CARDINALS CORNER

Cardinals’ James Conner, Hollywood Brown earn Arizona PFWA awards for 2024

Jan 4, 2024, 1:22 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2024, 1:17 pm

TEMPE — When you look at the full body of work the Arizona Cardinals put in this season under head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort, there was no one more impactful than running back James Conner.

For his play on the field on top of his leadership and veteran presence off of it, he was the clear choice for the Arizona Chapter of Pro Football Writers of America’s Lloyd Herberg MVP award for 2023.

“I’m super honored, super grateful,” Conner said Thursday. “Just looking at it now, seeing the names from the previous winners and to add my name on there is truly special. I’m truly thankful for this. The names on this is what makes it special.”

Conner didn’t let a knee injury and four-game IR stint hold him back this season, ripping off 890 yards and six touchdowns on 181 carries. He’s added another 111 yards and two scores on 23 catches (29 targets).

With 110 yards against the Seattle Seahawks in Arizona’s season finale, Conner can reach the 1,000-yard for the first time in his seven-year career.

Even if he doesn’t reach that mark, he can still reach a new career high in rushing yards with 84.

And it doesn’t appear the 28-year-old is slowing down anytime soon, especially in Arizona’s run-heavy offense under coordinator Drew Petzing.

“In my opinion, I don’t look too much into the future because it makes me anxious. I’m worried about Seattle,” Gannon said Monday. “Here’s what I know about him. You want to talk about when you’re outside of the white lines with what he does from a conditioning standpoint and from a recovery standpoint, I would call that whole bucket the physiotherapeutic standpoint. There’s nobody better.

“If you think that certain guys start to fall off because they get a little older, he’d be the one to delay it. I know that.”

Previous winners

2022: Budda Baker
2021: Kyler Murray
2020: DeAndre Hopkins
2019: Kyler Murray

Hollywood Brown wins Good Guy award

On top of handing out the MVP honors to Conner, wide receiver Hollywood Brown also took home some hardware in the form of the Steve Schoenfeld Good Guy award.

In honor of the late Arizona Republic reporter Steve Schoenfeld, the honor is passed out to the player who showed great cooperation and insight when dealing with local media.

Brown was easily one of the most available Cardinals players to talk throughout the season.

Not only did he field questions about his production and future during a contract year in addition to his lingering heel injury, Brown was asked just as much about his good friend and quarterback in Murray.

“It means a lot (to win this award),” Brown said Thursday. “I know everyone has a job and I always try to pride myself on being respectful and trying to make it easier for everyone to do their job.”

In 14 games played before being placed on IR with the heel issue, Brown had caught 51 of 101 targets for 574 yards and four touchdowns.

Entering Week 18 play, he paces the team in receiving scores and trails only tight end Trey McBride in receptions (78) and yards (791).

Previous winners

2022: Kelvin Beachum
2021: Jordan Hicks
2020: D.J. Humphries
2019: Justin Pugh

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