While Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges provided a spark for the offense in the second half of the team’s Sunday road win against the Cincinnati Bengals, offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner was quick to point out during his Wednesday media session that rookie running back Benny Snell Jr. also did the same throughout the entire game.
“You talk about the spark, now we can talk real spark,” Fichtner said. “His [Snell’s] spark and just his run demeanor, the idea of coming coming back from injury, not blinking from the first time he stepped on the practice field, through the game. Then he ran with strength and he ran with power.”
Snell, the Steelers fourth-round selection this year out of Kentucky, certainly did provide a spark for the offense in the run game department on Sunday on his way to gaining 98 yards on 21 total carries. Not only that, 10 of Snell’s 21 total carries can be deemed successful runs with two those coming on third downs.
Snell also took on the heavy workload Sunday against the Bengals in just his first game back from knee surgery. Fichtner was impressed with how the rookie running back played on Sunday despite him being sidelined the last three games. Fichtner also indicated that he believes Snell will only get better the further removed he is from his recent knee surgery.
“I think he’ll feel better in time,” Fichtner said Tuesday of Snell. “I know that happens with most guys with injury. Especially when you get operated on, you’re kind of a little hesitant. I didn’t see any from him and it’s fun to have him back.”
With starting running back James Conner expected to miss the Steelers next game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, we could see a lot more of Snell carrying the football. Snell missed the Steelers last game against the Browns so he’ll be champing at the bit to make an impact in this rematch between the two teams. If he does, it will certainly help lighten the load some on Hodges needing to be the one to provide multiple sparks during the Week 13 contest.