RBs Benny Snell & Anthony McFarland ‘Stayed Within Their Skill Set’ Monday Night According To Mike Tomlin

On Tuesday, HC Mike Tomlin spoke to the media in his weekly press conference where he talked about the team’s win on Monday Night Football on the road against the Indianapolis Colts and previewed the team’s upcoming Week 12 matchup on the road against the Atlanta Falcons this upcoming Sunday.

When Tomlin was asked about the play of reserve RBs Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland Jr. last night in relief of Najee Harris who left the gat due to abdominal injury, Tomlin said that both runners played well to their strengths and made the most of their respective opportunities on Monday night.

“I thought they stayed within their skill set,” Tomlin said to the media Tuesday on video from the team’s YouTube channel. “Benny is a deliberate, one-cut, downhill runner. Ant Mac is bursty and explosive and good in space, and I just thought that they leaned on their strengths.”

Tomlin said immediately after the game last night in his post-game press conference that he was appreciative of both guys’ efforts, stating that both Snell and McFarland were “battlefield promoted” after the team lost Harris for the remainder of the game. Snell and McFarland proved to be ready for the occasion as both runners averaged over five yards a pop with Snell toting the rock 12 times for 62 yards and a score and McFarland receiving six carries for 30 yards on the night. Overall, the Steelers rushed for 172 yards against the Colts, outplaying All-Pro RB Jonathan Taylor on the ground even with their workhorse back out of the game.

Snell played to his strengths as the lead back after Harris exited the game, showing off that downhill, physical running style we’ve come to know as “Benny Snell Football” while showing off some elusiveness and quickness as a one-cut runner like Tomlin mentioned. McFarland also looked good in limited run, playing 21 offensive snaps and showed off good burst out of the hole and speed into the second level with a long run of 12 yards on the night.

Both runners may not be worthy of being considered starting caliber running backs in the league, but they both maximized their skill sets in a game Pittsburgh needed to win to try and avoid having their first losing season under Tomlin and more than adequately filled in for Harris. We will see if Harris or Warren will be able to return to the lineup against Atlanta next weekend, but Snell and McFarland will be waiting in the wings, chomping at the bit to get another opportunity to showcase their skills.

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