At this time, we do not know which Cleveland Browns quarterback will be under center, throwing passes to running back Duke Johnson this fall. But, that is not stopping the 23-year-old dual-threat running back from being compared to Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk.
Yes. You heard it here. Wide receivers coach Al Saunders, who coached Faulk with Rams in 1999 and 2000, recently lofted a ton of praise in Johnson’s direction.
“I’ve been fortunate in my career to have guys like Duke Johnson that have not only great running skills, but also skills as a receiver and skills as a player-in-space,” Saunders said, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I saw the other night (at the Hall of Fame festivities) a guy that comes to mind by the name of Marshall Faulk … running backs who had multiple skills and were able to catch the football.”
Johnson is entering his third year with the Browns. He has played in all 32 games so far, but has received only eight starts. It is, however, worth noting that Johnson has tallied 114 receptions for 1,048 yards during that span. He’s added just 737 yards on the ground in two seasons.
Despite this, Saunders continued to gush about Johnson’s skillset.
“He catches the ball as well as any receiver that we have,” said Saunders. “He has a gifted talent as a pass catcher.”
This is indeed a positive observation. And, if being compared to a legend such as Faulk further motivates Johnson, that is all good.