Right Place, Right Time: RB James Conner Ready for New Beginnings with Cardinals

The newest Arizona Cardinals running back, James Conner, is embracing the change of scenery after four years in Pittsburgh.
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"They believe in me just like I believe in them, so it's nice that stuff is out of the way and now we just come in it's time to go to work, learn this offense, and just come in, be all in." -- James Conner

Fifth-year NFL running back and former Pittsburgh Steeler James Conner agreed to terms with the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday. He reportedly signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract including a $500,000 signing bonus, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

He spoke with local media Tuesday and explained what brought him to Arizona. 

One is fitting into the Cardinals offense. 

"I just think explosive, just the weapons that we have," Conner said. "(DeAndre Hopkins) obviously, Kyler (Murray), Chase (Edmonds) doing this thing already . . . What I can guarantee, I'm going to come in here and work day in and day out, put my head down and grind. I'm in it for the long haul, so 17-game season, I'm looking forward to it."

Conner was likely brought in to platoon or complement Edmonds, who averaged gained 4.6 yards per carry last year and had 53 receptions. Conner praised Edmonds' speed and decision-making as runner, and said he could learn a lot from the Cardinals returning running back. 

The newest Cardinal said his role has not yet been clearly defined, but he is eager for the opportunity to contribute to a team he feels is on the rise. 

Conner also looks forward to getting back to work with Cardinals running backs coach James Saxon. Saxon was the running backs coach with the Steelers during Conner's first two seasons. In 2018, Conner made the Pro Bowl after a breakout season as the Steelers' starting running back. 

"It was awesome to link back up with Coach Sax," Conner said. "He was always more than a coach to me. Talked about what he expected and putting it up all up front. With him, we had history together and they already have a great running backs room here."

Another is a change of scenery. Conner said that he didn't have a specific desire to leave Pittsburgh, but that he is looking forward to change. 

He is from Erie, Pa., went to college at the University of Pittsburgh and then got drafted by the Steelers in the 2017 NFL Draft. He is ready for something new. 

Conner concluded, "I just feel like there's an opportunity for me to grow, for me to be out here to meet new people, to see this side of the world."