The Facts: If topic No. 1 last season was watching how rookie quarterback Josh Rosen developed, topic 1A was the use of Johnson. It was something that never quite got adjusted. The hiring of Kliff Kingsbury as coach/offensive guru will mean a lot of things in a lot of offensive areas, but getting Johnson back to his 2016 levels will be of significant importance. "Johnson is a tremendous asset," Kingsbury said. "He's a guy who can do from the backfield, between the tackles, you can motion him out. He's a mismatch in space. I can't wait for our offensive coaches to be able to get their hands on him."
Of course, we're all still waiting to see who those offensive coaches will be. Until then, it's difficult to make a direct line from what Kingsbury did as coach at Texas Tech and how it will look in the NFL, but it was interesting that for all the throwing the Red Raiders did under Kingsbury, the running backs weren't exactly a huge part of the passing game. Texas Tech used multiple running backs in his years there, but the most catches a running back had in a season was DeAndre Washington's 41 in 2015 (and that was the fourth-highest total on the team). As AZCardinals.com's Darren Urban suggests, the NFL can change things. The Cardinals, for one, have to upgrade at receiver. Right now, even if Larry Fitzgerald comes back, Johnson could battle Christian Kirk as the second-best pass catcher. Kingsbury also already noted he will mesh his ideas with the offensive coordinator so it fits on this level. And, truthfully, Johnson is a better back than anyone Kingsbury has had in that spot when he was a head coach in college. Regardless, the Cardinals are in the same spot they were with Johnson that they were in 2017 and 2018 -- they need him to be great. Kingsbury has to find ways to make that happen.