As we careen toward training camp later this month, certain storylines will whirl faster around the offseason drum, like a spinning washer just before it comes to a stop.
1 narrative surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers that this offseason is the concept that, for the very first time in Mike Tomlin’s tenure, there could be a running back-by-committee strategy to the backfield.
??? Team fits for top staying FAs
??? Ranking deepest position groups
??? NFL triplets rankings: Who is No. 1?
??? NFC West primer: Camp questions ??? Rank: Could Redskins surprise?
Annually after James Conner was the workhorse prior to getting injured, the Steelers added rookie Benny Snell and comprehend a heartier function for pass-catching back Jaylen Samuels. Discussing with NFL Network to an interview which will air on NFL Total Access on Monday night, Conner suggested he’s preparing for an identical workload to continue year.
“I will have a similar role. I’m healthy, first of all, I am 100 percent healthy now. We’ll cross that bridge once we get there,” Conner said of his workload this season. “But we got talent in that area. We got Jaylen Samuels who is a talented runner, a receiver. Benny Snell was got by us. We all know the work that he did at Kentucky. He’s a hard-bodied runner, so those men will get touches. It is going to be interesting this year simply seeing those other men being successful.”
The offseason conversation surrounding the backfield — which was kickstarted by GM Kevin Colbert earlier this offseason — could become meaningless if Conner stays healthy and proves to be the tackle-breaking menace that he was early last year. Throughout his career as head coach, Tomlin favored his crime use just one back. With a dual-threat option like Conner, we can see Pittsburgh lean back toward a system that relies heavily on a single runner, with others acting as nutritional supplements instead of committee members.
Conner noted that it’s still early July, there has been no deep debate on his function this offseason.
“It belongs week . The game plan will be different every week,” he explained. “I know I will be a significant part of it and have a big role. As far as specifics, we do not play with it like this.”
After watching Le’Veon Bell walk away and the Antonio Brown trade, there have been questions about a gift drain in Pittsburgh, but during the non-padded version of offseason workouts Conner dismissed this idea.
“It’s early. All we had was OTAs, but OTAs were moving sleek, the offense was clicking,” he said of his crime without the two former Pro Bowlers. “Our top men were there. We are going to see. I believe we’re going to be just fine. No diss to these men. It has been amazing, though, playing each other”
Last week,” Conner commented on an Instagram article of JuJu Smith-Schuster stating that they were going to”shock the world” Conner stated following an offseason of being contested, he is just showing faith in those players still with the organization.
“Not guaranteeing nothing but I believe we have a great prospect of going all the way,” Conner said of the remark. “That’s what we play for, that is why we show up every day, that’s the ultimate goal, is to receive a ring. I know that’s a good deal of folks do not think we are able to do it, together with the pieces we lost, and only counting us out. We don’t mind that, though. We know that they’re out we, but that’s why I said we’re going to shock them because I don’t believe that they expect us to perform what we’re going to do this year.”
While the offseason started out with hype surrounding the Cleveland Browns and questions about the Steelers’ long run, when the regular season starts, there’ll be plenty of people who think 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.