It seems like more than ever, Mike McCoy trusted David Johnson last Sunday. The first three plays went to Johnson against Seattle. That’s trust. They put more blockers in the box and put the onus on Johnson to make the perimeter defender miss. That’s trust. They lined him out as a receiver. About time, but that’s trust. Against, the 49ers, if McCoy trusts Johnson again, they should win.
One of the areas that I thought McCoy improved was using different formations. It seemed like previously you was clear as day when the Cardinals were going to run. Sunday it would be under center with three wide receivers and a tight end. Or out of shotgun with four receivers. He spread Seattle out and it worked. San Francisco gave up over 100 yards to a Chargers rushing offense that has an offensive line that has struggled as much as Arizona’s.
It goes back to what we talked about after week one. Giving a guy like Johnson the ball under 15 times a game in mind-boggling. We saw against the Seahawks that eventually, he’s going to break one. Even though Johnson only had three catches, his usage was so much better. It wasn’t anything crazy, either. Something as simple as this:
The old “throw the ball to your best player” works. Give Johnson some confidence in space and I feel like it translates to him running better. We saw that Sunday and I believe we’ll see more of it against the 49ers. I believe he’ll break a long one off to the right side, an area where the 49ers struggle to stop the run.
I do think it goes without saying that having a quarterback that can actually throw will help open things up for Johnson. I’m interested to see how much more the playbook opens up for Josh Rosen in his second start.