Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner is already in his third year and that means if things go well in 2019, he’ll be in line for a very lucrative contract extension sometime next offseason. In the meantime, however, Conner is about to open a second consecutive season as the Steelers starting running back and on Wednesday morning, he was a guest on ‘Good Morning Football’ on the NFL Network to talk about the upcoming year.
First off, Conner was asked how he’s feeling heading into the Steelers Sunday night regular season opener against the New England Patriots.
“I feel real good, I had a great summer of work and we’re just prepped for a big year, Conner said. “Really, anything I did last year can’t help us this year. So, I got a whole new mindset. We’re starting with a clean slate and just gonna go out there and try to ball out in my third year.”
Conner was then asked to tell what the current vibe around the 2019 Steelers team is headed into the regular season opener and especially now that a few former star teammates of is wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell, are no longer on the team.
“Yeah, man, we got a great vibe,” Conner said. “We don’t need no attention. We don’t need nothing. We’re just gonna go out there and play. We’re gonna try and be the most physical team on the field every game. Play for one another and just, you know, play disciplined football and that’s going to take care of itself. We’ve got talent over here, so we’re gonna put it all together, play for one another and, you know, we’ll see what happens.”
Conner was then pressed a little harder to explain the team vibe being good right now and asked if indeed the locker room is noticeably different than it’s been in the past with Brown and Bell now gone and on other teams. Conner wouldn’t take the bait, however.
“Every year in the NFL, each year is a different team because we drafted guys coming in and so the roster is never the same year after year,” Conner said. “It’s never like that, so it’s a different team this year and that’s only because we’ve got new player additions. We had a great draft class so it’s a different team and that’s just because we got new people. And so every year the goal and agenda is the same and that’s to win it all. Everybody here, that’s what we talk about, that’s why we work, why we go to practice for every day. So, it’s a different team.”
Finally, with the Steelers first game of 2019 now just a few days away, Conner was reminded that the Patriots have never lost to the Steelers at home when Tom Brady has been at quarterback. He was then asked what he thinks it will take to beat the defending champions in their building in front of a national audience Sunday night.
“Well, when I hear that, I just think of opportunity,” Conner said. “You know, the only time something great can happen is with an opportunity to do it. We’ve got a great opportunity on Sunday night, gotta take full advantage of it. We’ve got to go there, play fearless, man, and just ball out. Do our job and be consistent and make big routine plays. So, we have a great opportunity, we’re going to take advantage of it.”
Sunday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough in front of a national NBC audience will indeed be a great opportunity to for the Steelers to start their 2019 regular season off with a signature win. Should they manage to indeed take advantage of that opportunity Sunday night, one must think that Conner will have played a big role in his team starting the 2019 regular season 1-0.