PITTSBURGH — On Friday, during the first practice of the 2019 Steelers rookie minicamp, the team and the city got its first taste of Benny Snell Football.
What exactly is Benny Snell Football?
Here’s what the Snell — the Steelers’ running back and fourth-round pick out of Kentucky — said in his own words:
“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.”
Snell’s ability to have success running the ball even in obvious running situations thanks to his power and low pad level are one of the things that put him on the radar of the Steelers and other NFL teams.
In his collegiate finale during the Citrus Bowl in January, he showed exactly what he’s talking about, when he set the Kentucky all-time rushing record, scored a pair of touchdowns, and perhaps most impactfully, carried the ball eight straight times when Kentucky got the ball back with a three-point lead and 4:12 on the clock, gaining 25 yards and chewing all but one second off the clock.
“That’s just Benny Snell Football,” he said. “Downhill, running the clock out. My team depended on my in that time of need, and I made it happen.”
Of course, there isn’t a lot of opportunities for Benny Snell Football at minicamp. The downs aren’t timed and there wasn’t even a goal-line snap to be had on Friday. Instead Snell just hopes that his infectious energy catches on.
“I’m a hustler,” Snell said. “I try to finish all my runs. I try to put forth effort in everything that I do.”
Snell, who is 5-foot-10 and 224 pounds, should eventually fit right into the Steelers running back room with fellow big backs James Conner (6-foot-1, 233 pounds) and Jaylen Samuels (6-foot, 225 pounds). But he’s not looking that far ahead.
“It’s a lot of learning right now,” Snell said. “I’m willing to fill my role, whether it’s on special teams, whether it’s on offense, defense, whatever they need me for, Benny Snell is going to do it at his best.”
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/18/20
James Conner tested out his injured ankle and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Chase Claypool during practice on Friday, September 18, 2020.
This practice was in preparation for the Steelers week 2 game on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
Cam Heyward Named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward has been named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1.
Heyward was honored for installing his first Little Free Library, a book-sharing box placed in underserved communities around the Pittsburgh area.
Congrats to @camheyward on being named Week 1 #CommunityMVP for installing his first Little Free Library. The book-sharing boxes provide 24-7 access to literacy for underserved Pittsburgh communities while honoring the legacy in education of his late grandfather. pic.twitter.com/uKwbnz28A1— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 18, 2020
Little Free Library is a non-profit organization that “inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.”
The installation of the book-sharing boxes marks the launch of the Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy Project, a new initiative of the Cameron Heyward Foundation that will work to promote children’s literacy and honor his late grandparents, both of whom were lifelong educators in Pittsburgh.
Drafted in first round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Heyward has spend his entire career in Pittsburgh. He is a three-time Pro Bowler, and has twice received First-Team All-Pro honors.
Heyward and the Steelers agreed to a four-year, $71.4 million contract extension on Sept. 6 that will allow him to retire in Pittsburgh and make him the highest-paid defense player over the age of 30 in NFL history.
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/17/20
The Steelers finally experienced a practice with almost everyone on the roster able to take the field. Only two players did not take part in practice before their week 2 game against Denver.
Alex Highsmith and Minkah Fitzpatrick stood out from the rest on Thursday, September 17, 2020.