The Steelers made their plans at the top of the running back depth chart pretty clear in the first round of the draft when they selected former Alabama star Najee Harris.
Harris will be the lead back on the depth chart heading into training camp and the team will have a handful of other backs vying for spots behind him. The group includes free agent signing Kalen Ballage, 2020 fourth-round pick Anthony McFarland and third-year vet Benny Snell.
Snell ran 219 times for 794 yards and six touchdowns as a complement to or injury replacement for James Conner the last two seasons, but Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com listed him as a potential cut given the new additions to the group. During an appearance on Kentucky Sports Radio, Snell said he’s working to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“Honestly, I can say I’m taking it as a part of my journey,” Snell said. “I never have settled and been comfortable, you know that. This is my job now, you know. Another thing I keep in mind was the Steelers picked me; I didn’t pick the Steelers so I’m ride and dying about where I’m at. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work. I feel like, even on top of us having Najee, you can’t just do one back for the whole season and hustle. I definitely know that roads and big-time moments are going to come up and I’m going to make sure I’m ready for them. I’m just keeping my head down and working.”
Conner moved on to Arizona as a free agent and Snell’s departure would make for another significant change to the way the Pittsburgh offense does business in the 2021 season.