Dating to the second half of the season opener at Cleveland, running back James Conner has amassed 104 rushing yards on 39 carries.
But because it’s taken three-plus games to get him those 39 carries, offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner is willing to take the blame for the lack of production.
“I probably just need to do a better job heating him up,” Fichtner said, referring to giving Conner more carries. “It’s just like quarterbacks, too. You get into a rhythm. And all good running backs, they need that rhythm.”
Conner has gotten fewer than 10 carries in two of the past three games, getting eight for 17 yards in Week 2 and nine for 19 yards Sunday.
There were six possessions Sunday in which Conner did not have a carry. He also was taken off the field at times in favor of Ryan Switzer, a slot receiver who lined up in the backfield.
Fichtner said none of it is meant as a slight toward Conner.
“He’s a tough, hard-nosed inside runner. He’s a capable outside runner,” Fichtner said. “He’s done a really fine job in protection and in routes, so he’s been very complete, if you will.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.