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Pittsburgh Steelers Unsolved Mysteries: Benny Snell Football

Its one of the great unsolved mysteries of all time. Can we solve it, in this article?

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers OTA Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In life there are so many unsolved mysteries. Whether it be cold cases of grizzly murders, the Bermuda Triangle or is it jam then cream or cream then jam on your scones in England? For me, there is a bigger question that needs to be answered.

Who really shot JFK? No, no, no...

Try — What is Benny Snell Football?

Since Benny Snell was drafted in the 4th Round of the 2019 NFL Draft he has promised to bring ‘Benny Snell Football’ to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But what is it? I have heard so many different ideas from so many fans. One group say its running into the back of your own blockers and not being able to spot gaps. Others say its being a short yardage back, who can hustle and run it up the gut.

In his Steelers career Benny Snell Jr. has rushed for 870 yards in his three seasons, has had 6 rushing touchdowns and averages 3.6 yards a carry. He has also has 15 receptions for 97 yards. Not exactly figures to write home about. Especially when you consider Najee Harris had 1,200 yards in one season, and, yes, I know Harris is a better back and a 1st Round pick.

So what is Benny Snell Football? Let’s ask the man himself. When Snell arrived in Pittsburgh and was asked what is Benny Snell Football is, he said the following:

“It could be 2nd and 3 or 3rd and 3, it could be 4th and 2, 3rd and goal, 4th and goal, or it could be the four-minute offense — you just have to run the clock out to win the game. It’s just feeding him, feeding him, let him run it up. He’s getting up, he’s having fun. He might dance a little bit, but he’s going to come back and do it again. Everybody in the stadium, both teams know what’s happening.”

There we go, that’s what it is! Clear? As mud? Yep.

Let’s try and interpret it. So looking at the first part of the quote, its being used in short yardage, tough situations to get first downs and keep the drive going. Now, remember this is just my interpretation. It’s using him over and over again, letting him work up a head of steam multiple carries for short yards and eat the clock. Its about being a showman and getting the fans on your side. Also, the fact that he can’t be stopped. Now that’s my interpretation of what he said. So he’s a short yardage, hard-nose running back who can be depended on. That’s what he says, I believe

Have we seen this yet? In short bursts maybe? Last year? No. But does Benny Snell deserve the benefit of the doubt? He’s had 3 years and hasn’t shown anything.

I can hear the arguments now.

But has Snell had a line to run behind?

In 2019 he didn’t have Ben Roethlisberger.

In 2020 and 2021 the Steelers were not been able to establish the run.

Why? Well, due to the line and the fact that Roethlisberger’s arm and mobility had gone, and his unwillingness to throw over the middle crippled the running game.

Furthermore, Snell is still on his rookie contract and is still learning, he was a 4th round pick not a 1st or 2nd round selection.

The line has improved, on paper, this year, the quarterback is now mobile, whether it be Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett, and the Steelers have Najee Harris. Snell has worked hard this offseason to get into condition. This will really be a prove-it year for Snell. He has a cap hit of $1,410,517 in 2021, and is in the final year of his rookie deal. Snell must step up this season if he is going to get a new deal.

We also must remember Snell is a key contributor on special teams and is a player Danny Smith loves having on his units. Make no mistake, this is a massive year for Benny Snell, the coaches seem to like him and have had faith in him. Its time for him to repay that faith with production!