David Johnson continues to target 1,000 yards rushing and receiving

Getty Images

He first stated the goal two years ago, and he’s still planning to get there.

Cardinals running back David Johnson, one of the best running backs in the game before a Week One wrist injury derailed his third NFL season in 2017, continues to aim for a season of both 1,000 yards rushing and receiving.

It was his objective two years ago. It remained his objective last year. It remains his objective today.

“My biggest motivation is still 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving,” Johnson recently said, via NFL.com. “That’s what I’m always going to try to strive to just because I was so close in 2016. . . . I think I still have the same mentality of trying to get that.”

In 2016, Johnson racked up 1,239 rushing yards and 879 receiving yards. The sum of 2,116 yards ranks 40th all time in yards from scrimmage, one of only 67 times a player has combined for 2,000 yards rushing and receiving. Last year, he rushed for 940 and added 446 receiving.

This year, Kliff Kingsbury’s offense could make it easier to rack up receiving yards, harder to gain rushing yards.

“I’ve talked to guys [who are familiar with Kingsbury’s offense] like [receiver] Christian Kirk and he said a lot of people have heard he doesn’t run the ball, but he told me personally that their running backs have gotten the ball a lot as far as running the ball,” Johnson said. “I’ve heard that Kliff is really good at putting his guys in open space, especially as running backs, and giving them open space to try to get the yards catching the ball, and doing things like that.”

Whatever the split between rushing and receiving, Johnson hopes to get more than the 298 total touches he had in 2018, which was well below his 373-touch season from 2016.

“My role this upcoming season, from talking to the coaches, is that I’m going to hopefully get the ball a little more,” Johnson said. “Really, it’s just how much I can learn and be able to attain with the playbook that’s really going to determine how much I play and how much I do as far as the offense.”

The 27-year-old Johnson still has plenty of tread on the tires, and he continues to be one of the best players on the Arizona roster. While much needs to be determined about the 2019 version of the team — including most importantly whether the quarterback will be Josh Rosen or Kyler Murray — there’s no doubt that Johnson can be great if given the chances. Kingsbury would be wise to give those chances to Johnson.

17 responses to “David Johnson continues to target 1,000 yards rushing and receiving

  1. i cant help but think that az cardinals fans wish he would set a goal of 9 or more wins instead.

  2. It’s good to have goals.

    Then again, I don’t remember Roger Craig and Marshall Faulkner telling everyone how they were going for a 1000/1000 season.

    They just went out and did it, let the results speak for themselves.

  3. David Johnson now knows what it is like to be in a coma for a year. That Cardinal OL, including TE, was one of the worst ever in the history of the world. They have made a few moves this off-season (still underwhelming) so we will see. He was one talented back, but that was 3 years ago. At least his legs aren’t run down.

  4. drcap says:
    April 14, 2019 at 9:10 am
    I believe the first player in the NFL to accomplish that was Roger Craig. Who, in my opinion, should be in the HOF.


    totally agree. one of the huge reasons for the niners success. ricky watters should also be in the hof. and im not a niners homer fan.

  5. It’s a tremendously hard feat to accomplish which is why Roger Craig should have been in the Hall of Fame. He did it as a Fullback. And did it with ease.

  6. One thing is certain now that Wilks is gone. They will definitely be different. Good luck on 1k rushing under Kingsbury.

  7. Good luck with that goal. How about a more realistic goal of 4 victories for your team

  8. David Johnson was completely misused in Mike McCoy’s system, it was criminal McCoy did with David Johnson last year. McCoy took arguably the best inside/outside zone runner in the NFL and tried to force him into running as an Iform power back, which is not Johnson’s game. Then despite Johnson being one of the best pass catching RB’s in the NFL who could be used as a true #2WR out of the slot and outwide, McCoy insisted on only using him as a receiver out of the backfield, McCoy completely misused Johnson last year. Every top back McCoy has had has greatly benefitted from someone else calling the plays, including Melvin Gordon who benefitted greatly when Whisenhunt took over play calling.

    David Johnson will thrive in Kingsbury system as the true center piece of the offense and will see 135-145 targets as a receiver minimum in the passing game. Johnson should have 85-100 receptions this season for 1000YDs pretty easily. As a runner he will see the vast majority of his runs out of the shotgun, which will help Johnson greatly as Johnson is at his best when he has a little space to work with allowing him to use his vision, patience and jump-cuts as a runner to find space as Johnson is extremely elusive as one of the most elusive runners in the league and excels at making guys miss, his jump cuts are a thing of beauty. Behind a much better OL this season he should have atleast 1200YDs fairly easy.

    As the Centerpiece of Arizona’s offense so long as he stays healthy I think he will hit his 1000YD receiving/1000YD rushing goals with between 18-20 total TD’s again this season. Johnson is a perfect fit for this offense, and if they pair him up with a mobile back like Kyler Murray that combo would be nearly unstoppable, though I do think they will stick w/ Rosen. Johnson will have a huge season this year and he has two good backs behind him who can help to ensure he stays healthy and not over used.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.