When players arrived for rookie minicamp at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, they came prepared with everything they will need for the next month or so until the Steelers offseason program concludes.
Benny Snell arrived with one more item.
A Terrible Towel.
“It was a must,” said Snell. “I had one at home I got right after I got drafted, but I had to leave that at home for my mom. As soon as I touched down in the airport in Pittsburgh, I got mine and I am freshly here with it.”
Snell already gets what it means to be a Steelers player, and gets the tradition. He knows what the Terrible Towel is all about and wasn’t shy about having it on display when he walked through the doors for the first time.
It’s who he is. A guy who is about embracing everything around him and enjoying every moment of it as he is living his childhood dream.
“When I was a little boy, I used to have a dream that I am going to run out in a stadium type of deal,” said Snell. “It’s indoors, the lights are flashing, and the fans are chanting my name. I feel like it’s bound to happen, just not yet. Me being here, it’s like it’s happening soon.
“Guys go to work every day and it can be a drag, but I enjoy every moment of it. I am living my dream. I have fun. I have fun at practice.
“It’s all coming together, me doing what I have wanted to do since I was a little boy. It all feels like home. I am excited, I am ready. I am finally here.”
Snell admitted to having some nerves the night before rookie minicamp began, but the butterflies evaporated the minute he hit the field where he was in his happy place.
“It was all fun. I enjoyed every moment,” said Snell. “You have to think on the fly and know what you are doing. There is no messing up. It’s a business now. You always have to be on your toes. You have to be fundamentally sound. I try to be a sponge. I listen to what any coach says to me so I can pick it up and get the flow. It’s a learning process now.”
Snell is hoping to use the five practices during minicamp to show the coaches what he is capable of doing on the field,
“I am a play maker, a hustler, I try to finish all of my runs,” said Snell. “I try to put forth effort in everything I do. I will fill any role they need me for, special teams, goal line, first, second or third down. I want to be able to do what I can to show what I can do.”
The goal line role is one that Snell excelled at while at Kentucky, something he thrived on and loved.
“It’s about having the hard-nosed mentality,” said Snell. “Whether it’s one, two, three people in your way, you have to have that extra push. That extra drive to get through it no matter what. Then it’s about making smart decisions. Sometimes it might not be pretty at first. The hole might not be there. It’s about having vision, being a smart runner. Hitting this crease, making that read. Reading blocks. I feel like it’s all together.”