The Arizona Cardinals running back, an All-Pro in 2016, missed last season after dislocating his left wrist in the season opener. The wrist is healed and he is a full participant in the team's weight and conditioning program that began this week.
"I'm very motivated," he said Thursday. "It's not really about (showing) the people out there, it's really about myself and coming back for the team, for my teammates, for the coaches. Everything being so new, it's really about coming back and bouncing back and being able to play the sport."
By new, Johnson means the coaching staff. Bruce Arians, who utilized Johnson almost as much as a receiver as a ball carrier, has retired. New coach Steve Wilks brought in Mike McCoy as offensive coordinator. McCoy has talked about designing an offense around the ability of the players.
And that would mean a lot of David Johnson.
Drafted in the third round out of Northern Iowa in 2015, Johnson's multiple abilities as a runner and a receiver were on full display his second season under Arians' wide-open system.
Johnson led the league in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns in 2016, setting an NFL record by topping 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his first 15 games. He probably would have made it 16 had he not injured a knee in the season finale against the Los Angeles Rams.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound back rushed for 1 Authentic Josh Jackson Jersey ,239 yards that season and caught 80 passes for 879 yards. The performance earned him All-Pro honors at the flex position.
Because it was his wrist that was hurt in the opener at Detroit, Johnson could still run and do other workouts designed for him by strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris, who was retained by the new staff. Johnson said he probably is in the best shape of his life.
"We seen David all of last year, seeing him work out, running the field. We thought he could play every Sunday," teammate Patrick Peterson said. "He's always looking good. That guy's a freak of nature. I know he can't wait to get back on the field."
Getting Johnson in the weight room is no problem. Getting him not to overdo it is a challenge.
"He's a freak," Morris said. "I will never, ever take credit for anything David Johnson (does). I have to protect David from David to be honest with you, because he always wants to load the bar with more and more and more weight."
Johnson said he does that sometimes just to see Morris' reaction.
"I've always been a hard lifter in the weight room, ever since high school," Johnson said. "Buddy yesterday was telling me not to put so much on the squat rack, but sometimes I'm hard at listening to what he is saying. I know he has my best interest, but sometimes I feel like I need to put more weight on, and I like to get under his skin a little bit because it rattles him and he starts using these huge words that no one understands."
Being hurt, Johnson said http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/kevin-king-jersey , was "a blessing in disguise" because he's been able to spend so much time with his young son. There was no father in the picture when Johnson was growing up.
"That I didn't have a father figure in my life, it really pushed me to do everything I can for him," he said, "be at every milestone, be there for anything that's going on in his life. I've seen the little things, like his teeth growing, him walking, crawling, his laughing, just being there for every little thing that happens in his life. "
ST. LOUIS (AP) — One talented Russian winger. Deep lines and pairings. Years of playoff heartache.
Months after Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals won the first Stanley Cup title in franchise history, the St. Louis Blues are looking to follow in their footsteps.
“They don’t give up after a lot of tough years,” star winger Vladimir Tarasenko said. “They work on their game, play hard and finally reach their goal, so this is a really good example for us. I think that’s what we need to try to do.”
St. Louis also is looking for the franchise’s first championship. The Blues missed the playoffs last year after six consecutive appearances, falling one point shy of continuing the streak when they lost 5-2 at Colorado on the final day of the regular season.
General manager Doug Armstrong could have taken the franchise in a different direction after the disappointing finish http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-mark-walton-jersey , but he decided to strengthen the roster instead. The Blues signed center Tyler Bozak, wingers David Perron and Patrick Maroon, and backup goaltender Chad Johnson in free agency, and traded for center Ryan O’Reilly in a blockbuster deal with Buffalo.
The veteran holdovers, including Tarasenko, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and goaltender Jake Allen, enjoyed the view during Armstrong’s active offseason.
“It’s obviously huge,” said Brayden Schenn, who set career highs with 28 goals and 42 assists in his first year with St. Louis. “You look at our division, how tight it’s going to be, how tight the West is going to be, you’ve got to have the pieces to compete and we feel like we have that in this locker room.”
With Schenn, O’Reilly and Bozak, the Blues have one of the league’s strongest groups of centers. Perron collected a career-high 50 assists last season while helping expansion Vegas make it to the Stanley Cup Final, and the rugged Maroon had 17 goals and 26 assists in 74 games with Edmonton and New Jersey.
The Blues are hoping the new additions will help them get back to their usual lofty spot in the rough-and-tumble Central Division — and then make some playoff history.
“We need to learn from last year George Kittle Jersey ,” Tarasenko said. “It’s not enough to play up and down all year and then fighting for one point, I don’t think that’s the spot where we want to be. I think our goal is to make the playoff without questions and just win the Cup, so that’s what we need to do and play more consistent during the season.”
Robby Fabbri missed all of last season after re-tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He was activated off injured reserve before the start of training camp, but he has been slowed by a groin strain. The 22-year-old Fabbri was selected by St. Louis in the first round of the 2014 draft. He had 29 goals and 37 assists in 123 games before the run of injuries, and could add to the Blues’ forward depth if he can find a way to stay healthy.
“He can do everything,” Tarasenko said. “He’s smart and can score, can pass the puck, like play the game well. You know when we was playing together, it was fun. I like spending time on the ice with him.”
St. Louis finished 30th in the 31-team NHL with a 15.4 percent success rate on the power play last season, just ahead of Edmonton at 14.8 percent. The Blues had just 38 power-play goals.
The 26-year-old Tarasenko remains one of the NHL’s most gifted scorers. He had 33 goals and 33 assists in 80 games last season. But Tarasenko had left shoulder surgery on April 11 after he got hurt in a collision with Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog in the regular-season finale.
WORTH WATCHING II
Allen missed the start of training camp due to back spasms. The 28-year-old Allen had a 2.75 goals-against average and .906 save percentage while splitting time with Carter Hutton last season, and his play is a big key for the Blues this year.New York Jets Elite Jerseys