Duke Johnson has been the man out for Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley in 2018. It makes you scratch your head as too why that is. As a result, it’s time to give Johnson the football.
Johnson’s all around talent should present plenty of opportunities to get the football as a receiver and a runner. Hopefully that happens starting Sunday when the Browns begin a two game road trip against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
— Fred Greetham (@FredGreetham) October 17, 2018
“We will figure out more as the week goes on,” Johnson said. As of now, my role is my role.”
So the timing is right for Johnson to be more involved in the offense. The Browns are very thin at wide receiver. Cleveland ended last Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers with only three healthy wide receivers. All three played through bumps and bruises as well.
#Browns Duke Johnson shook his head back and forth repeatedly when asked if he sees role changing with all the injuries at WR.
Later was asked how he'd fare if playing as WR: I think I'd have some success. I have the skill set to do it.
— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) October 17, 2018
Johnson can line up outside as a receiver or in the slot. The threat of him as a receiver should help the Browns offense play better earlier in games.
“Start faster. We are not starting fast at all,” Johnson said. “We are starting off slow and waiting for someone to make a play. No one has made that play early. It is about starting fast and giving our defense and our special teams more momentum going into the game or going into their drive.”
Johnson performed tremendously in the 0-16 season of 2017. It’s time to the former Miami Hurricane all-purpose back a focal point in the game plan and early in the football game. A couple of early play calls can help off set the struggles getting started on offense.
“We all have been stressing it,” Johnson said. “It is just about somebody making a play – find somebody and somebody has to make a play.”
Johnson is clearly frustrated with his current role. While you don’t wish for injuries to teammates, it means some good news for DUke. Due to the lack of healthy wide receivers, the time is right for Johnson seeing more playing time.