Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey heaps praise on James Conner
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been put into the position of having to move on in Week 1 action against the Cleveland Browns without the services of star running back Le’Veon Bell, which has put James Conner in the position of taking up that vaunted starting role.
Since the team has moved in that direction, there has been much support and optimism that Conner can step in to be a huge factor out of the backfield. According to Aditi Kinkhabwala of The NFL Network, center Maurkice Pouncey has voiced that he believes that the second-year running back could be the next star in the making in the league.
Maurkice Pouncey also issued this reminder: "A star is born every year in the NFL. Did anyone know Kareem Hunt would be an All-Pro before last season? If James Conner didn't have cancer, he'd have been a first round pick. Just watch him." #Steelers
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) September 5, 2018
Conner will have the chance to show what he can bring to the table in a large capacity in the season opener with Bell out of the mix. He had put together a solid preseason where he put on display his playmaking ability in limited action rushing for 100 yards on 19 carries including a touchdown. He had shown some promising potential with some solid runs that were highlighted by his 57 rushing yards on five carries with a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in the second preseason game.
It has put the possibility of him being able to showcase on the field that he could potentially be the long-term answer for the franchise with Bell’s contract situation being murky beyond the 2018 season. The Steelers could turn to him if he is able to prove that he can handle being the workhorse running back in the offense and make it easier for them to part ways with the Pro Bowler.
Everything is in line for Conner to make his imprint on the team and to solidify his status with the franchise as possibly their next star offensive talent that could help lift them to contend for a Super Bowl.