While Le’Veon Bell is locked in contract negotiations with the Steelers, James Conner has done well this preseason and is on his way to earning significant game time no matter what happens with Bell. He has missed the last two training camps and the general manager, Kevin Colbert, released a statement saying that the team is disappointed in Le’Veon’s holdout.
Conner rushed for 100 yards on 19 carries with 7 catches for 61 yards in the preseason and has started taking the first-team snaps since July, as the Steelers prepare for a possible season without Bell. Head Coach, Mike Tomlin, said one word when he was asked why he feels better about this year without Bell than last year, “James.”
Conner’s teammates and coaching staff have been praising him immensely as he has emerged as a suitable replacement for Bell. Ramon Foster, guard, said, “I trust James. He’s ready.” While Vince Williams, linebacker, said that Conner has, “turned the page.” and become a savvy running back resembling a veteran.
The Steelers will be hoping that Bell returns, as he is one of the most productive running backs in the NFL, but they will feel secure because they have Conner.