Ranking the Steelers current options at backup running back
By Andrew Falce
2. Steelers Kalen Ballage
The more you look at Kalen Ballage, the more you realize he will be giving Snell a run for his roster spot. Ballage is once again a short-yardage back, but he has been far more successful in that role to this point. This is due to him being faster and more explosive initially due to his far-better testing numbers. Given his size, Ballage may be the pound-for-pound most athletic back on this roster based on his athletic profile.
No, Ballage isn’t going to break out for long runs, as his speed dries up after about ten yards if he gets into space. What it does mean though, that when the team needs only a yard or two, Ballage hitting the hole sooner than Snell makes him more efficient at picking up the necessary yardage. Assuming the Steelers want to use one of these guys as a backup short-yardage option, Ballage is far better suited for the role.
Once again, the focus here isn’t getting Ballage 20 or more snaps a game. They have Harris for that. What they would get out of Ballage is a better option in the short game and one that does the same quality of special teams’ work as Snell. Little was thought of Ballage when the Steelers signed him, but when comparing him to Snell on paper, he seems like a better fit for what this team will need in 2021.