Bruce Arians: David Johnson is “too young to overuse”

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Cardinals coach Bruce Arians confirmed on Wednesday that the recently re-signed Andre Ellington will be used as a wide receiver this season, which means that the team is still without a clear No. 2 running back behind David Johnson.

That doesn’t seem to be much of a problem for Arians. Johnson had 293 carries and 80 catches last season, which added up to the most touches of any offensive player in the league at an average of 23.3 per game. Arians said Wednesday that he’d like to see that number go up during the 2017 season because Johnson is “too young to overuse.”

“I want to have 30 touches out of him, if possible, because that’s going to be a lot of offense,” Arians said, via “When he has his hand on the ball, either as a wide receiver, coming out of the backfield, in the slot, and running, that’s a lot of potential offense for us.”

Johnson’s age doesn’t preclude the kind of injury that would knock him out of the Cardinals’ lineup completely, although there’s just as much risk of that happening in the first week of the season as any other so it probably won’t dissuade the Cardinals from building on his role as the centerpiece of the offense. If he can stay healthy and Arians is able to get him the ball that often, Johnson may realize his goal of 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.

14 responses to “Bruce Arians: David Johnson is “too young to overuse”

  1. Feed him that ball! Hopefully he’s gonna be my top pick in fantasy football once again.

  2. So by the end of the ’17 season Johnson’s career will be over.

    Invest wisely young man.

  3. Responses to Arian’s “overuse” comment are like that SNL skit — if you’re old enough to remember it — where they’re at Three Mile Island and before the director (played by Ed Asner) goes on vacation, he tells his staff, “just remember, you can never have too much water in the reactor.”

    Half of his staff thinks it means never to put too much water in there.

    The other half thinks it means you should always put more and more water in there because there can never be too much.

  4. “I think he means he is to young to overuse i.e giving him 30 touches wont be a problem for him because he’s young…..I think…”

    I think that is what he means, too. I also think he’s dead wrong in thinking that. This poor kid is going to be a “whatever happened to” story within a couple years.

  5. Spoken like a fat play caller / ex college QB who never played a physical position like RB or LB.

    RB’s age like dogs. 1 year = 7 years.

    I hope Johnson gets a huge extension in 2019 to set him up for life. After that his legs are done.

  6. Go back a few years and you’ll find a PFT article where Arians says the exact same “30 touches per game” goal about Ellington. Us fans thought that would be a mistake, as Ellington is little and injury prone. Sure enough, Ellington got injured and then began to shy away from contact and “smartly” run the ball out of bounds.

    David Johnson is a whole different animal than Ellington, however. And Arians has a guy most don’t know about behind DJ now named Elijhaa Penny who is an inch taller and a bit heavier than Johnson who has similar running and ball catching skills. DJ and Penny can handle the load.

    Also, Bruce Arians is always one of two things, brutally honest or lying his pants off.

  7. If you click on the ESPN article that this post links to, you’ll see this key sentence:
    “But while Arians wants Johnson to get more touches, he wants to limit the number of Johnson’s carries. Johnson had 293 carries for 1,239 yards, compared to 80 catches for 879 yards.”

    Reducing the number of carries is more likely to reduce the risk of injury.

  8. Bruce Arians is a goob, a poor man’s Rex Ryan.
    And can anyone explain to me how Bruce Arians has his own ‘A Football Life’ episode?
    The attempts to make this guy seem like a winner and a viable ‘character’ in the NFL are beyond laughable.

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