RB James Conner ‘exactly what he’s advertised to be,’ says Cardinals RB coach

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The Arizona Cardinals signed running back James Conner to a one-year, $1.75, fully guaranteed contract this offseason to round out the running back room. He and Chase Edmonds will make up the Cardinals’ 1-2 punch at the position.

Cardinals running backs coach James Saxon already knows Conner, having been his position coach in 2017-2018, Conner’s first two years in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Saxon was a guest recently on the “Big Red Rage,” the team’s weekly radio show, and he spoke of Conner and the other running backs on the roster.

He is thrilled to coach Conner again.

“This guy is a pro,” he said. “There are no words I can use to describe how I feel about the kid. I’m extremely excited that he chose to be here with us. It’s going to be a good thing and it’s going to fun to watch.”

The exact role Conner will have this season is still to be determined but Saxon knows he can count on him to do whatever he is asked.

When asked if Conner is a three-down back, Saxon replied, “The guy’s capable of doing whatever you ask him to do.”

That said, there is one thing Conner will certainly be asked to do — run between the tackles. After all, he is 6-1 and 233 pounds. He is a big boy.

“He’s exactly what’s he’s advertised to be,” Saxon said. “He’s a downhill runner. There’s no B.S.”

Can he make an impact in the passing game the way Edmonds does?

Saxon thinks so, but downplays that part of Conner’s game.

“Oh yeah (he can catch), but I don’t think you want to ask an elephant to ride in a sailboat,” he said.

He and Edmonds both will have important roles in the offense.

Whatever that role is, Saxon is confident in what Conner brings to the table.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

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