first_imgSo while Mitchell’s praise of Johnson may feature some hyperbole, at the same time, it’s fair to say he knows a thing or two about quality running backs.So, is Johnson destined to arrive in Canton in, say, 15 years or so?A guest of Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday, ESPN NFL insider John Clayton said folks around the league are a bit more guarded about trying to predict Johnson’s future, but that does not mean they are unimpressed.“I think they realize there’s a special back there,” he said, adding that Cardinals assistant Tom Moore compares Johnson to Franco Harris.Harris, of course, is in the Hall of Fame.“The one thing [Johnson] is so good at is he’s great on the outside, whether it’s going to be running to the outside, catching the ball to the outside,” Clayton said. “If he can develop more of an inside game, that will make him better.“But I mean, he looks like a beast out there, and you watched how he came on and, honestly, I think this is kind of the wave of the future is that it’s hard to anticipate who the good backs are going to be.”Clayton cited second-round picks Matt Forte and Le’Veon Bell as players who slid in the draft but turned out to be excellent running backs. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling David Johnson is already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame — sort of.Last season, he became the first player in NFL history to score touchdowns on a run, a catch and a kickoff return in his first two games, and because of that, the folks in Canton asked for his jersey and cleats to display.As we all know, Johnson did not slow down after Week 2. The third-round pick out of Northern Iowa set a rookie franchise record for total touchdowns, with 13, while running for 581 yards on 125 carries and catching 36 passes for 457 yards. 0 Comments   Share   Arizona Cardinals’ David Johnson runs past Carolina Panthers’ Shaq Green-Thompson during the first half the NFL football NFC Championship game Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) Johnson’s performance down the stretch and in the postseason solidified his role as the Cardinals’ No. 1 running back, and since then there has been no shortage of excitement over the 24-year-old’s future.If his ridiculous workout routine doesn’t pump people up over what could be in store, a quote from Arizona’s running backs coach Stump Mitchell might.A great NFL back in his own right, Mitchell — in the final episode of the Amazon series “All or Nothing,” had nothing but praise for Johnson.“The only thing you can control is David, and you did a good job,” Mitchell said, before adding Johnson was the running back he wanted the team to pick because he thought the Northern Iowa product was better than Todd Gurley, who was chosen 10th overall and was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.“The Hall of Fame — you should have a bust when your ass is done playing,” he added. “Hopefully, if you can stay healthy.“I’ve coached some good backs; ain’t no question you’re a Hall of Fame guy. None whatsoever.”At the NFL level, Mitchell coached elite runners Ricky Watters and Shaun Alexander in Seattle as well as Clinton Portis in Washington. As a player, Mitchell finished his career second in Cardinals franchise history in total rushing yards, third in rushing attempts, fourth in rushing touchdowns and second in rushing average. His 14 100-yard rushing games rank second, too. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “I think David Johnson fits into that group,” he said. “Hall of Fame, a little bit early yet. Got to wait five years after he retires to think about that, but I think he’s going to be a very good back in a very good running division.” Top Stories Your browser does not support the audio element. LISTEN: John Clayton, ESPN NFL insider The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

first_imgNews travels by strange paths these days. The world first learned of a tentative deal for electric truck maker Workhorse to buy GM’s idled Lordstown, Ohio plant via a self-congratulatory tweet by the President of the US.If the deal goes through, it could be a win-win-win-win:Workhorse might receive a windfall like the one Tesla got when it acquired theformer NUMMI factory in Fremont for a song; at least some of the 1,600 GMworkers who got laid off in Lordstown might get new jobs; GM would get some goodPR for preserving jobs and encouraging EV adoption; and finally, EVs in generalwould get some good PR, demonstrating that they can be job creators, not jobkillers.“The first vehicle we would plan to build if we were topurchase the Lordstown Complex would be a commercial electric pickup, blendingWorkhorse’s technology with Lordstown’s manufacturing expertise,” said Workhorsefounder Steve Burns.However, there are reasons why companies prefer to revealnews of this sort themselves, once everything is finalized. It turns out thereare a number of issues that need to be worked out before electric trucks startrolling out of Lordstown.GM and Ohio-based Workhorse have been in negotiations sincethe beginning of the year, but Workhorse representative Tom Colton told Jalopnikthat the companies are in “roughly preliminary discussions.” The fraughtrelationship between automakers and unions may come into play. The UnitedAutoworkers Union naturally wants GM to keep the Lordstown plant open, althougha GM spokesperson indicated that Workhorse would be willing to work with theUAW.There’s another pesky little problem – Workhorse doesn’t have anywhere near enough money to buy the plant, or at the moment, enough business to take full advantage of it. The company, which seemed to be a potential superstar at the time we featured it in our May/June 2017 issue, now has fewer than 100 employees, and although it does have high-profile customers including FedEx and UPS, it generated sales of only $763,000 in 2018. (The Cincinnati Enquirer sarcastically noted that this is a fraction of the yearly figure for a typical McDonald’s). Prior to the President’s blurt about the GM deal, Workhorse appeared to be on the verge of bankruptcy. “Our existing capital resources will be insufficient to fund our operations through the first half of 2019,” the company recently stated.However, Workhorse has a potentially valuable card in the hole – the US Postal Service is planning to replace its aging fleet of Grumman LLV delivery trucks, and a prototype that Workhorse built in partnership with commercial truck specialist VT Hackney is one of four vehicles (and the only electric vehicle) in the running. The USPS’s process of selecting a vehicle has already taken four years, but according to, a final decision is expected by this fall. The contract calls for 180,000 trucks to be delivered over several years, and the total value could be as much as $6.3 billion.Workhorse will not be acquiring the GM plant directly – acomplex arrangement would create a new entity led by Workhorse founder SteveBurns, of which Workhorse would be a minority owner.Ohio politicians are cautiously optimistic about the deal. “It’sstill too early to tell whether the sale is good news for workers,” said Ohio SenatorSherrod Brown.“We have a lot of questions,” said Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill. “We’d like to find out how many people will be employed and the level of investment. We’re very optimistic that we could be on the leading edge of something here.”Sources: GM, New York Times, Cincinnati Enquirer, Jalopnik, CleanTechnica, Barron’s Source: Electric Vehicles Magazinelast_img read more