Cardinals OC Bryon Leftwich will focus on using David Johnson
Shortly following yet another porous offensive showing, the Arizona Cardinals have decided to make a change at the offensive coordinator position that has thrust Byron Leftwich into the offensive coordinator position.
Ahead of his first game with the position, Leftwich made it clear that he plans utilize former Pro Bowl running back David Johnson in a similar manner that former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians did during his time with the team, according to Kyle Odegard of Azcardinals.com.
Leftwich on what he will take from Bruce Arians' usage of David Johnson: "Everything. I sat shoulder-to-shoulder with B.A. every day I was here. There have been a lot of long nights sitting next to him, us nodding off together."
— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) October 25, 2018
These are intriguing comments as the manner in which David Johnson has been used this season has drawn plenty of questions around the team. The 26-year-old appears to be completely healed from his wrist injury and physically back to the point he was at prior to the injury. However, the Cardinals are have struggled to etch out a more significant role for Johnson in the offense. His level of production is nowhere where it was expected to be this year as he has 335 rushing yards and five touchdowns along with 20 receptions for 166 receiving yards and a touchdown.
During his time under Arians, Johnson was producing like one of the best running backs in the league with his dual ability as a runner and receiver out of the backfield this helped him set the franchise records for yards from scrimmage (2,118) and touchdowns (20) while earning a Pro Bowl selection and a first-team All-Pro nod back in 2016. If the Cardinals are able to get anywhere near that type of production moving forward this season from Johnson, it would provide a significant boost to the offense for the rest of the year.
What makes these comments from Byron Leftwich intriguing is that Arians had previously been critical of the Cardinals’ game plan for utilizing Johnson this season. Arizona will get their first chance to try out this altered game plan on Sunday afternoon against the San Francisco 49ers.