Steelers struggling to find backfield balance

Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley says the Steelers are “in a bind” as they try to figure out how to balance the duties of running backs Le’Voen Bell and DeAngelo Williams.

Williams stepped into the breach whilst Bell served a suspension due to off-the-field issues, carrying a combined 41 times for 204 yards and three touchdowns whilst catching five passes for 20 yards during the Steelers’ first two games of the season.

However, Bell has been in typically dynamic form since his return, producing over 100 yards from scrimmage on three separate occasions, prompting Haley to admit they are still searching for the correct formula to extract the best from both players.

“We’re definitely excited about having (Williams) here and he’s excited to be here. He had one really good opportunity (against the Ravens) and he made a nice run for it (an 8-yard gain).

“I’d like to see him carrying it more. It is difficult, though, when you have Le’Veon. Do you give it to him? Do you take him off the field? All of those things factor in. We have to have balance and a feel within the game. As we continue to move forward, I’m sure it will work itself out.”

“I think any back, any (offensive) line, they’re going to want reps. The more they see, the better they fit and the more comfortable they get with what they’re seeing against the guys they’re doing it against.

“He’s one of those backs, like most of the good ones, who get stronger the longer they go.”

Bell’s value in the passing game is also proving a barrier to Williams getting more of the workload in Pittsburgh, with Haley admitting it’s tough to bench him such is his potential influence on a game.

“I always love Le’Veon as a receiver,” he added. “I think that’s what really makes him unique above and beyond his ability to run the football. He’s just a natural guy who can run routes and catch the football.

“He’s always a part of what we’re trying to do.”