Considering Johnson as Ellington Part II

Posted by Darren Urban on June 8, 2015 – 8:23 pm

One of the things Bruce Arians said last season — more and more as the year went along — was that while he still believed in the philosophy of the offense that allowed Andre Ellington to be the linchpin both running and receiving, it became a big problem when Ellington was dinged up and then sidelined with injuries. It was especially true in the passing game, where Ellington excels when he is on the field.

As the offseason goes on and people keep wondering what will be the role of rookie third-round running back David Johnson might be, it’s telling that Arians mentioned first the other day praise for Johnson as a receiver. The thought was that the Cards would take a big running back to pair with Ellington, but instead, it points more toward the ability for the Cardinals’ offensive gameplan to absorb an Ellington injury if necessary.

Arians said as much right after the draft, saying with Johnson “you don’t have to change if there was an injury,” but that message is easy to forget over the weeks. Arians has said Johnson needs to put on pads before anything can be determined of him as a runner. How this running rotation plays out will be interesting — Arians has talked a lot about Robert Hughes about needing more work, although Hughes never quite was able to fill that void left when Jonathan Dwyer was let go last season. Maybe the offensive line upgrade will make a difference all the way around. But even though Johnson physically has size on Ellington, they’ll likely do a lot of the same things on the field.


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16 Responses to “Considering Johnson as Ellington Part II”

  1. By Coach K on Jun 8, 2015 | Reply

    I cannot believe how much David Johnson resembles Jim Brown. His face and upper body is a spitting image of him. Weird. Hope he runs the same.

  2. By Davemaham on Jun 8, 2015 | Reply

    This is not necessarily related to this article, but this is the year the “Arizona” Cardinals win The Championship. It’s been rough the last, nearly, 30 years. But the time has come. Steve has had time to build and Bruce (aka: AZ coaching staff) is simply the man.

    Sorry Kurt, but it’s time for Carson to make your time here look trivial.

    “Why not us?”
    -Russell Wilson

  3. By shannon robinson on Jun 9, 2015 | Reply

    Our Running Backs are going to look a lot different behind this offensive line. I’ve only been a Cards fan since the move to Phoenix. So for me it’s back to Peete and Robbins when I saw huge holes get opened. St Louis had some great lines for Otis, but I was pulling for the Washington Redskins’ Hogs then and watched the Cards in division play twice a year. There is nothing in Football like a powerful offensive line. Ellington behind a dominating line is worth waiting for. Coach Goody now has what he asked for and I’m betting the talent up front is going to match the coaching. We’re going to get to see what a great offensive line coach Coach Goody actually is – then we’ll get to see how BA really calls his style of game. I’ve only seen Ellington break clear through the line about 5 times so i know the difference is coming. David Johnson is going to be more than a third down back/receiving threat.This dude can run the ball so I’m figuring more shared work than is mentioned so far. Thanks Mr. Keim.

  4. By Scott H on Jun 9, 2015 | Reply

    Yes, I am expecting the improvement in our running game this year to come from the beef on the O-line. We know how talented Ellington is. No worries there. Assuming that Johnson is going to be a contributor ( and I expect that he will ), then all we need is for them to remain reasonably healthy. And we can only hope that Ellington will not be over-used early on. There is NO reason for that.

    Assuming that these guys are healthy….they should be able to find plenty of room behind the horses on the O-line! I look forward to watching this. Once we lost Ellington last season – and we started to lose him before we truly lost him – we lost the balance we were capable of on offense. Well, and losing Dwyer 2 games in certainly didn’t help. But if we can keep that balance? With Palmer healthy? His big arm? The WR’s we have to make plays down the field? This offense could be a MONSTER!

    It will be nice to be able to just flat out-score teams when we need to.

  5. By Dobie on Jun 9, 2015 | Reply

    David Johnson will be a good running back or who ever team he plays for hop the Cardinals don’t let him go

  6. By Dynosoar on Jun 9, 2015 | Reply

    I’m excited to see what this kid brings. He and Ellington should make a great tandem. Teams will have to prepare for a similar style of play, but one is smaller and the other bigger, that will be fun and what if they’re in the backfield together. That should open up the passing quite nicely.

    Darren, thanks for the article on Logan Thomas. It will also be interesting to see if he or Simms makes the roster. An offseason with much to talk about and no drama. I love it.

  7. By CreditCard on Jun 9, 2015 | Reply

    I too am excited about this year’s team and the ability to run the ball. The Cards have improved their O-line, but also we have some of the better blocking receiving corps around with Fitz and Floyd at WR and Nikolas and Fells at TE.

    An interesting strategy would be having John Brown and JJ Nelson in receiver sets running deep with a standard off tackle hand off to a back. Those two speedsters will cause both safeties to play relatively deep, causing no more than 7 defenders to play in the box. Toss in a couple of large blocking tight ends, I like our odds of being able to get chunks of yardage at a time.

  8. By dwoofer on Jun 9, 2015 | Reply

    There is no need to acquire Adrian Peterson. David Johnson IS Adrian Peterson.

  9. By BigBobDiesel on Jun 9, 2015 | Reply

    I thought the pick was interesting. There definitely were backs on board that were more proven pile pushers which leads me to believe although he is a larger back. Looking at Johnson in college, that was a task that he was unable to do. His pad level is something that needs to be worked on, other than that he looks ok.
    After reading the article it makes me think that the fans (like me) think that he was brought in to be short yardage back when the last sentence of the article states that he will most likely being doing a lot of the things that Ellington will be doing. The two back set with them two is a sexy formation for sure.

  10. By Andy Kw on Jun 9, 2015 | Reply

    Yeah sorry Kurt, Carson is the man!!!!

  11. By Jason on Jun 9, 2015 | Reply

    Johnson is wearing #31 – Marcel Shipps old number in the back field…Make us proud Johnson!

  12. By Scott H on Jun 9, 2015 | Reply

    So…David Johnson IS Adrian Peterson and Kurt Warner’s achievements here are about to become trivial?

    Wow, we have truly gone to the realm of the ridiculous.

    David Johnson, who has yet to take a snap in training camp, is already as good as the best RB of the past decade? Sorry, did I miss something????

    And Kurt Warner, who has only taken this team to the greatest heights of success it has seen during the Super Bowl era, is about to become trivialized.

    C’mon, folks, can we reel it in a bit? It may take David Johnson 3 or 4 seasons to equal the yard that AP has had in ONE. And as much as I love Carson Palmer and am VERY glad he is here, he isn’t as good as Kurt Warner on his best day. When Palmer has a game where he throws more TD passes than in-completions, let me know. When Palmer goes to 3 SB’s and HE owns the top 3 passing performances in SB history, let me know.

    Carson can be the man without us needing to distort reality OR dis-respect my man, Kurt Warner.

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