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James Conner: Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell departures made us closer

Mike Florio talks with Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner about how he wants to improve his game, team issues and goals as he enters his third season with the Steelers.

The Steelers will move forward in 2019 without receiver Antonio Brown or running back Le’Veon Bell. The team hopes that it will be addition by subtraction.

“I think only time will tell,” Steelers running back James Conner told #PFTPM on Monday. “I think we became closer maybe because of everything. Throughout OTAs and minicamp, it was fun to see the guys. You know, come into the facility, excited to be there, the interactions and the relationships. They’ve all been great so far. Great vibes within our organization. We’re excited about the future, man.”

The future will include constant external comparisons between what the Steelers are doing without Brown and Bell, and what Brown and Bell are doing without the Steelers. The current Steelers players won’t be paying attention to that.

“We always have respect for those guys,” Conner said of Brown and Bell. “Those are our former teammates. They’re great people as well as football players. Worrying about what they’re doing in their states and teams, that can’t help us none. We hope they do well and wish the best for them, but that can’t help us at all. That’s behind us.”

What’s in front of the Steelers is an opportunity to band together, to find motivation in the noise, and to overachieve, after a couple of seasons of perceived underachievement.