Kliff Kingsbury weaponized his running backs in the passing game at Texas Tech, and there’s no doubt he will do the same with David Johnson in 2019.
The Cardinals’ second-string running back, Chase Edmonds, doesn’t have the same gaudy receiving numbers on his resume – he had 20 catches for 103 yards as a rookie and never surpassed 383 receiving yards in a season at Fordham – but believes he can be a similar force catching the ball.
Edmonds had an impressive over-the-shoulder grab down the field during Wednesday’s practice and is hoping for plenty more when the games count.
“I think that’s the best part of my game,” Edmonds said. “Hopefully one day, when I’m eight years down the road, someone looks at me sideways and I can say, ‘Just put me in the slot. I’ll be better than your best slot.’ That’s really my goal, man, to continue to show I can be versatile. Taking notes from ‘31’, soaking it all in, and being the best football player I can be.”
Johnson is the clear-cut starter for the Cardinals, but the up-tempo offense could lead to more opportunities for Edmonds to see the field. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs told Edmonds early in camp that he had never experienced a practice this fast in his first 16 years in the NFL. While the goal is to wear out the defense, it should lead to plenty of rotating on offense.
“People get gassed a little bit and I can come on fresh,” Edmonds said. “And again, just showcase my abilities.
The Cardinals have three bona fide playmakers in Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, but it’s unknown what other pieces will step up. Edmonds showed flashes as a rookie – particularly during his breakout game against the Packers – and is hoping to take that next step.
“Last year I was walking on eggshells,” Edmonds said. “I was a rookie really just trying not to mess up, not to make any mistakes. This year, man, I’m going out there with the mentality to try to make plays for this team. I’m trying to show I can have a pivotal role on this offense.”