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4 running backs mentioned by Eddie Faulkner in his interview on Wednesday

The Steelers’ running back coach talked about several of his players during his virtual media session on Wednesday.

Carolina Panthers v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers continued with their scheduled players and coaches media availability during training camp this week. With the 2020 season being what it is, these media availability times are done virtually. On Wednesday, after hearing from Steelers running back James Conner, running backs coach Eddie Faulkner took questions from the local Pittsburgh media. Faulkner had several comments about the overall group of running backs for the Steelers as reported by Teresa Varley of

Faulkner answered several questions about individual players on the Steelers running back depth chart, and his statements reflect specific questions he was presented.

James Conner

The Steelers’ first option at the running back position coming into the 2020 season is former Pro Bowler James Conner. With concerns over player opt outs, particularly those with underlying health conditions, many were curious if Conner would forgo the 2020 season being a cancer survivor. But after Conner made the decision to play the upcoming season, Coach Faulkner had a little doubt as to Conner’s dedication to the game.

Benny Snell Jr.

One player in particular many are looking to see make a big leap in his second year is Steelers running back Benny Snell. Coming off his rookie season in which he averaged almost 4 yards per carry, Snell is only the sixth Steelers rookie to have more than 100 rushing attempts his rookie year since the 1970s merger. Coach Faulkner noted Snell has done a fantastic job getting his body conditioned and is ready to hit the ground running to do big things for the Steelers in 2020.

Jaylen Samuels

One player who hasn’t been able to be on the field for workouts is running back Jaylen Samuels who is currently on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Although “a players best ability is there availability” is an ongoing theme for the Steelers and the NFL in general, Coach Faulkner acknowledges if Samuels was going to miss time it is better for it to be now before padded practices begin.

Wendell Smallwood

The Steelers did recently add a new player into the running back room in veteran Wendell Smallwood. Coming to the Steelers via the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Football Team, Smallwood enters the room as the elder statesman as the only player who is older than Smallwood is fullback Derek Watt. Unsure by many if there will be a spot for Smallwood on the Steelers roster, Coach Faulkner talked about what he brings to the team as a veteran presence for the younger players.

Media availability continues on Thursday as Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin will hold his weekly interview. Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for full coverage as training camp 2020 continues.