James Conner isn't one to pat himself on the back. He doesn't look at his many accomplishments in 2018, which included being voted the AFC's starting running back for the Pro Bowl, and rest on those laurels. Not by a longshot.
Conner knows he has to earn everything, which includes earning the starting running back job again for 2019.
"I learned last season that I am capable of playing in this league, but I think I also learned a lot of things I need to do better on and off the field to be a better player," said Conner. "I learned what it takes, that is why I am excited about year three. I learned a lot of things to correct, to be more successful."
One of the things he is focused on this offseason is the physical side, having his body ready to go for the rigors of a long season.
"I know how important it is to take care of my body as far as recovery," said Conner. "I think my body is capable of doing the physical things. That is not an issue. The season is just long with the preseason and everything. The shape you have to be in, the condition, I made a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2, and I want to make a greater jump this year as far as being in shape. I will be ready for it."
Conner also wants to work on different aspects of his game, areas that will help the young back.
"Specific things in my game, my fast twitch muscle," said Conner. "I know as far as training what to do in that, how important it is. I learned more about this team and the offense all around.
"I have done some good things, but you have to earn it every week in this league. There is so much more. I feel like I left a lot on the field, especially missing the time I missed. I feel like I can prove a lot more."
Missing out: One of the tougher things for Conner last year was dealing with his injury. He suffered an ankle sprain that sidelined him for three games, something that was a disappointment for him, and tough adjusting to not being on the field with his teammates.
"It was really tough, especially being the guy," said Conner. "People looked at me like a backup already, so now it was people felt we are down further, the backup is down too. It was tough missing those games, being a starter and missing out for my team was tough."
Staying in line: Conner is excited about the potential for the offense this year, especially with the offensive line he plays behind.
"I love playing behind them," said Conner. "I love it even more because I have a relationship with them in the locker room, around the building. I look at them as big brothers and they are incredibly talented. That makes it even sweeter, our relationship and the talent. It's a blast."