James Conner: Steelers Run Game Is 'Going to Come'
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers went into Week 11 preparation looking to correct the running game on offense.
After failing to hit a 50-yard rushing total for any running back over the last three weeks, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said the team would spend the week of practicing correcting their ground attack.
"As a team, you always go through lulls in the season where components of your play are lacking, and it requires a re-center of energy or attention or focus," Tomlin said on Tuesday. "I believe that is where we are in regards to the run game right now. We will get about that task this week."
The team did just that. Running back James Conner spoke to the media on Friday and said that the team is focused on finding more success on the ground, but as a whole, the flow of the offense will determine how well Conner's Sundays go.
"I'm going to keep trying to get better," Conner said. "We came to practice and practiced hard this week, just like we do week in and week out. It's a journey. Of course, when we don't go for 100 yards and running the ball on the ground, everybody got something to say. Which is to be expected, this is what we do. But at the end of the day, we're going to keep growing, keep trying to get better. It's about winning, and we've been doing that."
Tomlin's message to Conner and the offense was strong this week. Winning the battle from the backfield was emphasized on the field, and in the headlines, throughout the week. And the Steelers head assured Conner things would turn around.
"Just stay at it," was Tomlin's message to Conner. "It's going to come. It's just different flows of the game. We're not worried. We're going to get it going. At the end of the day, it's about wins and losses and so we're going to keep working at it day in and day out."
The Steelers will begin utilizing fullback Derek Watt in the run game to help Conner's success. The offseason signing played just six offensive snaps in Week 10.
Adding Watt will benefit the running backs. A strong commitment throughout the week should help them, as well. Above all else, though, Conner knows this change will come from him.
"Keep trying to get better every day," Conner said on his focus this week. "My ball placement, making sure I'm being efficient with the runs and making good decisions."