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Pittsburgh Picked Benny Snell to help Change the Culture in the Locker Room

Benny Snell was exactly what the Pittsburgh Steelers were looking for in the 2019 NFL Draft. After a tumultuous season in the locker room, head coach Mike Tomlin was pleased to find a player who has already changed the culture in one locker room.

“We didn’t over-analyze it. We just really like Benny Snell. He’s a good football player who we thought was a central figure in a culture change at Kentucky. That guy had those guys extremely competitive. They kicked a lot of butt in the SEC this year,” said Tomlin.

“Everyone you talked to down there, formally and informally, talked about him being an energy-bringer, a catalyst if you will, the type of guy that’s capable of changing the culture. We were really attracted to that along with his run talents.”

Originally projected to fall into the fifth or sixth round, Tomlin and the Steelers made the move in the fourth round with the 122nd pick. The Steelers valued Snell’s ability to positively create change in a locker room a year after Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown held the team hostage with a variety of melodramatic demands.

At least one Pittsburgh fan has already altered that old Bell jersey to make way for the new 2-6.


The Steelers organization also liked what they saw from Benny when he had the ball in his hands. Steelers running back coach Eddie Faulkner was happy the organization pulled the trigger early enough to secure Snell.

“He plays physical. He plays hard. Quite honestly, he represents the Steelers’ brand as you watch him play,” Faulkner said.

“I’m really excited about Benny. It’s very evident when you watch film of this young man how much passion he has for the game, how much he loves it, how much he likes being around it. We were very interested in finding someone who has a passion and just loves football and that’s Benny Snell.”

After watching Snell work on tape, Faulkner was eager to see how that translated onto the field. It did not show up in his combine numbers, but the Pittsburgh coach saw everything he needed to see while working with Snell at UK’s pro day. He had questions about Benny’s ability to catch passes out of the backfield, questions that were quickly answered by Benny’s “natural” wide receiver skills.

“That was a pleasant surprise because going into his pro day I had those same questions. What you do see him do on tape is play the Wildcat. There’s a lot to being a running back, playing quarterback, catching the snap and still being able to get your eyes on your reads as a runner. He’s able to do that. It takes a lot of hand-eye coordination to do that.”

Benny fits the running back mold in the Steelers’ organization. One of the few teams that still likes to lean on a featured back, like Snell was at UK, he is arriving at the perfect time. James Conner currently holds the keys to the car, but there’s an opportunity for Snell to be the next man up. Jaylen Samuels and Trey Edmunds are a pair of second-year players that could be leapt if Snell does what we all think he will do — go to work.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

24 Comments for Pittsburgh Picked Benny Snell to help Change the Culture in the Locker Room

  1. nocode96
    7:04 pm April 27, 2019 Permalink

    Living in Pittsburgh, I like this pick!

  2. Paw
    7:14 pm April 27, 2019 Permalink

    Go to Work !! Benny is probably already in Pittsburgh walking every inch of the field planning his attack on the practice squad!! I hope they wear extra pads ! Snell Yea !!

  3. Bluebloodtoo
    7:14 pm April 27, 2019 Permalink

    Love the clips they chose to use in that into. That’s Snell, yeah!

  4. jamesrae
    8:18 pm April 27, 2019 Permalink

    Life long Steelers and Cats fan couldn’t have turned out better for me! Awesome welcome to Steeler Nation Benny.

  5. Glock
    8:43 pm April 27, 2019 Permalink

    Practice squad players dont usually change cultures in the NFL

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      8:59 pm April 27, 2019 Permalink

      So when he kills one of them when his with the first string it’ll be okay.

    • imabucket
      1:07 am April 28, 2019 Permalink

      Prescribe squad player?please point out one clip where Benny was tackled by one player . And you do realize he earned playing time as a freshman over boom Williams and jo jo Kemp. Sure they didn’t make it to the nfl but also remember rose, smoke , and Rodriguez barely got any playing time this year and I believe one of those will be an nfl back as a broncos fan but Benny will be a perfect compliment to Conner in Pittsburg . Also they have one of the best offensive lines in the nfl . I can’t wait until he proves all the doubters wrong once again . Not to mention the wildcat package as mentioned above . He is elite at running that package and he’s not even that fast . His vision and patience will get him farther in nfl then if he was a faster back . I mean look at Reggie bush . Maybe best running back ever in college ball and all that quickness and speed did nothing for him in the nfl .

