Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



When Ben Roethlisberger throws a few bad passes, half of Yinzer Nation wants to push him into retirement. If the Steelers lose, Mike Tomlin should be fired, or Keith Butler, or Kevin Colbert. (Quarterbacks, coaches and GMs are prime targets. They're most visible.)

But in Pittsburgh, there are certain people you’re not allowed to blame.

RB James Conner is one of them.

But right now, Conner absolutely stinks.

Yeah, I know: Conner is a Pitt product, cancer survivor, and an inspiration.

But Conner has carried 21 times for 54 yards. That’s an average of 2.6 yards per carry. Dead people fall forward further when their heart stops.

Conner also has seven catches for 56 yards (eight yards per). That’s average, no better.

Conner is tiptoeing. He’s missing holes. He goes out of bounds.

Conner used to run hard. Not now.

Conner is banged up (knee). The offensive line isn’t playing up to its talent.

But the Steelers need solutions, not excuses. They need a lot more from Conner.

Conner's performance is far from the Steelers' only problem, or their biggest. But it is a problem.

Pittsburgh Steelers v New England Patriots

Courtesy of Getty Images.

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