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Texans Look to Improve Run Game; Can Rookie Dameon Pierce Help?

The Texans running back room has plenty to improve from last season, when they were ranked last out of the 32 NFL teams.

Heading into last season, the Houston Texans running back room was unique to say the least. Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay, and David Johnson were poised to make up the first three running back spots. 

Ingram had the veteran experience, Lindsay had the youngest legs with two 1000-yard seasons, while Johnson could contribute to the passing game.

However, things did not turn out how the Texans hoped they would, as Mark Ingram was traded to the Saints halfway through the season, and Phillip Lindsay was released.

Johnson also had a rough campaign and is not expected to be re-signed this offseason.

As the Texans are heading into season two under general manager Nick Caserio, the running back room now looks completely different, with lots of young talent and potential. 

Houston signed Marlon Mack who, although coming off an injury, is capable of rushing for 1000 yards in a season, as he did in 2019 with the Colts. 

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The combination of Marlon Mack and Dameon Pierce has taken off for the Houston Texans.

Although he played sparingly last season due to a knee injury, as well as the emergence of superstar Jonathan Taylor, the Texans are hoping he can replicate the production he had three years ago.

Houston also drafted Florida running back Dameon Pierce in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL draft. He rushed for an impressive 5.7 yards per carry and 13 touchdowns during his final season in Gainsville, and Writers and analysts around the league are excited about Pierce’s potential.

Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and head coach Lovie Smith are committed to leading the offense with a running-first approach to help open up the passing game. 

“We were trying to upgrade all the positions but running back was one that we thought there were some players out there that fit what we wanted to do," Smith said recently, "And Marlon, I’m going to say that about all our running backs, even with our rookie, we have depth at the running back position. You need that. They will all have a role.” 

And with Mack and Pierce both in the fold, things look to be heading in the right direction.