James Conner knows a thing or two about being a running back in the NFL. Conner has now played in the league for seven seasons, and he's coming off of his best campaign yet. In 13 games for the Arizona Cardinals in 2023, Conner rushed for a career-high 1,040 yards. He also tallied nine total touchdowns.
While speaking with media members in Las Vegas ahead of Super Bowl 58, Conner revealed both the easiest -- and hardest -- part about being a professional running back.
"The easiest part is getting to do what you love to do," Conner said. "I just love playing the game. So, it's a blessing to be able to do what I love to do and play the position that I love to play."
And the hardest part?
"The hardest part is probably being one for the team and being accountable for them, because it takes work day-in and day-out," Conner said. "Week after week you have to be that guy, the RB1, to keep moving the chains and keep the team going forward, but it's a blessing in all."
This is interesting insight, as most people will never get the opportunity to experience what it's like to be an NFL player. Thus, they wouldn't necessarily know the highs and lows of the gig.
Despite missing four games, Conner finished sixth in the entire NFL in total rushing yards in '23, and he finished fourth in yards per game with 80.0. Only Kyren Williams (95.3), Christian McCaffrey (91.2) and Nick Chubb (85.0) averaged more yards per performance. Conner will look to build upon those numbers next season.
Unfortunately for Arizona, Conner's productivity didn't translate to team success, as the Cardinals finished the season at the bottom of the NFC West with a record of 4-13. They missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season and for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.
James Conner spoke on behalf of Circle K.