As we careen toward training camp later this month, certain storylines will whirl quicker round the offseason drumlike a spinning washer just before it comes to a halt.
One story surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason is the concept that, for the very first time in Mike Tomlin’s tenure, there could be a running back-by-committee approach into the backfield.
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A year later James Conner was the workhorse prior to getting hurt, the Steelers added rookie Benny Snell and perceive a heartier role for pass-catching back Jaylen Samuels. Discussing with NFL Network for an interview which will air on NFL Total Access on Monday night, Conner suggested he’s preparing to get an identical workload to continue year.
“I’ll have a similar function. I am healthy, first of all, I am 100 percent healthy now. We’ll cross that bridge once we arrive,” Conner said of the workload this season. “But we got talent in that area. We got Jaylen Samuels who is a huge receiver. Benny Snell was got by us. We know the work that he did at Kentucky. He’s a hard-bodied runner, so all those men will get bits. It’ll be interesting this year simply seeing those other guys being successful.”
The offseason discussion surrounding the backfield — which was kickstarted by GM Kevin Colbert earlier this offseason — would become meaningless if Conner stays healthy and proves to be the tackle-breaking menace he was early last year. Throughout his career as head coach, Tomlin preferred his crime use just one back. Having a dual-threat alternative like Conner, we could visit Pittsburgh lean back toward a system which relies heavily on a single runner, together with others acting as supplements rather than committee members.
Conner noted that given that it’s still early July, there’s not been any deep debate on his function that this offseason.
“It goes week to week. The game plan will be different each week,” he explained. “I know I’ll be a significant part of it and also have a large function. So far as specifics, we do not play with it like that.”
After watching Le’Veon Bell walk away and the Antonio Brown commerce, there have been questions regarding a gift park in Pittsburgh, but during the non-padded version of offseason workouts Conner dismissed that notion.
“It’s early. We all had was OTAs, but OTAs were moving smooth, the offense was clicking,” he explained of his crime without the two former Pro Bowlers. “Our top guys were there. We are going to see. I believe we’re going to be just fine. No diss to those men. It’s been awesome, though, playing each other”
Last week, Conner commented on an Instagram post of JuJu Smith-Schuster saying they were going to”shock the entire world ” Conner said following an offseason of being questioned, he’s just showing faith in these players still with the organization.
“Not guaranteeing nothing but I believe we’ve got a fantastic prospect of going all of the way,” Conner said of the comment. “That is what we play , that’s the reason why we appear daily, that’s the ultimate aim, is to get a ring. I know that’s a lot of people don’t think we are able to do it, together with the bits that we dropped, and just ripping us out. We don’t mind it, though. We know that they’re out we, but that is why I said we’re going to jolt them since I don’t believe they expect us to do exactly what we’re about to do this season.”
While the offseason started out with hype surrounding the Cleveland Browns and questions regarding the Steelers’ long run, once the regular season begins, there will be a lot of people who believe Pittsburgh can rebound from a down year.
Catch the Whole interview with Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner on Monday night on NFL Network’s”NFL Total Access” at 7 p.m. ET.
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