James Conner is Ready

Steelers Tailback focused on proving himself in year two

Jeff Hathhorn
July 26, 2018 - 2:26 pm

© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

LATROBE (93.7 the Fan) - His middle name is Earl, but Steelers running back James Conner could have a number of middle names .James “Cancer beater” Conner, James “Pitt record holder” Conner, James “Adversity” Conner to list a couple, once again this camp he could be James “Opportunity without LeVeon Bell Here” Conner. 

The second year pro recognizes he will get more touches, but doesn’t allow that to change his approach.

“LeVeon here or not, I’m focused on trying to prove to myself that I’m in shape and I can handle playing,” Conner said.  “I’m focused no matter who’s here or who’s not here.”

Conner will get more carries, but adds it’s day one of training camp so he doesn’t know where he fits in relation to veteran running backs Fitzgerald Toussaint and Stevan Ridley or even rookie Jaylen Samuels.  Conner had 32 carries last regular season for 144 yards and 124 yards on 24 carries in the preseason.

“I felt like I had a decent Spring and now I want to carry it over,” Conner said.  “Had a good summer working out, so now it’s time to put the pads on and show I’m capable in pads.”

Conner appears in great shape, saying he goes between 225-230 pounds and is anxious to prove his worth to new offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner.

“I like Coach Randy, already had a year with him,” Conner said.  “I’m excited to show him I’m capable of making plays for him and his offense.”

The Erie native said he will make every rep count in camp and will use prayer to try and avoid injury.  Conner also believes he’s come a long way in a vital area for a tailback.

“I definitely feel more equipped in pass blocking game, need to show you can pass block,” Conner said.  “I’m looking forward to doing that.”

There is a major change to Conner’s appearance this year.  The former Pitt star is growing a mullet.  He was so excited to discuss it, he thanked the reporter for asking the question.  And what he said about the mullet could mirror his pro career.

“It’s something new, we’ll see how it turns out”

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