Texans confident in "hungry and humble" David Johnson
Patrick D. Starr
Houston, Texas- Head coach Bill O'Brien is confident that the Houston Texans acquiring David Johnson is going to pay off for the offense in 2020. A down season for Johnson plagued with an ankle injury with the Arizona Cardinals in 2019 saw him fall out of favor with the new coaching staff. The move to other running backs cut Johnson's snaps the second half of the season, opening the door for his exit for the 2020 season.
The Texans were waiting in a blockbuster deal that sent top-end wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals for Johnson and exchange of draft picks.
O'Brien is confident that the Texans are getting a running back that will turn it around to his old form of one of the best back in the league.
"We felt like we had a great offer from Arizona that involved picks and involved an excellent three-down running back who is hungry and humble and just can't wait to get started, David Johnson, who's going to be a great addition to our football teams."
Johnson was 3rd round selection (86th overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Northern Iowa. When coming out of the draft, the Texans were high on Johnson and his ability as a running back.
Playing five seasons in Arizona, Johnson appeared in 62 games rushing for 3,128 yards and rushing for 33 touchdowns. He is also a pass-catching threat that has caught 208 passes for 2,219 yards and 15 touchdowns.
The Texans' belief that Johnson is a three-down back is a crucial factor in the deal, meaning that he will be deployed in the offense plenty, which could highlight his versatile skill set.
Last season, Johnson lined up in the slot for 67 snaps, and during his All-Pro season in 2016, Johnson not only lined up in the backfield, but he was able to line up in the slot (76 snaps) and out wide (121 snaps). His ability to move in the formation only expands the Texans offense with him on the field, making the defense match up players snap to snap.
Chairman and CEO Cal McNair is on board with the moves the Texans have made this off-season. Including the acquisition of Johnson in the trade for Hopkins.
"Can't look at any one move," McNair added. "You got to put them all together, and you really need to look at things over the last 18 months or so to see how the team has changed, and how it will continue to change. And the whole idea of the whole focus is to make the team better and to take this next step, but we're also excited and looking forward to doing this as the season unfolds here pretty soon."
The moves this off-season have been ones addressing the depth and special teams a possibly pushing for vital roles on both sides of the football.
O'Brien is confident in the Texans off-season approach and knows the roster is not complete, which they will continue to address heading towards the season.
"We've done a really good job," O'Brien said of the players they added. "We're not trying to win March. We're trying to win in January. And we feel like these moves that isn't in a position where we are incomplete right now. We are not where we want to be, but it's April. It's not November, we're trying to set our team up depth-wise, talent-wise everything that we do to be able to win in January."