James Conner is entering the 2019 season with one thing on his mind: a ring.
While speaking Wednesday at the team’s OTAs, the Steelers’ third-year rusher said he’s more than willing to share the workload with his teammates if it means getting at shot at the Super Bowl.
“I haven’t earned anything,” Conner said, via ESPN. “That’s what training camp and everything is for.
“Who doesn’t like carrying the ball? But if you look around the league, a lot of teams are really successful using multiple backs. That’s how you win games is with depth. I’m all for that. Those guys are talented, can make plays. They can make some plays I can’t make. I’m all for it.”
Conner compiled 973 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns in 2018 as he took on a larger role in the absence of fellow running back Le’Veon Bell during his contract holdout, though Conner was limited to 13 games because of an ankle injury.
When asked if the recent departures of Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown will serve as motivation for the upcoming season, Conner was confident in saying the team is driven by the Lombardi Trophy alone.
“We’re just motivated by a Super Bowl,” Conner said. “No players motivate us. We’re motivated by a trophy.”
Added Conner: “From the outside looking in, people might think it’s like some chaos or something. Really we’re a tight-knit group. That locker room is incredible. With all the guys in there, the camaraderie, everybody loves each other, really. People might think it’s chaos, but it’s not like that at all.”
While Conner and fellow 2017 draftee JuJu Smith-Schuster will serve as the offensive pillars alongside veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, expect players like running back Jaylen Samuels and wide receivers James Washington and Ryan Switzer to step up.