David Johnson welcoming pressure following big stakes DeAndre Hopkins trade
The Houston Texans are definitively banking on running back David Johnson playing at an All-Pro level right out of the gate in 2020 with head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien having rocked the league by dealing wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for his services during the off-season. But according to Johnson? He’s ready to go.
“I like the pressure,” Johnson said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “It makes me want to compete more.”
In addition to also noting that he wanted to prove doubters wrong, Johnson sought specifically to make O’Brien look good after going to the lengths that he did in acquiring his services. But even if Johnson reaches the apex of his potential, the move has already been much maligned across the league as Hopkins enters 2020 on a string of three consecutive Pro Bowl and All-Pro nominations.
Injuries derailed Johnson’s tenure with the Arizona Cardinals, who have found a new full-time running back in Kenyon Drake. Johnson was historically good during 2016, in which he led the league in touches (373), yards from scrimmage (2,118) and rushing and receiving touchdowns combined (20). But he played just one game the following year and saw action in 13 last season, in which his highest rush was 18 yards.
The track record is there for Johnson, but whether or not he will be able to tap into his 2016 abilities looms as the question that will ultimately determine how O’Brien looks coming out of the deal. At 28 years old, Johnson enters his new tenure with the Houston Texans motivated and ready to be the lead back again.