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Thread: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

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    Senior Member Array title="polamalubeast has a reputation beyond repute">

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    What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    Personally, I was confident that our offense would survive if Conner was going to be just above the average, since in the past, the steelers had been able to survive without Bell like in 2015 with DeAngelo Williams, but I did not think Conner was going to be productive like that!

    Very surprised that he is good like that, especially in the last 4 games when Fitchner has started to use him more and have more confidence in him.

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    Re: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    I thought Conner would just be an average back but based on our offense I figured he would do well (which is why I drafted him in my league). I had no idea he would be THIS good and I don't think Bell did either. Conner basically screwed Bell over and took away all his leverage to negotiate. I'm surprised Bell didn't have Conner Nancy Kerigan'd.

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    Re: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    I thought he’d be good in the run game. Below average in the pass game and decent pass blocker. Never did I think he would be as good as he has been as an all around back.




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    Re: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    I read quite a few "wasted pick" comments on this board about Conner - can't block, can't catch, etc. Bell was truly great for about one and a half seasons. He's lived off that reputation since. Bell was average last year. I did not expect a drop-off when Conner took over. But he's even better than I thought he would be. Quickly becoming one of my favorite players.

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    Senior Member Array title="Mojouw has a reputation beyond repute"> Mojouw's Avatar

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    Re: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    I thought Conner would be a league average runner, below average pass blocker, and a mediocre in the screen/pass game. I had no idea he would be so elusive in the open field and I totally underestimated his ability to make the one cut and go thing work in the NFL. I underestimated his power and burst. Also, his pass blocking is almost impossible to put into words how much better he got in one off-season.

    The only knock on the kid is that he puts the ball on the ground too much.

    Very happy to be wrong.

    Oh...to totally hijack the thread...but this is two RBs that the Steelers have done this with now. Both Bell and Conner were put through the draft a NCAA "power" runner and have them cut weight and work on their pass catching and come out the other side as an offensive swiss army knife. Very excited to see year two of Samuels.

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    Senior Member Array title="polamalubeast has a reputation beyond repute">

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    Re: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojouw View Post
    I thought Conner would be a league average runner, below average pass blocker, and a mediocre in the screen/pass game. I had no idea he would be so elusive in the open field and I totally underestimated his ability to make the one cut and go thing work in the NFL. I underestimated his power and burst. Also, his pass blocking is almost impossible to put into words how much better he got in one off-season.

    The only knock on the kid is that he puts the ball on the ground too much.

    Very happy to be wrong.

    Oh...to totally hijack the thread...but this is two RBs that the Steelers have done this with now. Both Bell and Conner were put through the draft a NCAA "power" runner and have them cut weight and work on their pass catching and come out the other side as an offensive swiss army knife. Very excited to see year two of Samuels.
    I do not know who is our RB coach since a few years, but if it's the same since 2014, he deserves some credit!

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    Senior Member Array title="DesertSteel has a reputation beyond repute"> DesertSteel's Avatar

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    Re: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojouw View Post
    I thought Conner would be a league average runner, below average pass blocker, and a mediocre in the screen/pass game. I had no idea he would be so elusive in the open field and I totally underestimated his ability to make the one cut and go thing work in the NFL. I underestimated his power and burst. Also, his pass blocking is almost impossible to put into words how much better he got in one off-season.

    The only knock on the kid is that he puts the ball on the ground too much.

    Very happy to be wrong.

    Oh...to totally hijack the thread...but this is two RBs that the Steelers have done this with now. Both Bell and Conner were put through the draft a NCAA "power" runner and have them cut weight and work on their pass catching and come out the other side as an offensive swiss army knife. Very excited to see year two of Samuels.
    I think Samuels may have just as much potential as Conner, just a little different skill set. I really don't think we need to take a RB at all before the 6th round next year.

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    Inconsiderate S.O.B. Array title="steelreserve has a reputation beyond repute"> steelreserve's Avatar

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    Re: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    I thought Conner would be OK, probably get about 1,000 yards rushing by virtue of having a good offense around him, but without a lot of impact plays, and he'd have maybe half of Bell's receiving total and possibly have to come out on obvious passing downs. The receivers would have to step up as playmakers and the tight end would have to take over more of the dumpoff role. Obviously he has far exceeded that.

    The big thing I thought we would be missing was Bell's ability to make plays by driving forward and getting positive yards by breaking/dodging tackles, and we would go back to having a very flat, straightforward running game where you run, get tackled, and that's that. But he has found his own way of being explosive and creating positive plays from neutral ones, and turning good plays into bigger ones. Couldn't be happier to see that.
    An empty victory is a victory nonetheless.

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    Re: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    RBs are easily replaced. I wasn't worried.

    That being said, Conner is playing much better than I expected. The trimmer version is so much better than the heavier Conner.
    Hater = Realist

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    The voice of reason Array title="GoSlash27 has a reputation beyond repute"> GoSlash27's Avatar

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    Re: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    I knew he could catch out of the backfield and was a strong runner. I was worried that he'd fumble more often than he did and wouldn't be able to pass protect. He really stepped up his game, but I still worry about fumbles.
    "You've heard people brag about 'being in the zone'. They don't know what the Hell being in the zone is about. I played in the NFL for 15 years and I was only in the zone that one time." - "Mean" Joe Greene on the 1974 playoff victory over Oakland

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    Senior Member Array title="ETL is a jewel in the rough"> ETL's Avatar

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    Re: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    After a dud of a year last year - I thought he would be mediocre this year.

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    Re: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    I figured he was capable of getting 1,000 yards with this o-line. No idea he would be THIS good

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    Re: What were your expectations of James Conner and the steelers offense without Bell before the season?

    Conner has heart and desire to be the best like AB. Those intangibles are always hard to spot right away.
    All Defense!

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