Steelers RB Benny Snell did not do enough vs Jaguars to keep RB2 job

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Benny Snell Jr. (24) Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Benny Snell Jr. (24) Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

While Benny Snell Jr. scored for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half, he didn’t do enough with the rest of his chances.

Benny Snell Jr. was coming into the Steelers second preseason game of 2022 against the Jacksonville Jaguars under the most amount of pressure he has faced up to this point in his football career. Even with an injury to training camp standout Master Teague, Snell was looking to secure his spot as the number two running back on Pittsburgh’s depth chart.

First and foremost, we must give Snell credit for a receiving touchdown in which he was able to break a tackle. This is something he hasn’t consistently shown an ability to do. He also covered a punt beautifully and tackled a returner on the 10-yard line after a boom of a punt from Pressley Harvin.

However, Snell was completely nonexistent throughout the rest of the game. He averaged -0.7 yards per carry for a total of -3 yards rushing, according to ESPN’s boxscore stats. Snell was able to add some production by catching two passes for a total of 15 yards — 11 of those coming on his lone offensive highlight of the game.

Where Snell faltered in Week 2 for the Steelers

Benny Snell has yet to show some sort of explosiveness in his running. He seems to struggle with being able to find rushing lanes in the defense and when he happens to notice a lane he has not been agile enough to make a cut to get there before it closes. Snell also struggled in an area he absolutely cannot struggle in if he wants to be able to get snaps in the regular season.

The fourth-year running back struggled mightily in pass protection. He almost got Kenny Pickett crushed by straight-up missing an assignment. Pickett saved face and was able to throw a beautiful ball to Pat Freiermuth as he was getting hit. With the Steelers offensive line being as big of a question mark as this one is, being able to offer help in pass protection would be a huge boost to any running back’s status with the team. This was an area that UDFA Jaylen Warren has fared better in so far in the preseason.

Though Snell had a great touchdown catch, he also had a drop on a short dump-off in which he was wide open. For a team that will have to rely on short passes and screens to help deter teams from blitzing an ability to hold on to pass attempts would be a huge boost to his status on the roster. Both Jaylen Warren and Mateo Durant showed more reliable hands throughout this game.

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Entering Week 3 of the 2022 preseason, Benny Snell should no longer be fighting for his spot as the number two running back on the final roster. We should now consider him to be fighting for any roster spot on the Steelers.