Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room showcases a run from Kentucky running back Benny Snell that illustrates Snell as the aggressor in tight quarters.
Whether it’s Leonard Fournette or Jamaal Charles, the best runners through contact understand how to be the aggressor into the collision. Strike first and you have a greater chance of controlling subsequent movement and earning additional space.
On this 12-yard run below, Benny Snell employs his left arm as a multi-use tool to ward off a linebacker and then work through a defensive back. At first glance, it’s difficult to see each move, but they’re present and effective: A small stiff-arm placed to the inside shoulder of the linebacker and a forearm on the defensive back that minimizes the contact that the opponent makes to Snell’s legs.
While researching Snell’s health history, I noticed a comparison to Alfred Morris. I’ve only studied one game of Snell’s thus far but in this game above, Snell had a lot of opportunities to demonstrate agility and change of direction on par with Morris but did not.
Snell is stiffer in the hips than Morris and I have preliminary questions about the caliber of his short-area acceleration. I’ll share more about this with Snell in a separate post today as well as the months ahead.
One thing is clear: Snell is a rugged back with balance, leg drive, and skill to win collisions with subtle but aggressive arm maneuvers in tight space. It’s fun to watch.
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