As we careen toward training camp later this month, certain storylines will whirl quicker round the offseason drum, like a spinning washer before it comes to a halt.
One narrative surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason is the idea that, for the very first time in Mike Tomlin’s tenure, there could be a running back-by-committee approach into the backfield.
??? Team matches for best staying FAs
??? Ranking deepest place groups
??? NFL triplets rankings: Who’s No. 1?
??? NFC West primer: Camp queries ??? Rank: Can Redskins surprise?
Annually later James Conner was the workhorse before getting hurt, the Steelers added rookie Benny Snell and perceive a heartier function for pass-catching back Jaylen Samuels. Speaking with NFL Network for an interview that will air on NFL Total Access on Monday night, Conner indicated he is preparing for an identical workload to last season.
“I will have a similar role. I am healthy, first and foremost, I am 100 percent healthy now. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Conner said of the workload this year. “But we have talent in that room. We have Jaylen Samuels who is a huge receiver. We got Benny Snell. We all know the job he did in Kentucky. He’s a runner, therefore those men will get touches. It’ll be interesting this season just seeing those other guys being successful.”
The offseason conversation 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 that he had been early last year. During his career as head coach, his crime use was preferred by Tomlin one back. Having a dual-threat alternative like Conner, we could see Pittsburgh lean back toward a system which relies heavily on one runner, together with others acting as nutritional supplements instead of committee members.
Conner noted that it’s still early July, there has been no deep discussion on his function that this offseason.
“It belongs week . The game program will be different each week,” he said. “I know I’ll be a significant part of it and also have a large role. As far as specifics, we do not play with it like this.”
After viewing Le’Veon Bell walk away and the Antonio Brown commerce, there were questions about a talent park in Pittsburgh, but during the non-padded version of offseason workouts Conner dismissed that notion.
“It’s early. All we had was OTAs, but OTAs were moving smooth, the offense was clicking,” he explained of his offense without the two former Pro Bowlers. “All our best men were there. We are going to see. I believe we’re going to be just fine. No diss to those men. It has been awesome, though, playing for each other”
Last week, Conner commented on an Instagram post of JuJu Smith-Schuster saying they were going to”shock the world” Conner said following an offseason of being contested, he’s just showing faith in these players still with the company.
“Not guaranteeing nothing but I think we have a fantastic chance of going all of the way,” Conner said of the comment. “That’s what we play , that’s the reason why we appear every day, that is the ultimate goal, is to receive a ring. I understand that’s a good deal of people do not feel that we can do it, with the pieces that we dropped, and only ripping us out. We don’t mind that, though. We all know that they’re counting us out, but that’s why I said we are going to jolt them since I don’t think that they expect us to perform what we are about to do this year.”
While the offseason began with hype surrounding the Cleveland Browns and queries regarding the Steelers’ future, when the regular season begins, there will be a lot of people who believe Pittsburgh can rebound from a down year.
Catch the entire interview with Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner on Monday night on NFL Network’s”NFL Total Access” at 7 p.m. ET.