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Don’t tell James Conner he’s Steelers’ RB of the future

But James Conner doesn’t exactly feel settled. His 13 touchdowns in 13 games in his first full season as a starter won’t make him ease up. Nor will Le’Veon Bell’s yearlong holdout, which makes Bell likely too caustic for a locker room return.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

In efforts to keep the edge that got him this far, Conner will enter his third season with the hunger of a rookie looking for a job.

“You’ve got to earn it every day,” he said in late December when asked if he’s the tailback of the Steelers’ future. “It’s never enough when you think you’ve done enough. That’s when you start to get on the decline. … You’ve got to earn it every day, practice hard and show you belong. I definitely don’t feel like I’ve done enough yet.”6

That’s exactly what the Steelers like to hear, but Conner is selling himself a bit short. From teammates up to ownership, the Steelers have praised Conner’s development in a sophomore season that included 973 rushing yards, 12 rushing TDs and an AFC Offensive Player of the Month award. Conner added 55 catches for 497 yards in a Steelers offense that relied heavily on the back for easy yardage off dump-offs.

It’s not that Conner hasn’t enjoyed the journey. He savored the moment of his first Pro Bowl, the culmination of what he calls a “fun ride.” The Steelers needed to look no further than the sideline of the Pro Bowl practice fields at Disney’s Wide World of Sports on Thursday, when Conner and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster took selfies with fans in the same row while linebacker T.J. Watt conducted interviews nearby. Three of the team’s top draft picks from 2017 are now All-Stars.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

After surviving Hodgkin’s lymphoma at Pitt to captivate college football, only to outplay his third-round billing, Conner doesn’t overlook his impact on others.

“Did a little reflecting. Pro Bowl is a big honor, just from everything I’ve overcome,” Conner said. “It’s an honor, really, to be a Pro Bowler. From where I’ve come from, being drafted late, overcoming surgeries and diagnosis and things like that. Everybody’s got their own story. I’m just trying to add to mine. It’s cool to be an inspiration to others.”