Arizona Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim Has Big Praise for David Johnson

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Last Word On Pro Football, Lenny Letcher

The Arizona Cardinals are coming off a dominating 28-3 win over the New York Jets. The Cardinals played well on defense, and the running game was clicking. The Cardinals scored three touchdowns on the ground, all by second-year running back David Johnson. The success running the ball was particularly impressive, considering the Jets run defense was number one in the league entering the contest. Johnson’s stellar start to this season has garnered praise from personalities both inside and outside the Cardinals organization.

Arizona Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim Has Big Praise for David Johnson

During his weekly interview spot on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim was asked about his running back’s performance.

How Does David Johnson Compare to Other Runners?

“Well I know he has a unique skill set because of his ability to create mismatches in the passing game,” Keim noted.  “And I really think the one area where he’s evolved is as a pure runner. Evaluating out of college, there were some questions about his ability to run behind his pads and finish between the tackles because he was more of a perimeter runner at Northern Iowa, but he has really, really improved his patience and his vision, and some of the things he does with his lateral jump-cuts for being a big back are really, really impressive.”

Johnson scored two of his three touchdowns running in between the tackles. He went in untouched on the goal line using his great patience and vision. Those same skills were on display during the most impressive play of the game. Johnson followed a pulling guard to the left side and waited patiently for blocks to set him up before exploding down the sideline for a 58-yard touchdown.

Where Does He Need to Improve?

“B.A. (coach Bruce Arians) certainly gives him a hard time now,” Keim emphasized. “He coaches him up, which he should, because there still are areas of David’s game where he can improve. But the things he does for this offense really, really does put defenses in a bind because of the pressure he puts on them from a pass-catching standpoint as well.”

The area that Keim is talking about Johnson needing to improve is his pass protection. Johnson told the ESPN post-game crew in an interview just how far behind he is in pass protection.

“Sometimes Carson (Palmer) has to tell me who I am responsible for blocking in the huddle,” Johnson said.

That is an issue with an offense that likes to take big shots downfield. Those plays do not work if the running backs are unable help give quarterback Carson Palmer the time he needs.

Final Thoughts

David Johnson is turning into a national superstar. The Cardinals are starting to recover from their slow start and have a chance to compete for a division championship. With the Seattle Seahawks coming to town, Arizona will need David Johnson to continue to impress.

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