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Advice for David Johnson

LISTEN: David Johnson, Cardinals running back

When you play the game of football, video is a weapon.

What you do during plays and how you play will impact your opponent for weeks to come. One big hit from a safety will serve notice to others of their impending doom; one savage club and arm under pass rush by an edge player can give tackles nightmares; one brutal bashing of a would-be tackler will stand as a warning bell for all when the Sunday silks are on. And the tone of that bell has a crystal clear tintinnabulation: Intimidation.

Veterans of the NFL are very fond of repeating a coaching axiom that has been around the game of football since olden days: The Big Eye in the Sky don’t lie.

A player’s body of work, his reputation and prowess are there for all to see. Player’s that are preparing to play their opponent determine if their adversary is good, athletic, strong, tough, smart, honorable, courageous, ferocious, or not, as they scour video through the prism of a sideline and end zone camera lens.

Teams and players spend hours and hours dissecting plays, formations, personnel groups, tendencies and, most importantly, player ability.

By the time games are played, every player knows his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and what they are capable of.

This fact combines with another truth inherently understood by every football player: nobody wants to be embarrassed on the field. And how does one get embarrassed on the field? He gets beat; he doesn’t do his job. The pinnacle of getting beat and not doing your job and the most embarrassing way to get beat and not do your job is to get run over by your opponent. After all, the very foundation of the game is to knock your opponent to the ground and do it with malice.
And this is my advice to the Cardinals third-round pick from Northern Iowa, running back, David Johnson. Use video as a weapon.

Let teams that are going to play you see what you’re capable of by lowering the boom from time-to-time on tacklers because it will help you when you play; it’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.

Although Johnson is more of a slasher than a pounder and has many of the same skills Andre Ellington has, he’s 6-1 and 225-pounds. Where Ellington doesn’t possess The Boom, Johnson does and the The Boom must be fed, isn’t that right Beastmode?

Marshawn Lynch and other big backs like him choose the third-rail of rushing just to keep their opponents honest and to exact physical damage on all those that oppose them. The third-rail of rushing is an attack on another man’s person: one rail to the left, one rail to the right, and one rail straight over the defender; thus, the third rail.

If Johnson will choose the third-rail and show The Boom on video, his slasher mentality and ability to make defenders miss in the open field will improve dramatically. Players don’t want to be embarrassed so they will dig-in when trying to tackle him in the open field, their feet in cement. This will make it easier to make tacklers miss, isn’t that right Le’Veon Bell?

And all Johnson needs to do in order to achieve this goodness is to show it on video every now and then. Remind defenders what he’s capable of.

Use video as a weapon, David Johnson.