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Tomlin: ‘No Reservation’ about Big Workload for RB Benny Snell

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Starting running back James Conner is on the COVID-19 reserve list and won’t play in the Steelers’ Week 12 game against the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday night.

That normally wouldn’t be a huge issue, as the Steelers have a deep group of running backs, but that group has been thinned repeatedly this week.

In addition to Conner, the Steelers will be without Jaylen Samuels, who will miss his second consecutive game with a quadriceps injury and Trey Edmunds, who was placed on the injured reserve this week with a hamstring injury.

That leaves the Steelers’ usual five-man unit with just two members: second year back Benny Snell, Jr. and rookie Anthony McFarland, Jr.

Snell has performed well when called upon in his two seasons. He’s averaged 3.8 yards per carry on 165 attempts. This season, he’s rushed 57 times for 195 yards and three touchdowns. He’s carried the ball more than 10 times in a game just once, when Conner was injured in the season opener against New York. He finished that game with 19 carrels for 113 yards.

McFarland has gotten even less work, with just 20 carries on the season for 67 yards.

That likely means a busy evening will be in the cards for Snell, but head coach Mike Tomlin said on Sunday that he doesn’t have a problem with that.

“I have no reservation about Benny Snell as a featured runner,” Tomlin said when asked about the potential division of later on Tuesday night.

The Steelers do have a couple other options available to them. Fullback Derek Watt can fill in at running back in a pinch and practice squad back Wendell Smallwood could be elevated to the active roster if necessary.

Steelers

No Guaranteed Money in Dwayne Haskins’ Low-Risk Steelers Contract

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Further details of quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ new contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers have emerged, demonstrating just how low-risk the acquisition is for the club.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Haskins’ Reserve/Future contract with the Steelers is a one-year, $850,000 deal with no guaranteed money.

Simply put, the Steelers will not be on the hook for any money if they decide to part ways further down the line. If Haskins turns out to be a diamond in the rough for Pittsburgh, they will have acquired him on a tremendous bargain.

Haskins is not getting a raw deal financially either, as he is still being paid on his four-year, $14,416,611 rookie deal with Washington. Signing with the Steelers gives him an opportunity to prove himself with a steady organization without worrying about the financial implications.

A first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Haskins was waived by Washington in late December after the young quarterback was photographed maskless at a strip club, in clear violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols and mid-pandemic common sense.

Haskins was shaky over two seasons in Washington, passing for 12 touchdowns with 14 interceptions, while completing just over 60% of his passes.

The Steelers are hoping Haskins can flash the talent he showed in his final season at Ohio State, where he completed 70% of his passes for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He finished third in Heisman Trophy voting in 2018.

By signing Haskins to such a low-risk, team-friendly contract, Pittsburgh will have an excellent opportunity to determine if some of that talent is still there.

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Steelers

Report: Steelers Interviewing Mike Sullivan for QB Coach Vacancy

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly interviewing Mike Sullivan for their quarterbacks coach vacancy, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac.

A 17-year coaching veteran at the NFL level, Sullivan was most recently the quarterbacks coach for the Denver Broncos in 2018. He also has previous experience as an offensive coordinator with the New York Giants (2016-17) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-12).

Sullivan is currently the Director of Recruiting at his alma mater Army, a position he has held since March of last year.

Sullivan would also bring additional championship pedigree to the Steelers, having won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI with the Giants.

Former Giants quarterback Eli Manning had one of the best seasons of his career in 2011 under Sullivan, passing for a career-high 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns.

The Steelers are looking to fill the void left by Matt Canada, who was officially promoted to offensive coordinator on Monday.

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NFL

Mic Drop: Rooting for Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell Is Easy Choice

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The idea that either Antonio Brown or Le’Veon Bell will become a Super Bowl champion after Super Bowl LV isn’t exactly something that makes Steelers fans excited for the big game. With that said, Mike Asti feels deciding who to root for should be an easy choice for Steelers fans. He wants to set the record straight once and for all of why Pittsburgh fans need to stop grouping the two former Steelers together.

While they both left the franchise in a cloud of drama, Le’Veon Bell doesn’t deserve to be treated as if he committed the same kind of sins against the Steelers that Antonio Brown did.

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