Benny Snell
Benny Snell is the perfect Mike Tomlin running back. Snell is going to have a good year because Tomlin has a formula that works. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

I’m so glad that Joey wrote his piece on Benny Snell because I want to add to it. One of my crazy predictions before the season was that James Conner wouldn’t finish as the lead back for the Steelers. Whether it be Anthony McFarland or Snell, one of them would outproduce Conner. Well, Snell appears to have done it after one week.

I think people have missed the boat when it comes to running backs in Pittsburgh. They’re all products of the Mike Tomlin effect. That includes Le’Veon Bell. Say what you want about Tomlin, but he develops talent. Pittsburgh has always drafted well, and the only players that flop is the guys who didn’t have talent, to begin with – AKA Mason Rudolph.

This idea that Bell was some superstar running back was always laughable. Bell would have never had the type of success he did without the Steelers. That’s because Tomlin made Bell into who he was. People forget that, but at Michigan State, Bell was a 245 pound running back that lacked explosion.

You can say whatever you want, but it’s true.

Please watch that video objectively and tell me how that guy resembles what he did in Pittsburgh. Two hundred forty-five pounds with power, average speed, and some elusiveness. Was Bell worthy of a second-round pick? Sure, but he wasn’t nearly as good as what he looked like on film.

Bell doesn’t become Bell without Tomlin. The Steelers coach made him drop 20 pounds, and then he turned into a lightning rod. Remind me again what happened to Bell when he went to the Jets? Never forget, Tomlin made Bell what he was. If you were smart, then you listened to me and didn’t draft him in fantasy.

Enter Benny Snell. He’s the PERFECT Tomlin running back. Snell ran a 4.65 at the combine and played at around 235-240 at Kentucky. Year one, Tomlin got him to learn the system. Year two, Tomlin does what he does. Get him in the program, lose 15 pounds, and turn into a monster.

Snell looks like the real deal. In Week 1 against the Giants, Snell rushed for 113 yards on 19 carries. Furthermore, Snell looks like a different guy from college. Fast, lean, and explosive.

Benny Snell is going to have an outstanding year but let’s take a second and recognize that Tomlin knows what he’s doing. Bell didn’t make the Steelers; they made him. There’s a formula here. Draft big running backs, get them to drop weight, watch them turn into monsters.