Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NFL ; Steelers' Fill-Ins Will Stay Involved

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NFL ; Steelers' Fill-Ins Will Stay Involved

Article excerpt

PITTSBURGH - The NFL's second-leading rusher is about to lose his starting job. The wide receiver who has already quadrupled his entire 2014 output remains a placeholder, at least for now.

And if DeAngelo Williams and Darrius Heyward-Bey are being honest, they're cool with it. Then again, considering the guys they've been filling in for, they don't really have a choice.

Williams will step aside for All-Pro Le'Veon Bell when Bell returns from a two-game suspension on Sunday at St. Louis.

Heyward-Bey will almost certainly see his spot in the rotation change when Martavis Bryant has his four-week league-enforced absence end next month.

While coach Mike Tomlin made it a point to thank Williams for his contributions including 127 yards rushing in the opener and a franchise-record tying three rushing touchdowns in last Sunday's romp over San Francisco - Tomlin left little doubt Tuesday about who will be in the backfield with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in St. Louis.

"I'm going to play Le'Veon Bell, Tomlin said. "We'll figure out (the workload) as we go. If 26 is available, we're going to use him.

Williams, who called Pittsburgh's top-ranked offense "a beautiful puzzle, made sure to take a bow after his three scores versus the 49ers.

Consider it a signature move for the professional wrestling fan, one that might have to be put on the shelf with Bell back in the fold.

"The bow is classy and I like to consider myself a classy guy, Williams said. "I wear tuxedo T-shirts. It says I'm a classy guy, but I'm here to party.

Even if Williams returns to wallflower status for long stretches with Bell cleared, though a visibly humbled Bell whose suspension resulted from his arrest on drug and DUI charges in August 2014 made sure to downplay his impact after watching the 32-year-old Williams turn back the clock.

"He played great, but that didn't surprise me at all, Bell said.

"I've been watching him for a long time, so I thought he did everything I was expecting him to do and more. I'm glad to be able to come back and help him out a little bit.

Or maybe a touch more than that. Bell finished second in the league in all-purpose yards in 2014 and trimmed his body fat to 4 percent during the offseason. …

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