STEELERS – WEDNESDAY
PITTSBURGH — DeAngelo Williams preferred to watch the WWE’s Monday Night Raw this week, instead of the Pittsburgh Steelers next opponent on Monday Night Football, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be prepared to face the San Francisco 49ers Sunday at 1 p.m at Heinz Field.
“Their defense, they fly around to the ball and do a great job as a unit,” Williams said Wednesday after practice. “They play the game as a total team defense. And that’s something that we’ve got to account for going into Sunday’s game. We know they’re going to fly around and also stay in their gaps. They’re a very disciplined defense, so we’ve got take what they give us.”
Williams took the New England Patriots for 127 yards on 21 carries last week, but inexplicably was taken out of the game once the Steelers approached the goal line. That’s when the Steelers went with their jumbo backfield and Will Johnson in the I-formation behind Roosevelt Nix (a combined 488 pounds).
“I think it was just a personnel thing,” Steelers offensive guard Ramon Foster said. “They wanted a bigger back on the goal line and actually put two of them in there. That’s just where we were at during the game, but I wouldn’t read anything more into it. I’m sure we’re going to re-evaluate that and see who’s going to be the best candidate for that from here on out. I think both will get reps at that, and we’ll see who’s the best at it.”
Williams noted that the Steelers did not practice any situational football Wednesday, so it remains to be seen if he’ll be in the mix at all in short-yardage or when the club reaches the red zone. And he really didn’t want to talk about it too much.
“We’ll address that when we get there,” Williams said. “As of right now, I know what I’m doing as of today. And when we get to goal-line and short-yardage and all the situational football, I’ll know when we get there. (But) I want to be involved in every aspect of the game. Special teams, defense, offense, but I’m not good in all those areas. So, Coach knows best, and I’m going to do what he asks me to do.”
Williams had 46 touchdowns during his previous nine NFL seasons, including 18 with the Carolina Panthers in 2008. But he has just eight scores in the past 38 games now. So, maybe the Steelers don’t believe he can get the job done.