This Chicago Bears playmaker deserves more opportunities

Second-year running back Roschon Johnson is a viable candidate for bigger role in offense
Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears
Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Second-year running back Roschon Johnson had a small role in the Chicago Bears offense last season. This could change very soon thanks to a new offensive coordinator and a rookie quarterback in need of a reliable target.

Johnson basically redshirted his rookie year, spending the bulk of the 2023 season in a reserve role and learning an NFL playbook while getting acclimated to the pros. When he was on the field, he showed promise and even averaged 4.9 yards per touch, an impressive total for a 5-year veteran--let alone a rookie.

Opportunities to prove himself were sparse in a crowded backfield. With D'Onta Foreman leaving in free agency, there will be ample chances to prove himself. In fact, strides are being made right now. Johnson surpassed longtime Bears back Khalil Herbert and will be backing up D'Andre Swift in his first year in the Windy City, per ESPN.

Roschon Johnson may benefit from new look Bears' offense.

One thing going for Johnson is a new look for the Bears offense. With a new face at offensive coordinator in Shane Waldron, Johnson could very well become his ace in the hole. Waldron, a disciple of the Sean McVay coaching tree, is accustomed to getting the most out of his running backs.

From Todd Gurley with the Los Angeles Rams to Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Walker with the Seattle Seahawks, Waldron has made a living churning out head-turning seasons from running backs of various skill and talent.

The running scheme Waldron has utilized in LA and Seattle is eerily similar to what Johnson ran wild in at the University of Texas.

There's no doubt Swift will be the feature back of the offense after the Bears shelled out millions for him. However, Johnson can burst onto the scene as a scrappy change-of-pace back. His versatility makes him a viable option for this role.

As rookie quarterback Caleb Williams goes through the pains of his rookie season, Johnson might see his role grow out of necessity, which is a huge reason betting big on a breakout year from Johnson isn't risky.

Prior to arriving in Chicago, Johnson lived in the shadow of Bijan Robinson with the Texas Longhorns. As a Chicago Bear, the only person in Johnson's way will be himself.