Tomlin Shows Confidence In Benny Snell Jr.

A Sea of Blue

By: Jonathan Clark
SteelerNation.com

 

While we long await the start of this Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens showdown that was originally scheduled to be played on Thanksgiving Night, the Steelers will go into the game with James Conner‘s health in jeopardy. Conner was put on the COVID-19 Reserve List earlier this week and was one of the Steelers who tested positive for COVID-19 itself. We all know his history defeating cancer back in his college career, and then turning that into a great comeback career. We obviously put his health first and hope he recovers quickly and has no further complications. 

The Steelers still have a game to play and need to move forward. Conner’s absence will likely be felt until at least Week 14’s contest against the Buffalo Bills. This will mean that 2nd year back Benny Snell Jr. will be taking the majority of the snaps, hoping to spark the run game that has not been there for this team the past couple of weeks. 

 

 

Snell has impressed when he has gotten the ball in his hands. In two seasons, Snell has carried the ball a total of 165 times for 621 yards and 5 touchdowns. Most of those stats came from the snaps he got in his rookie season in 2019. Snell has been used as more of a goal line running back in most of the Steelers play calling this year, giving him 57 attempts for 195 yards and 3 touchdowns. With Conner out, Benny Snell is going to take the bulk of the snaps that Conner normally would, which could mean we can expect to see the Steelers hand him the ball a hood 15-20 times in this week’s contest. This could lead to his production level increasing, giving many hope for the future. 

Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin was quoted earlier in the year that he feels comfortable in James Conner calling him the team’s “bell-cow” and how he will be the team’s “primary ball-otter,” it was clear the Steelers had every intent of giving Conner the ball as many times as possible. Due to the unforeseen circumstances, the plan will have to take a turn, at least for now, and will highlight Snell as the teams featured back for at least these next two weeks. Coach Tomlin was once again quoted in expressing confidence in one of his running backs, this time directed at Snell, stating that he has “no reservation” about the workload that is up ahead for him — giving the RB a little bit of confidence heading into this week’s game.

 

 

This was not anything someone could have predicted or ever wanted to happen, but this “next man up” mentality Coach Tomlin has instilled in this football team seems to be coming up in more situations then none, and the reason why the Steelers usually come out on top, is because they prepare for everything. 

 

Are you confident Benny Snell Jr. can add a spark to the running game? Comment below!

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