Bruce Arians doesn’t like how Cardinals are using David Johnson
It has been a struggle out of the gate through the first three weeks of the season for the Arizona Cardinals, falling short in each contest. Within this slow start, there has been a notable lack of production from star running back David Johnson, and former head coach Bruce Arians blames their usage of him.
Johnson’s impact is well below the expected level many people believed it would be at heading into the season. Former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has noticed this, voicing his disgruntlement with how the currently coaching staff is utilizing Johnson in the offensive scheme, according to Blake Allen Murphy of Revenge of Birds.
The @BruceArians: "I don't like David Johnson in this offense, he lined up opposite of Fitz and actually opened up a lot of stuff for him. Until he's lined up as a wide receiver I have to see that before I can say Josh Rosen can be effective."
— Blake Allen Murphy (@blakemurphy7) September 27, 2018
Johnson has largely been a non-factor offensively for the Cardinals, rushing for 116 yards on 34 carries and a touchdown along with 10 catches for 63 receiving yards and a touchdown. He has been able to get into the end zone twice this year, accounting for both touchdowns that the Cardinals have notched. Yet, his overall performance is far below satisfactory. This becomes more glaring when you consider Arizona recently committed to a three-year, $39 million extension with Johnson just prior to the season opener.
The 26-year-old is a uniquely talented running back that can greatly impact the game when utilized properly. The Cardinals have strayed away from making him a centerpiece of the offensive game plan, so changing that could finally get them back on track. Johnson’s increased involvement could go a long way in easing the pressure on rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, as the team is hoping he can be their long-term answer under center.
It is still early in the season, but it is clear this is an adjustment the Cardinals must make in order to help the rest of the offensive weapons, such as star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. These next few weeks will be telling of what the coaching staff has in mind to kickstart the offense.