looking for a veteran running back who could fill in when necessary, or in case of injury, and not break the bank. All those signs point to the Steelers signing Williams. Williams had two seasons cut short due to injury, but otherwise has been a quality back in the NFL for years. Only in 2014, where he only played in 6 games, did his yards per carry average dip below 4.0.
Williams is a team-first player who will be able to help teach younger backs Josh Harris and Dri Archer a few tricks of the trade to help them succeed at football's highest level. Harris will likely enter camp as the team's No. 3 running back, but Archer's speed and versatility is something Todd Haley covets and will try to utilize even more in his sophomore season.
The Steelers will follow the mold they did with using LeGarrette Blount in 2014, before he jettisoned to the New England Patriots, in hopes the outcome is different. Bell will be the work horse, and will be spelled by Williams when needed. However long Bell's suspension is to begin the 2015 season is where the depth chart will truly be tested, as Harris will likely move into the No. 2 RB spot and Archer forced into more playing time than usual.
Other than the Steelers potentially drafting a running back in the late rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft, it looks as if this could be the final update to the RB depth chart for this offseason. When healthy, and available, this could be a very effective backfield for an already dynamic offense moving forward.