Arizona Cardinals fans are very, very excited about what running back David Johnson can do with a full-time load in 2016. He was one of the team's most exciting players, collecting more than 1000 yards from scrimmage in a mostly part-time role and scoring 13 touchdowns.
But in a recent article on NFL.com projecting who could be the top rusher in the league in 2016, Johnson is not mentioned.
The guys mentioned are Todd Gurley, Adrian Peterson, Le'Veon Bell and even rookie Ezekiel Elliott.
Should Johnson be in the conversation?
Probably not, though the potential is there. After all, head coach Bruce Arians has said Johnson has the potential to be "one of the all-time best."
Why shouldn't he be in the conversation?
There is more than one reason.
One is simply the offense the Cardinals run. While it is believed they will run the ball more than in years past, the Bruce Arians offense is still big on passing the ball, and when you have a quarterback like Carson Palmer and receivers like Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown, it is foolish not to throw them the ball.
Gurley and Peterson are in offenses that are based on their skill primarily. Their teams lack the talent at quarterback and receiver to do what the Cardinals do in the passing game.
Johnson is also very dangerous in the passing game. His impact will not just be as a runner.
On top of all that, while he is expected to get the most carries, he will share time with Chris Johnson. Gurley and Peterson will not share many carries at all.
So should Cardinals fans feels slighted or get outraged at Johnson's omission from this list of potential rushing leaders? Nope, and that is just fine.