Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson is a solid player with a lot of promise. He has drawn plenty of praise from members around the league. But comparing the second-year running back to NFL Hall of Fame rusher Marshall Faulk? Pump the brakes. At least that’s how New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick feels.
“When (the Rams) went to a three-receiver set, they just split (Faulk) out as a third receiver along with the other two receivers and a tight end. So they ran an 11-personnel looking formation but he was the third receiver,” Belichick told reporters during a conference call. “I don’t know that’s quite David Johnson’s skill set. I don’t know if there’s many players in the league who could do what Marshall Faulk did. He was a pretty special and unique player.
“Johnson’s a good receiver, he catches the ball well and has good run-after-catch skills. He can make people miss. Again, he’s got the strength to break tackles. And he’s got some speed to separate. Marshall Faulk, that’s putting the bar pretty high with him.”
Johnson’s comparison to Faulk stems from Cardinals general manager Steve Keim comparing Arizona’s starting running back to the Hall of Fame player.
“A lot of people have compared him to Marshall Faulk, and our coaches had Marshall Faulk in Indy,” Keim told ESPN in August. “I think he’s very similar in some ways athletically and in terms of ball-catching skills to Marshall.”
Arizona hosts New England on Sunday night. Johnson has a chance to show Belichick his Marshall Faulk-esque abilities. Even then, the running back has a long way to go to be in the same breath as Faulk.