David Johnson thinks the Cardinals can have the top offense in the NFL

Apr 11, 2018, 2:14 PM
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson smiles as he gets ready to put on his football helmet ...
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson smiles as he gets ready to put on his football helmet during an NFL football training camp Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

There’s a tone in David Johnson’s voice that doesn’t make it sound all that cocky or too much of a reach.

Read the words, however, and the Arizona Cardinals running back telling Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio what he thinks is possible for an offense with a new quarterback and led by a new coaching staff will draw a double-take.

“We’re going to be great if Sam Bradford is healthy,” Johnson said Wednesday. “For me watching him personally, I’ve seen him do some great things. I think the biggest thing is just being healthy. Not just with the addition of him but also the linemen we got, the receivers and everyone else that we have added to the team on the offense side. I think we definitely will be the top offense in the league this year.

“Yes, I’m going to guarantee that.”

Johnson is coming off a wrist injury that took him out of the first game of last season following 11 rushes for 23 yards.

But if he can get close to the production a year prior, in which he rushed for 1,239 yards and caught 80 balls for 879 more, then maybe his confidence isn’t from so far-fetched of a place.

Health concerns don’t hover squarely over Johnson.

Bradford’s 2017 season also soured due to a knee injury. He only appeared in two games, completing 32-of-43 balls for 382 total yards, three touchdowns and no picks for Minnesota.

The free agent signee is being brought along slowly by the Cardinals this offseason with his health a bigger priority than getting him in an early rhythm with offensive coordinator Mike McCoy’s system.

Johnson and Bradford will be working behind a restructured offensive line; general manager Steve Keim signed tackle Andre Smith and guard Justin Pugh this offseason.

Offensive tackle D.J. Humphries, who is coming off a season-ending knee injury, and center A.Q. Shipley return. So does guard Mike Iupati on a restructured contract after he played in just one game and ended the year on injured reserve with an elbow problem.

At receiver, it appears to be an open competition between returnees J.J. Nelson and Chad Williams, plus waiver pickup Cobi Hamilton and free agent Brice Butler, for who gets targets after Larry Fitzgerald.

Johnson believes bringing together the new and old pieces as part of a new system is up to him.

“Really I think it’s going to come down to, first off, me knowing what I’m doing, me picking up this offense, Mike McCoy’s terminology and offensive scheme,” Johnson said.

“We have the pieces. The coaching staff and the front office did a great job of picking up some guys like Butler from the Cowboys, so I feel like we have a great chance of being the top offense in the league.”

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