Now that the 2020 offseason has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: RB James Conner
Stock Value: Up
My stock evaluation of wide receiver Ryan Switzer as being up directly in light of the fact that he recently revealed he has been consistently working out and catching the ball with Ben Roethlisberger since he began throwing in February did not sit well with…almost anybody. I still maintain that having that closeness and rapport with your quarterback improves your value. That doesn’t mean he’s going to make the team, but having learn that information I do think that improves slightly his betting odds of making the team.
James Conner’s stock evaluation today has nothing to do with his job security, because of course his job is secure. It has nothing to do with his long-term employment with the Steelers, because whether or not that is even in the discussion is going to be based on what happens during the season.
I do argue that his stock is up based on the fact that he is absolutely ripped beyond a level at which he has ever been before. Not only does this indicate that he is fully healed from his numerous injuries suffered a season ago—including a lingering shoulder injury—it should also, in theory, help to reduce his chances of suffering a similar injury this year.
There is only so much that an NFL player can do to prevent injuries, especially at the running back position. dedicating oneself to a complete, all-around fitness regimen that promotes both muscle mass and flexibility is a good way to go about doing that.
Conner knows exactly the position he’s in: he’s in a contract year, with a lot to prove. Did nothing playing behind a Pro Bowler as a rookie. Then had a Pro Bowl year in season two. Season three? Injury-riddled. Doubts, skepticism, questions. Is he reliable? Can he even make it through a season?
Well, the man looks like a tank right now. I wouldn’t want to try to tackle him. No, that’s not going to stop him from suffering a high ankle sprain, of which he’s had a couple already in his NFL career. But being jacked certainly isn’t going to hurt him any.
Oh, and he has a new book out, too. No, I was not paid to mention that.