James Conner: I bring leadership, hard-nosed football to Arizona

Chase Edmonds has been a complementary back throughout his time in the NFL, but the departure of Kenyan Drake as a free agent this offseason offered him a chance to move up to the top rung of the depth chart for the first time.

Edmonds said he is “ready to run through a damn wall” to make the most of that chance and the Cardinals will likely give him plenty of chances to show he’s capable of doing exactly that. All of the team’s eggs are not in the Edmonds basket, however.

The Cardinals signed James Conner as a free agent off a down year with the Steelers, but Conner said on On the Fly that he’s confident that he has plenty to offer Arizona in whatever role they carve out for him this season.

“Especially in the backfield, I’m the older guy with the most leadership,” Conner said. “Year 5 for me. So I just think I can bring leadership here. Just hard-nosed football, but also get involved in the passing game as well. Hard-earned yards, but also just big explosive plays, alongside with all the other guys. Just my presence.”

Conner has only been in the league one year longer than Edmonds, but his time as the top back in Pittsburgh made the Cardinals feel like he’s a good fit as experienced insurance for a back who has never run 100 times in a season. Should Edmonds falter, Conner will get a chance to show he can be more than that.