James Conner is one of the most underrated players in the league today, and he recently shared his thoughts on how to be one of the best at his position. Speaking to the media ahead of Super Bowl LVIII earlier this week, the Arizona Cardinals star detailed the easiest and hardest parts of being an NFL running back.
“The easiest part is getting to do what you love to do,” advised Conner. “I just love playing the game. So, it’s a blessing to be able to do what I love to do and play the position that I love to play.”
“The hardest part is probably being one for the team and being accountable for them, because it takes work day-in and day-out,” he added. “Week after week, you have to be that guy, the RB1, to keep moving the chains and keep the team going forward, but it’s a blessing in all.”
James Conner had a productive 2023 campaign
James Conner was one of the rare bright spots for the Arizona Cardinals in 2023, as he is coming off a career season.
In 13 regular-season games, the Pittsburgh product managed to record 1,040 rushing yards, marking the first time that he surpassed the 1,000-yard threshold in his professional career thus far. At the same time, Conner also had nine touchdowns and an average of 5.0 yards per carry.
Unfortunately for the Arizona Cardinals, James Conner’s individual brilliance didn’t translate to team success, as they missed out on the NFL playoffs yet again. With a 4-13 record, the Arizona Cardinals were at the bottom of the NFC West.
James Conner was a finalist for the top “angry run” of 2023 for his stiff-arm on Pittsburgh Steelers’ cornerback Patrick Peterson, but Najee Harris ultimately took home the award for his stiff-arm on Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen.
James Conner is looking ahead
James Conner has his eyes set on playing a full season in 2024, which he has never done in his career due to injuries. If he manages to stay healthy, the Arizona Cardinals are going to be a force to be reckoned with, especially with Kyler Murray back at full strength and Trey McBride emerging as another viable weapon.
“If he didn’t get hurt, he would’ve killed that,” said Kyler Murray about James Conner in January via ESPN. “James is one of the best players I’ve ever played with. I love going to war with him. He’s a beast.”
“I’m 28. I will be 29 in May. My best years are yet to come. I’m dedicated, and Lord willing, I’ll be good,” said Conner.