Cardinals coach Bruce Arians isn’t nervous about overworking David Johnson, saying earlier this offseason that he wants “30 touches out of” his star running back per game.
Johnson is on the same page, embracing his enlarged role this upcoming season.
“I feel like there’s room for me to definitely carry more,” Johnson told SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio at the National Fantasy Football Convention on Sunday. “I think the biggest thing is me learning and getting better and improving. So I feel like I can definitely get that 30 touches, not all rushing obviously, 30 touches per game.
“I feel like I definitely have the ability to do that just because I’m a young guy still in my first contract, feeling great — knee’s 100 percent, no problems — and I’m ready to go.”
The 25-year-old bruiser exploded onto the scene in 2016. He ran for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns, while adding an additional 879 yards on 80 catches. Despite his breakout campaign, the Cardinals slipped to 7-8-1 after posting a 13-3 record in 2015.
Johnson is among the running backs responsible for the league undergoing a revolution at the position. Teams have taken notice, as four backs have been selected in the top 10 in the past four NFL Drafts, the same number taken from 2007 to 2014.
With Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott and Le’Veon Bell leading the charge, the tailback is back to becoming a vital piece on the offensive side of the ball. Now, Johnson is hoping that his counterparts start to get paid like it.
“We’re making the running back position more relevant, much more important,” Johnson said, per the Dallas Morning News. “I feel like you need a running back to have a successful team. Hopefully starting with Le’Veon Bell getting the contract he deserves, hopefully that can jumpstart the running backs being more important in this league.”