In case you didn’t know, the Pittsburgh Steelers will return to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA in exactly 18 days of this article being published. With that, I decided to revive an old series we used to do as a lead up to training camp.
30 predictions in 30 days.
Myself and Simon Chester are alternating days giving a prediction for the upcoming season. Some will be team oriented, while others will be specific to individual players. Either way, read on to see the reason why we think today’s prediction will come to fruition, and why it might not come true. Give your thoughts in the comment section below the article.
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Prediction: Benny Snell Jr. will be second on the team in rushing next season.
Why it will happen: When thinking about the upcoming season, and how the team may, or may not, divide the carries, there is a strong chance rookie running back Benny Snell Jr. could finish the season second in rushing.
There are many of you who might read this and think Jaylen Samuels will be a lock for this spot, but despite Samuels showing last season he can handle the job, Snell has the look of a player who is a pure RB2 on the depth chart. Don’t get this confused with Samuels not being utilized, because he will, but more in a FLEX role.
On top of all that, when you look back at last season’s statistics, Samuels was second in rushing with a mere 256 yards. If the Steelers get even close to a running back by committee approach, I see no reason why Snell wouldn’t be second on the team in rushing. Samuels might amass more overall yardage, but Snell could be the one carrying the ball between the tackles getting those tough yards.
Why it won’t happen: Fans are extremely excited to see if the Steelers won’t just talk about, but actually deploy a running back by committee backfield in 2019. The problem with this is, and as was illustrated perfectly in the ‘Yeah, I Said It’ podcast below, Mike Tomlin doesn’t do the by-committee approach.
He has his work horse running back, and a few players who can spell him if/when he is tired. When you realize Tomlin’s track record in this regard, you quickly realize carries behind James Conner will be limited.
Sure, Conner doesn’t have a great history of staying healthy, but this is all assuming Snell beats out Samuels for the primary backup role. And history also shows rookie running backs with the Steelers take some time to develop. Regardless of Conner’s overall health, Samuels might be the safest bet in this scenario.
What are your thoughts on this prediction? Do you think it will happen? Or are we crazy? Let us know by voting in the poll, and letting your voice be heard in the comment section below!
Will Benny Snell be 2nd in rushing next season?
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