Steelers notebook: NFL Player of Week Williams says facing Bengals ‘a 2-chinstrap game’
Another day, another weekly honor for DeAngelo Williams.
That meant another day of holding court with the media for the Steelers running back, who touched on a variety of topics after being named NFL Player of the Week. He rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns Monday at Washington.
On how he still is productive, even as the league’s oldest tailback: “Sharing carries (his first eight seasons) in Carolina definitely helped out a lot in my younger days to be able to get me to where I am today in terms of still playing at a high level. And hats off to the O-line, too, because they can make an old guy look good.”
On the Steelers’ rivalry with the Cincinnati Bengals, whom they meet Sunday: “It’s a two-chinstrap game. … Everybody knows the professional hatred we have with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Bengals with us. Everybody’s heard the Twitter fights and things of that nature we had in the offseason, and guess what? Come Sunday, all of that comes to a head, and the cameras and eyes be watching. It’ll be our will versus their will, and we will see who breaks first.”
On whether the Bengals are the Steelers’ biggest rival: “When I first got here, it was, ‘We can’t wait until Baltimore week, we can’t wait until Baltimore week.’ And Baltimore’s still our rival. That hasn’t changed. We just took on another one within the division.”
On whether Steelers-Bengals crossed the line at times last season: “It absolutely crossed the line.”
On how he expects the game to be officiated Sunday: “You gotta talk to (NFL commissioner Roger Goodell) on that. We’ve just got to show up. Those (officials) are his guys. If you’ve got any questions about the refs, you’ve gotta find (Goodell) on Twitter and ask him about those.”
On whether his head will be on a proverbial swivel: “It’s a head-on-a-swivel game every time you play. You just don’t wanna be THAT guy.”
Burns on Boyd
For the fourth consecutive fall and the third time in a span of fewer than three calendar years at Heinz Field, Artie Burns and Tyler Boyd will face each other Sunday.
Burns, a cornerback from Miami (Fla.), was the Steelers’ first-round pick. Thirty picks later, the Bengals nabbed Boyd, a receiver from Pitt, in Round 2.
In three college meetings against Miami, Boyd had 19 catches, 240 yards and two touchdowns. Burns had two of his seven career interceptions in two games at Heinz Field.
Burns wasn’t always responsible for covering of Boyd when Miami and Pitt played, so there’s no sense in drawing conclusions — particularly when Burns and Boyd won’t necessarily see an abundance of action playing in the second game of their NFL careers.
Burns played nine of the Steelers’ 58 snaps in their opener Monday. Boyd took 44 of the Bengals’ 57 snaps Sunday, making two receptions.
“He’s a really good receiver. He’s real versatile,” Burns said of Boyd. “(Pitt) used him in backfield, on the outside — everywhere, pretty much.”
Shazier back at practice
After sitting out Wednesday’s practice, linebacker Ryan Shazier returned Thursday in a limited capacity. Shazier left Monday night’s game early because of a knee injury.
“He moved around pretty good for us (Thursday),” defensive coordinator Keith Butler said.
Receiver Markus Wheaton practiced for the second consecutive day after not playing Monday because of a shoulder injury. Offensive lineman Cody Wallace (knee) was downgraded. He practiced fully Wednesday but did not do so Thursday.