Cardinals’ Chris Johnson not caught up in being the starter

Jun 3, 2016, 7:03 AM | Updated: Jun 6, 2016, 11:25 am
Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) celebrates his touchdown run against the San Fran...

Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) celebrates his touchdown run against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
LISTEN: Chris Johnson, Cardinals running back

For nine games last year, Chris Johnson got to call himself the starting running back for the Arizona Cardinals. Entering 2016, he doesn’t think the starting title will matter much.

“In our room I don’t really think we have like a solid starting running back, because with this type of offense, we do so many things as a running back,” Johnson told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday. “(David Johnson’s) got his things that he’s good at and I got my things that I’m good at, and (Bruce Arians) knows how to get both of us the ball.”

Chris Johnson was in the middle of a redemptive season, rushing for three touchdowns and 814 yards in 11 games, before getting injured in Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers. The next man up was rookie running back David Johnson, who made a late case for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The third-round pick out of Northern Iowa rushed for eight touchdowns and 581 yards, to go along with four receiving touchdowns and 457 yards.

Most of the receiving out of the backfield was done by the rookie, as Chris Johnson only had six grabs for 58 yards all season, but he said that should change in 2016.

“A lot of times when I was in the game, teams knew it was probably going to be a run because you know I didn’t really have a training camp, I was just thrown in and I didn’t really know the playbook like that,” Chris Johnson said. “So, it’s even better this year being able to go through OTAs and an offseason where I actually know the playbook now, and they can put me in the game and I can run basically any play that they call.”

Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin confirmed last week that the Cardinals are going to determine their starting running back on a week-by-week and game-by-game basis.

“Being with (Bruce Arians) since 2007, the hot hand always wins,” Goodwin said. “So, if David is killing, Chris falls back a little bit. If Chris is killing it, vice versa. Obviously there is going to be a lead dog starting every game, but to me if some guy is feeling it that day — if Michael Jordan is feeling it, you keep feeding him the ball. If David is feeling it, keep feeding him the ball. If Chris is feeling it, keep feeding him the ball. So, it’s a good problem to have.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any gripe about who gets it the most, because at the end of the day, if we don’t win it, it’s a waste of time.”

Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with fans after beating the Houston Texans 31-5...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: The timeframe of Kyler Murray’s contract extension

We haven't heard much lately when it comes down to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and a contract extension. When will a new deal get done?
16 hours ago
Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to a defensive play during the first half against...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals LB Markus Golden among players with best team-friendly deals

Arizona Cardinals LB Markus Golden's contract cracked PFF analyst Brad Spielberger's top team-friendly deals ranking.
16 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray (1) participates during the team's NFL football practice, Wednesday...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among top 5 QBs in multiple PFF passing metrics

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's accuracy was on point in 2021, especially when looking at deep throws.
4 days ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
3 days ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Wills Rice

Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley thinks offense needs to find identity

"For (Kyler) the next step is just grabbing everyone around him, whether he just needs one play and everyone will look to him," Shipley said.
4 days ago
General Manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Baltimor...
Tyler Drake

Important NFL dates to remember and how they impact Arizona Cardinals

A look at the important league dates to circle on your calendar and how they relate to the Arizona Cardinals' roster decisions.
4 days ago
Cardinals’ Chris Johnson not caught up in being the starter