Pittsburg Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin kept his head held high in a weekly press conference as he proudly listed every player who “rose up” to make significant plays in a win against the Indianapolis Colts.
“That has to happen at this point in our journey,” Tomlin said. “People need to have an opportunity to put their hand in the pile and be reasons why we're successful.”
Along with cornerback James Pierre's first-quarter interception and Matt Wright's ability to kick a 52-yard field goal, Tomlin highlighted his running back group's ability to step up to their elevated roles and deliver a crucial offensive pace when called upon. Three running backs, including former Kentucky standout Benny Snell Jr. and second-year back Najee Harris, picked up a combined for 127 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 28 attempts.
Benny Snell Jr., who did not have a single carry throughout the entire season, rushed for 62 yards and punched in a two-yard touchdown to put Pittsburg up by one possession on 12 attempts. He played in 28 offensive snaps and 17 special teams snaps, according to Football Reference.
“I think it’s just a mental thing,” Snell said. “Going over film, a lot of mental reps, watching practice, seeing what cut I would make, what read would I make, a lot of that.”
Though he went down with an abdominal injury against the Colts, Najee Harris still suited up and picked up 35 yards and one touchdown on 10 attempts. NFL Network insider Ian Rapaport said Najee Harris did not suffer a major injury against Indianapolis, though his status is still “up in the air.”
Anthony McFarland Jr. rounded out the running back production for the Steelers, rushing for 30 yards on six attempts.
Benny Snell Jr. and the Steelers will kick off against the Atlanta Falcons at 1 p.m. EST this Sunday at Mercedez-Benz Stadium. The game will be broadcasted on CBS.