As increasingly more guys go down with accidents early in coaching camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, that’s opening doorways of alternatives up for backups and different younger gamers vying for a spot on the 53-man roster or the observe squad for the Pittsburgh Steelers forward of the 2022 season.
One such participant who’s making the most of a possibility created by an damage to star operating again Najee Harris is fourth-year operating again Benny Snell, who earned some reward from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin Thursday following practice.
Asked by a reporter following practice about what he’s seen in Snell’s growth, Tomlin praised the veteran operating again’s conditioning in with the ability to take first-team reps for the Steelers, whereas additionally with the ability to preserve his duties as a key particular groups participant for the black and gold.
Those particular groups talents and duties have been Snell’s calling card early in his profession as he’s held down the No. 2 operating again function in Pittsburgh since changing into a Steeler within the fourth spherical of the 2019 NFL Draft.
“You know, he’s done a really good job of understanding NFL conditioning and that’s gradually improved over the course of his time here. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that,” Tomlin said of Snell, according to video via Steelers.com. “He works exhausting in offensive intervals. And specifically, when a man like [Najee Harris] is down, he will get a possibility to actually present his capabilities. But on the similar time, he doesn’t wane in regard to his particular groups accountability.
“That’s why I mentioned his conditioning, because you think of his expanded opportunities as an offensive player, but as a coach, I look at a guy taking expanded offensive reps while at the same time maintaining his special teams responsibility and that is impressive.”
When Tomlin goes out of his option to reward a participant like he did Snell on Thursday, it’s real, and one can learn deeper into it. While there was many questions raised relating to the backup operating again spot to Najee Harris getting into the 2022 season, Snell has at all times been the reply for the Steelers, no less than internally, or so it appears.
After a powerful rookie season that noticed him rush for 426 yards and two touchdowns filling in for the injured James Conner, Snell has fallen again to earth in current seasons. However, as his stats offensively declined, Snell has remained a particular groups stalwart, enjoying 43% of the snaps on particular groups in 2020 earlier than leaping to 67% (326 snaps) in 2021 as coordinator Danny Smith put increasingly more belief in him on particular groups.
Now, with Harris injured, Snell is seizing upon the first-team reps at operating again hoping to totally cement his function because the No. 2 operating again in Tomlin’s eyes. Credit to Snell although for not letting his play on particular groups in coaching camp drop as a result of his work on the primary workforce although, which Tomlin identified was largely as a result of his conditioning.
Snell seems to be slimmer, extra explosive and and rather more comfy in his function and total standing with the Steelers getting into Year 4. Hearing some severe reward from Tomlin, who has at all times been in Snell’s nook, has to really feel fairly good for a man that many on the surface have seemingly written off.