Texans running back David Johnson didn’t appreciate being treated as a relative afterthought in the trade that sent him to Houston as part of a trade with the Arizona Cardinals for DeAndre Hopkins.
Johnson was a first-team All-Pro just four years ago with over 2,100 yards from scrimmage racked up for the Cardinals in 2016. Injuries and a coaching change in Arizona have hampered his efforts to reach that level of production again in the three years since. However, Johnson still believes he’s fully capable of producing big things now for the Texans.
“My biggest thing is I’m still myself—2016,” Johnson said, via Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report. “If anything, I’m smarter. I know defenses even more. I know the game of football even more in the league. So I feel like I still have the same speed and strength and everything … but even more smarts.
“They’re getting a guy who’s going to always work hard. They never have to worry about me off the field. … They’re going to get a guy who’s dedicated to the team and really dedicated to proving everyone wrong. I’m still striving to get that 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. So I’m going to do everything in my power—everything I humanly can—to get to that.”
Johnson takes exception to those completely overlooking him as some insignificant piece of the Hopkins trade. The Texans were clowned upon for the trade of Hopkins to Arizona as being a fleecing with head coach and G.M. Bill O’Brien being lambasted for the deal. Johnson was a part of that criticism as well as Houston traded perhaps the league’s premier wide receiver for a running back that had injury concerns and a dip in production.
“I want so bad to prove all these people wrong,” Johnson said. “Not just them, but showcase my ability and just let people know I’m still the same if not better than 2016. I definitely can’t wait.
“Every level of football, I’ve had at least a few people who told me I wasn’t good enough. I’m a has-been. All done. You’ve seen the best of me. And, somehow, I always prove ’em wrong.”