David Johnson wants more of the final three weeks of the 2020 season, and much less of what preceded.
He, like the rest of his teammates and coaches, hopes to wash away the stench of a 4-12 campaign last year. But on an individual level, Johnson would like to ride the wave he rode at the end of the season.
"I'm going to capitalize on those last three games," the veteran running back said. "Improve on those last three games and use that momentum going into this season. Staying healthy. Doing everything I can to help out this offense for sure."
Johnson missed a quartet of games because of a concussion and COVID-19. But when he returned in Week 15, he turned in a trio of contests in which he averaged 80 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards per. That was 22 yards more on the ground per game than his overall season average, and nearly double his 26 receiving yards per game average on the year.
Johnson credited much of that success to help he got from a mental coach.
"I got more into a flow, into a groove. I didn't stress so much about everything going on, either on the field or off the field. My biggest thing was just letting everything come to me."
In the nine games before the late surge, he averaged an even 4.0 yards per carry, as opposed to the 7 yards per in the final three. Clearing his mind, in a sense, helped clear the way for success over the final three games.
"It helped me out in trying to really figure out everything that was going on last year, on and off the field, and letting me know that not everything is going to be perfect and I can't control everything," Johnson said. "Really the biggest thing was just being positive. Looking at the good out of more than the bad of every situation, every event that I'm in, and just trying to use it as a learning purpose for everything."
Johnson is looking forward to 2021, and while he expects the offensive scheme to remain similar to what it was in 2020, he and his teammates have yet to talk X's and O's with the new staff. He's also excited about the new additions to the running backs room in Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram.
"It'll make us all compete because we all want to play, obviously, so we all want to be on the field," Johnson said. "Competition is going to make us all better and it's going to start in the spring."
Offseason conditioning starts for Johnson and the Texans on Monday.