Smith sings praises of backup RB Snelling

Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

In my phone conversation with Mike Smith this afternoon, I asked him about running back Jason Snelling. That was mainly because I don’t know a lot about Snelling and his role seems to be increasing.

It could increase even more this week as fullback Ovie Mughelli and running back Jerious Norwood each missed their second straight day of practice due to injuries. That means Snelling could be the top backup at both running back and fullback on Sunday against Dallas.

“Jason is a guy who has been very impressive since I got here,’’ Smith said. “He has the ability to play both fullback and tailback and that’s always a big plus. He doesn’t get a lot of reps in practice simply because of where he’s been on the depth chart. But he’s one of those guys who, it seems like every opportunity he has had, he’s been productive for us. That’s the most impressive thing is the way he produces. The last two games, he’s had to play a lot. He probably didn’t run 90 percent of those plays in practice, but he went out there and ran them in the games and there was no drop off. It’s great to have a guy like that around.’’