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'Dameon's His Own Person': Texans Nick Caserio Downplays Comps For Rookie RB

While some compare Dameon Pierce to Mark Ingram, Texans' GM Nick Caserio isn't looking at the similarities

HOUSTON -- Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio made it clear this offseason that player comps for rookies aren't his thing. Even if a player measures similar numbers in size, speed and production coming out of college, once they enter the NFL, it's a new game. 

Fans recently have been comparing the role of former Texans' running back Mark Ingram II to fourth-round rookie Dameon Pierce. Both are physical runners that use power over speed to win in short-yardage situations and often were focal points in the end zone. 

Perhaps Pierce is used the same way in Pep Hamilton's offense the way he was at Florida. Perhaps not. 

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“I think every player has their own personality dynamics,” Caserio said on “Payne & Pendergast” on Sports Radio 610 [KILT-AM]. “I’d say Mark has been in the league, 10, 11 years, whatever it’s been. And I think he’s one of the most respected players on a team, one of the most respected players on our team last year. 

"I think fairly or unfairly players get compared to other players, but I think it’s kind of unfair to compare Dameon to a player like Mark and his status as a player.”

Pierce became a rising prospect throughout the offseason thanks to his work ethic and rep count. After putting on a spectacle at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., the 5-11, 218-pounder rusher posted 4.59 40-time with a 34.5-inch vertical at the combine in Indianapolis. 

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During his final season at Florida, Peirce's production improved, primarily in terms of scoring. He recorded 574 yards and 13 touchdowns while averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Pierce also caught 19 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns through the air.

"He plays with a lot of energy, he plays with a lot of joy, and he plays with a lot of toughness," Caserio said. "Dameon Pierce is his own person. Mark Ingram is his own person. I think all these rookies it’s important for them to be their own person and be careful of making a comparison and thinking that’s kind of apples to apples.”

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Caserio said that instead of looking at player comparisons, it's best to look at the prospect as a whole while finding the pros and cons. Teams often aren't looking for a clone of players, but rather the first of their kind. 

Why would the Texans be any different? 

“We focus on the individual player,” Caserio said. “Who are they as a person, what’s their makeup, and then how are they going to fit into our building with the rest of the group that we already have in place?”

Houston begins voluntary OTAs starting Tuesday.