New Cardinals RB James Conner is the elder statesman in the Arizona backfield and believes the experience he brings to the unit can impact the group positively.
“I understand I can bring leadership here,” Conner said, via CardsWire.
In addition to toughness and fighting for every yard, he thinks he still has enough explosiveness in the tank to match the rest of the Cardinals’ offensive personnel.
“Hard-nosed football, but also get involved in the passing game as well,” Conner said. “Hard-earned yards but also big explosive plays along with the other guys.”
Rams HC Sean McVay said he doesn’t want the team to shy away from high expectations.
“Especially the last two years, you can let those expectations get in the way when you’re not as inside-out, and you’re letting an outside-in approach affect your daily enjoyment,” McVay said, via Albert Breer of SI.com. “When I reflect on it, I think there’s a lot of times where you are what you want to be, as far as being a leader and the guy that the players want to be around, that’s who I’d like to think I am. I’m enjoyable, positive, intentional about building and developing relationships in an authentic way.
“And then, I think sometimes you can get a little bit caught up in an outside-in approach, and say, Man, here’s these expectations, if I don’t do it, maybe you’re not living up to what we did as a team the first couple years. You gotta constantly remind yourself of it.”
McVay explained that every team has the same goal, so it’s useless to try and tiptoe around it.
“You’re not gonna run away from the expectations,” McVay said. “Every single team in the NFL has one goal right now, and that’s to win a Super Bowl. And I believe the teams that know, and the teams that have actually accomplished that, they know that you only do that by being where your feet are planted. The one thing that I would say, there’s a belief in the ability to do what we want to be able to do. Now, you don’t do that unless you are where your feet are planted. But there’s a belief, there’s a confidence in the people you’re around.
“And when you enjoy that? We’re not gonna ask anybody to do anything that’s more than they can actually accomplish. And there’s a real peace of mind that accompanies that if you know, Hey, there’s gotta be hard work, there’s gotta be a process, there’s gotta be standards that we uphold day-in and day-out. But you know what? If we do those things, I believe we can go into games, and expect to be able to come away with the result that we want.”
Seahawks QB Pete Carroll praised DT Robert Nkemdiche‘s performance in their offseason program thus far.
“He’s got a really good spirit about him,” Carroll said, via ProFootballTalk. “He’s upbeat, active, he’s explosive and has really good quickness. He’s over 300 pounds and he moves really well. He’s going to be a real competitive part of this group.”
Carroll believes Nkemdiche’s versatility enables them to have some “flexibility” in moving around the defensive tackle on the line.
“He’s a little different than some of the other guys and so we see some flexibility in where we can play him and move him around,” Carroll said. “I’m hoping for his sake, because he’d been out of football for a bit, I’m hoping for his sake that everything just keeps moving along because he is applying himself. His mentality is like he has a second chance on his football life and he knows that, which is really important. He’s trying to seize every opportunity and he’s been a real, a real, not a surprise as much as just, we’re really happy to have him as part of this thing. We think he’s going to be a factor.”