The best season of Duke Johnson's young career came in a season without a single win.
But Johnson, a bright spot in a winless season as Cleveland's top offensive playmaker, never lost motivation to be that light.
"I take pride in my performance, period, regardless of anything else," Johnson said last month. "Because at the end of the day, I'm one person and I can do my job as well as I can do it and that's my goal every week."
That kind of mindset helped Johnson stay focused and motivated as Cleveland lost week after week. Amid those struggles, the Browns could rely on Johnson — who finished with 1,041 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns— to make an impact in multiple ways.
"For me, it's knowing every game, game in, game out, I gave all I had and I'm gonna give all I have regardless of the scenario," he said. "As long as i know I'm doing all that I can and doing what I need to do."
For his efforts, Johnson was voted the team's PFWA Player of the Year and joined Herschel Walker as the only NFL running back to record 500 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons.
"Duke has been a tremendous football player for us all year," head coach Hue Jackson said. "He's done a lot of good things in his career since coming here to Cleveland. We expect even bigger things from him in the future."
With the offseason underway, Johnson, the all-time leading rusher at Miami, is poised to build upon his breakout campaign. He also expressed a desire to remain in Cleveland well beyond that.
"This is the organization that gave me my shot, drafted me in the third round," Johnson said. "A lot of teams passed on me but this team took me. I'd want nothing more than to start and finish my career here."