Pro Football Focus's latest edition of their Secret Superstar series features the smallest player on the Eagles roster... Damaris Johnson. The aim of this series is to highlight underrated players who have performed well and could be on the rise.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Johnson is one of the players Kelly is most excited about working with. He’s obviously not the best receiver on the team but he has the potential to give the Eagles’ offense incredible flexibility. Whether he’s lined up in the backfield, as a receiver, or deep as a punt returner, Johnson clearly has good vision and knows how to do the little things to generate yardage. There have been reports that Jackson might return punts in 2013 but Johnson will fight to keep the job. He should also see more time on offense.
A couple weeks ago, Dan Klausner, president of the Damaris Johnson fan club (of which I am the VP), also talked about the hype surrounding Damaris this off-season at length. Here's 1200+ words on the little ball of joy. As you can see, Dan is very high on Damaris, and for good reason.
Damaris's ability to force missed tackles, achieve YAC, and contribute on special teams can make him a valuable player to have. He certainly has the skills Chip Kelly loves. It will interesting to see if Chip can harness Johnson's talent in a bigger role. Johnson's numbers are encouraging so far, but there is reason to be cautious when it's such a small sample size.
If Johnson, guided by Chip, fulfills his potential, he could make a significant jump from Year 1 to Year 2. That would bode very well for the Eagles offense, but perhaps not so much for his competition: veteran WR Jason Avant.
So are you among the ones who buy into Johnson's potential or are you a little more cautious? I think you know where I stand.
I leave you Klausner's parting words:
Damaris Johnson Bandwagon, full steam ahead. Hop on.