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.
1 narrative surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason is the concept that, for the first time in Mike Tomlin’s tenure, there might be a running back-by-committee strategy to the backfield.
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Annually later James Conner was the workhorse prior to becoming injured, the Steelers additional rookie Benny Snell and perceive a heartier function for pass-catching back Jaylen Samuels. Speaking 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 last year.
“I will have a similar role. I’m 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 season. “But we have talent in that room. We have Jaylen Samuels who’s a receiver, a runner. We obtained Benny Snell. We know the work that he did in Kentucky. He is a hard-bodied runner, so those men will get touches. It is going to be fun this year just seeing those other men being successful.”
The offseason discussion surrounding the backfield — that was kickstarted by GM Kevin Colbert earlier this offseason — could become moot if Conner stays healthy and proves to be the tackle-breaking menace he was early last year. Throughout his career as head coach, Tomlin favored his crime use one back. Having a dual-threat alternative like Conner, we could see Pittsburgh lean back toward a system that relies heavily on a single runner, with others acting as supplements instead of committee members.
Conner noted that it’s still early July, there has not been any deep discussion on his role that this offseason.
“It goes week to week. The game plan will be different every week,” he said. “I know I will be a significant part of it and also have a big function. So far as specifics, we do not play it like this.”
After viewing Le’Veon Bell walk away and the Antonio Brown commerce, there were questions about a gift park in Pittsburgh, but through the non-padded model of offseason workouts Conner dismissed that idea.
“It’s early. We all had was OTAs, but OTAs were going sleek, 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 think we are going to be just fine. No diss to these guys. It has been amazing, though, playing each other”
Last week, Conner commented on an Instagram article of JuJu Smith-Schuster saying they were going to”shock the world.” Conner stated after an offseason of being questioned, he’s simply showing faith in these players still with the company.
“Not reassuring nothing but I believe we have a fantastic chance of going all the way,” Conner said of the remark. “That is what we play for, that is the reason why we appear daily, that’s the ultimate aim, is to get a ring. I understand that’s a good deal of folks don’t feel we are able to do it, with the pieces that we dropped, and only ripping us out. We do not mind it, though. We all know they’re out we, but that is why I said we’re going to shock them because I do not think they expect us to do what we are about to do this year.”
While the offseason began with hype surrounding the Cleveland Browns and questions regarding the Steelers’ future, once the regular season begins, there will be a lot of individuals 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.