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Cards RB coach: David Johnson reminiscent of Forte

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The Arizona Cardinals' coaching staff continues to heap praise on third-round running back David Johnson.

This week, running backs coach Stump Mitchell made an interesting comparison about the rookie runner.

"He reminds me a lot of Matt Forte," Mitchell told KMVP-FM Radio. "You can put him outside and use him as a receiver and he's a good runner."

Well that's one heck of a jaw-dropping correlation. Forte is one of the most underrated, versatile running backs in the NFL. Johnson hasn't played a snap.

Mitchell focused on Johnson's ability in the passing game.

"He's a guy who has a lot of confidence in his ability to play," Mitchell said. "He's coachable. He's a smart young man, he's physical. He's going to make Andre (Ellington) pick up his game when given the opportunity.

"He has excellent hands and he's a bigger target to throw the ball to. He's going to be a big piece of the puzzle before this season is said and done."

Forte excels at catching passes out of the backfield, as evidenced by his 808 yards on 102 receptions last year. So we'll choose to believe Mitchell is mostly focusing on that aspect of Johnson's game with the comparison.

Where the comparison loses steam, however, is that Forte can also effectively run between the tackles, which is something many question about Johnson.

Ellington needed a battering-ram sidekick, but instead got a third-down pass-catching partner.

We trust coach Bruce Arians and would follow him on a walk deep into the desert night, but we need to see a lot out of the rookie running back before we believe the hype coming from the Cards' staff.

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