The Steelers will have to adjust their offense after the departure of Le’Veon Bell.
But, Ben Roethlisberger is excited about the changes the team will make that will utilize more two-running back sets this season.
The veteran quarterback confirmed Pittsburgh’s new approach over the weekend in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. However, the news came as no surprise after running back Jaylen Samuels spilled the secret weeks ago to ESPN.
Roethlisberger went into a bit more detail of what it will mean for the backfield.
“Jaylen, I think we all saw what we can do last year with him,” Roethlisberger said. “He’s a little bit more of a receiving running back. We can actually flank him out. He’s got great hands. We can do some kind of interesting things with him in the two-back situation.”
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) August 3, 2019
Samuels caught three touchdown passes in his first season last year and will share time with James Conner and rookie Benny Snell.
Roethlisberger also praised the first-year player, who impressed in his four seasons at the University of Kentucky. The quarterback likes what he’s seen in training camp.
“Benny, I didn’t know what to expect coming in,” Roethlisberger added. “You see this big, bruising running back and a guy that’s going to be physical. So I always try to throw bad balls to guys to just see what they can do. And I threw him a lot of bad balls and he seems to catch every single one of them. So pleasantly surprised with him in the passing game.”
The Steelers hope to get the most out of this trio to improve on last season’s numbers, which saw them finish 31st in the league in rushing. If Conner can stay healthy and Samuels and Snell emerge as young talents, coach Mike Tomlin thinks they’ll be better
“Capable, emerging players like [Samuels and Snell] provide depth and insulate through circumstance,” Tomlin said in late July. “We lost a little something when James was injured a year ago, although Jaylen did emerge in some instances.
“I like the added depth and competition.”