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.”