The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line is one of the best in football and running back James Conner doesn’t take that for granted.
The offensive line in Pittsburgh seems to be the biggest building block on this team. At every position, this unit is strong and the players behind them know it. Whether it’s the relationships they all have together or the dominant presence on the field, these five guys are what make the Steelers’ offense flow.
For James Conner, he’s thankful to have stepped into an opportunity to play behind one of the best units in football. But it isn’t just the talent that makes it special. Much like Ben Roethlisberger, Conner has built a friendship with each of his blockers and it makes playing behind them that much better.
"“I love playing behind them”, he told the team’s website. “I love it even more because I have a relationship with them in the locker room, around the building. I look at them as big brothers and they are incredibly talented. That makes it even sweeter, our relationship and the talent. It’s a blast.”"
The success has shown. In his first starting season, Conner rushes for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns through just 13 games. Without a high ankle sprain at the end of the season, Conner easily would’ve eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing in his second year in the NFL.
The credit goes to the entire offense, but the bond between the offensive line and running back are special. Conner didn’t expect to be the starter heading into the season and played each week without knowing if Le’Veon Bell was going to suddenly show up and take his reps away.
He kept grinding, proving to be one of the best young backs in the league. His Pro Bowl season wouldn’t have been possible without the relationship he built with his big men up front.
Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster both extended their stay in Pittsburgh this offseason. Alejandro Villanueva and David DeCastro will be around until at least 2020, with their new starting running back. A group of guys Pittsburgh loves to see signed for the extended future.