It was announced on Tuesday that former Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner had signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals. Conner, whose first four seasons in the NFL with the Steelers were plagued by injuries, is now obviously looking forward to getting a fresh start with the Cardinals.
“I feel brand new,” Conner said Tuesday to the Arizona media after signing with the Cardinals. “I’m excited for this opportunity. It’s definitely a change in scenery. I had been in Pittsburgh for eight years. I was learning so many lessons. That time in Pittsburgh was prepping for where I’m at right now. I’m excited to be in this red. I’m truly excited. It’s a blessing.”
Along with being with the Steelers the last four seasons, Conner an Erie native, also played his college football at the University of Pittsburgh. With him now signing with the cardinals it will mean this will be the first time that he’s played for a team outside of Pennsylvania. He indicated on Tuesday that he is looking forward to playing in another part of the country.
“Pittsburgh, my time there was great,” Conner said during his introductory press conference. “Through the University [of Pittsburgh], the Steelers, now I get to come out here. This is my vibe. I love the sun. The opportunity to come out here and live in AZ. Football comes first and to learn from these veterans. I’m looking forward to it all.
“I’m looking forward to the change, not a desire to leave. I feel like this is an opportunity for me to grow, to meet new people, to see this side of the world.”
The Cardinals have been looking to add another running back to their roster after losing last year’s leading rusher Kenyan Drake to the Las Vegas Raiders in Free agency. Conner is now expected to compete with running back Chase Edmunds for the starting role in Arizona and it will be interesting to see how that battle plays out in the coming months.
“I think Chase can do it all, and I believe I can do it all,” Conner said Tuesday of his expectations playing alongside Edmonds. “His decision-making, his speed, he runs hard too. He’s got that dawg mentality, just like I got. So we’re just gonna roll.”
Ahead of getting on the practice field, Conner made it clear on Tuesday that he’s just glad to finally get signed this far long into the free agency signing period. He indicated on Tuesday that he now feels like he has a new home in Arizona.
“I’ve got a home. I feel accepted. They believe in me,” Conner said.
Conner also posted Tuesday afternoon on Twitter that he feels brand new and blessed now that he has signed his one-year contract with the Cardinals.
Feel brand new and blessed !
— James Conner (@JamesConner_) April 13, 2021