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Cardinals star David Johnson says he’ll be used as a ‘running back and receiver’ in 2019

David Johnson, Cardinals

This is a pivotal year for Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson. Johnson broke out in 2016, establishing him as one of the league’s top backs. A wrist injury halted his momentum, causing him to miss all but one game in 2017. Despite the injury, the team bet big on him, handing him a large extension before last season.

Last season was a huge disappointment, but not just for Johnson. The team limped to the league’s worst record and Steve Wilks was fired after just one year. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy didn’t know how to utilize Johnson, and didn’t emphasize his strengths.

To prove he’s worth the contract, Johnson will need a big 2019 campaign. Fortunately for him, the team has Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray running the show now, and there’s a lot of optimism surrounding the team.

It’s anyone’s guess as to how Kingsbury’s NFL tenure will work out, but if nothing else he’ll be innovative. Johnson is optimistic about the new partnership, and thinks it’ll help him get back to his old heights.

“It’s going to be similar to 2016,” said Johnson, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. “Shotgun’s our home, which is good, because I did that in college and we had a running quarterback. So, I think it’ll be good for me.”

As Johnson points out, he played in a fast-paced offense with a mobile quarterback in college at Northern Iowa. Bruce Arians did a great job using Johnson in the passing game, and Johnson thinks Kingsbury will accomplish something similar.

“I’ll be utilized as a running back and a receiver,” he added.

For some reason, the Cardinals didn’t have him running many routes last year, but that seems destined to change. This Cardinals offense has a chance to be prolific, and Johnson will surely be a very large part of that.