Who wants it more? James Conner or Benny Snell?
Ever since week 1, Steelers fans have bought into the hype over Benny Snell and already wanting to bench James Conner. After week 2, the Steelers have a very difficult decision on the state of their running back situation after a slump in Snell and a slight resurgence of Conner.
The question is what do we do now?
Well, I am going to give my take on this discussion.
I have always been someone who rooted for James Conner ever since he was drafted. However, as years have passed by, James has had many issues with staying healthy. Thus, comes in the argument for Benny Snell.
I just want to point out that it seems that many of us have forgotten what James Conner is capable of when he is healthy. So, let me remind you of that.
His rookie season in 2017 was modest with 32 attempts for 144 yards rushing. 2018 was his best year to date with 215 rushes for 973 yards. He also produced in the passing game with 55 receptions for 497 yards. He finished with 12 touchdowns.
Obviously with the loss of Roethlisberger in 2019 on top of injuries hindered his effectiveness. After many discussions that I have had with fans, they think that Conner is not productive. To me, Conner is a very good running back that fits the offense.
However, as I mentioned before the draft, I would not be surprised if Pittsburgh added another back to the mix. And so they did with Anthony McFarland Jr.
The key factor with Conner is that he is an old school runner. He is a tall, hard-nosed runner that wants to punish anyone who is in his way. That is why he keeps getting hurt. Naturally, If you play physical and tough, you are bound to get dinged up.
Unfortunately for him, it has happened frequently and at bad times during the years, which is why his play has been questioned.
However, I think that fans should be patient and hold their judgment. We need to give Conner a chance because when he is healthy and rolling, he is a problem for other defenses to deal with.
Benny Snell is a good back who also has a high upside with the Steelers offense. He also had a strong start to his 2020 campaign with his 19 carries for 113 yards. Many fans expected him to continue his dominance against the Broncos on Sunday.
If there was one thing the Broncos game showed us, it’s that Snell needs to work on his ball security.
His one fumble was such a key moment that helped make the game closer than it should not have been. I am not blaming him, but if the Steelers managed to take more time off the clock and score points on that drive, we are talking about an entirely different ending.
I think Snell has the potential to be a successful back for the Steelers, but he still has some work to do.
So when I look at this topic it comes down to one question, who wants it more? The competition is on right now to see who gets the nod for the every-down back in the offense. Tomlin may decide to split carries against the Texans.
The coming weeks will be interesting to watch both of these players give it their all on the field.
Steelers Nation must remember one thing: regardless of who gets the rock, Pittsburgh has a young, talented backfield that can do a lot of work. And I do believe that we will see more of both backs throughout the season.
Then we will see who wants it more.