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Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury excited to work with David Johnson in the passing game

David Johnson, Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is excited to work with David Johnson this coming season, especially in the passing game. From his interview with AZCardinals.com’s Kyle Odegard:

“He’s a big back and when you split him out and put him in space like that he looks like a true receiver, so that’s a unique combination,” Kingsbury said. “You get a linebacker on him, you should feel comfortable he’s going to win that one.”

Much like the rest of the Cardinals’ 2018 offense, Johnson had an unimpressive season. He had 258 carries for 940 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns. In the passing game, he caught 50 passes for 446 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Like every season, Johnson aspires for greatness and wants to reach 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards. He’s considered to be one of the best running backs in the NFL because of his versatility to play a traditional running back role while sometimes lining up at the receiver position.

He catches the ball like a receiver and he is most effective in space. We saw that first hand when Byron Leftwich replaced Mike McCoy as offensive coordinator last season. When he dialed up some screen plays and lined Johnson up at wide receiver, that’s when we saw the best David Johnson.

But even then, Johnson still made a lot of mental errors and the offensive line wasn’t doing him any favors. Kingsbury has had a lot of success with running backs at Texas Tech and he should be very excited to work with a player of Johnson’s caliber.

Johnson is a mismatch against linebackers and he can take the top off of any defense. The hope is for Kingsbury to use him in the most creative ways as possible instead of having Johnson run up the gut every down.

Johnson is one of the more versatile running backs in the NFL and he is a game-changer if a coach can take advantage of his skill set. The Cardinals hired Kingsbury to revive the offense, and it’ll be fun to see how he utilizes him.