    • imabucket
      1:09 am April 28, 2019 Permalink

      Practice squad * before someone else deems my comment stupid because I’ve spelt one word wrong .

  6. Simon-KY
    10:45 pm April 27, 2019 Permalink

    Good fit for Benny and Pittsburgh. Should see plenty of Benny on TV in the future as much as Pittsburgh is on.

  7. addyjaxlarkin
    10:46 pm April 27, 2019 Permalink

    Don’t know how he’s going to change the culture he’s only a mediocre football player.

    • CATandMONKEY
      12:05 am April 28, 2019 Permalink

      Have you ever posted anything that was NOT ignorant and ill informed?

    • imabucket
      1:16 am April 28, 2019 Permalink

      Lmao mediocre. I guess being mentioned next to Leonard fournette and the goat makes you mediocre ? A lot of people here lack common sense .

    • samodamo
      5:45 am April 28, 2019 Permalink

      Really!! Well only Tim Tebow has scored more touchdowns in the sec than him!!! His stats are better or right there with Herschel Walker. Benny is definitely not mediocre!! Awesome fit for Benny tho. When he gets his shot watch out.

    • makeitstop
      8:11 am April 28, 2019 Permalink

      Addyjaxoff, this is a serious question: what team DO u like, it’s clearly not UK, or are u one of those that just hates sports and thinks it’s stupid, and that makes u “smart”?

    • dcforuk
      1:40 pm April 28, 2019 Permalink

      No risk in saying that based on combine #s. Be a little risky! Benny deserves that!

  8. Mad Max
    12:57 am April 28, 2019 Permalink

    Dang it, now I have to root for the Steelers and the Jags!!

    That’s OK. I have finally given up on my Jets. Those fools would pick Joe Dirt over Joe Namath our given the choice today!!!

    • imabucket
      1:13 am April 28, 2019 Permalink

      Mad max . I’d say you was pretty darn mad at the jets during the draft . THey still got a good player at number three but I really though let they’d pick Allen . If they would of their linebackers would have had one of the best groups in the league.

    • dcforuk
      1:38 pm April 28, 2019 Permalink

      You GET to root for the Steelers!

  9. imabucket
    1:11 am April 28, 2019 Permalink

    And dam man. What is up with all the negative surrounding our players getting drafted. You’d think people would be happy for our kids. You Debbie downers need to go on somewhere

    • samodamo
      5:47 am April 28, 2019 Permalink

      Absolutely. But it’s same ppl talking all tht smack during the year about our players. I heard Tenn were looking for fans. Head south ppl

  10. makeitstop
    8:30 am April 28, 2019 Permalink

    First of all, “practice players” don’t change cultures is an obvious truism, and snotty insult to the most prolific back we have ever had here, and one of the most prolific in the history of the SEC. It’s also rather obvious that Mike Tomlin didn’t spend almost $4m and at least $500k signing bonus just to fix the practice squad, so HE doesn’t see him as a practice squad guy. The tea beauty to this story is the tangible value of attitude, and work ethic. Benny’s attitude made him money. The difference in Round 4 and round 6 where he was projected is at least $500,000 over the course of the contract and a minimum $500k signing bonus v about $150k for mid 6th round. So Benny’s infectious positive vibe is worth about $350k today or a guy who just does his job well. Taking notes, basement grouches?

    • makeitstop
      8:31 am April 28, 2019 Permalink

      That’s the “real” beauty… need my coffee, but if u agree can I get an AMEN (caps lock) lol

    • dcforuk
      1:37 pm April 28, 2019 Permalink


  11. dcforuk
    1:37 pm April 28, 2019 Permalink