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New Texans RB Joe Mixon Ready To 'Make Houston Lit'

The Houston Texans have a star running back in Joe Mixon, who's ready to bring that same starpower to NRG Stadium like he did in Cincinnati.

Joe Mixon let the life-altering news sink in for the first 24 hours before doing anything. 

After that, he took another 24 hours to process that the life he knew in Cincinnati was now a faint memory. 

Then, after accepting the reality that change was inevitable, Mixon began to think about his life in Houston, one that was beginning to look bright as the ink dried. 

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“I feel great being in this here situation," said the newest Houston Texans running back Thursday at his introductory press conference. "[I] got a great group of guys around me. Talked to the coaches, and just where they see me playing in this here offense is definitely exciting times, man, so I just can't wait to get going.”

Mixon, who spent seven seasons as one of the league's most consistent running backs as a member of the Bengals, now looks to be the same type of player as a member of the Texans. Houston believes he can be a difference-maker, too, especially after trading away a seventh-round pick to acquire him. 

General manager Nick Caserio furthered his belief in the 27-year-old's skills by agreeing to terms on a three-year, $27 million extension following the signing of Minnesota Vikings star pass-rusher Danielle Hunter. 

Hunter, a four-time Pro Bowler and Katy native, plans on terrorizing quarterbacks. Mixon, who last season rushed for 1,034 yards and nine touchdowns, looks to pulverize defenders while forcing his way into the end zone. 

"[When] my number's being called, [I] deliver," Mixon said. "I was fortunate enough to have a group of men around me that they were all special. We had Chase out there. We had Tee. We had TB. We had a few really good tight ends in my years being there. We had Joe Burrow. 

"I think that what we've got here is the same type of firepower." 

Mixon plans to be the answer for a run game that finished 23rd last season on the ground. The Texans' offensive personnel has star power, headlined by Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud and breakout pass-catcher Nico Collins. 

The rushing attack, however, lacked that penetrable blow. Devin Singletary rushed for 898 yards and four touchdowns, but Houston averaged less than 100 yards per game. Stroud, who set the Texans' rookie passing record, often was left carrying the team while still getting acclimated to the pros. 

Mixon should be a safe haven for the young passer in Year 2, much like he was for Burrow en route to a Super Bowl appearance in 2021. He's a do-it-all type player with the ability to catch passes out of the backfield and pick up a fresh set of downs. Since being drafted out of Oklahoma in 2017, Mixon's totaled over 2,00 receiving yards and 14 scores. 

"I think that where I could come in is bringing part of that attitude and getting the guys to come along and being able to make plays and finish the job and get over the hump," said Mixon. "That's what they brought me in for, and I firmly feel like I'll be able to get the job done and make things happen."

Last season, Mixon got to watch Stroud from the opposing sidelines sling it around for 356 yards and a touchdown at PayCor Stadium as Houston secured a 30-27 victory over the Bengals. That was the start of an unforgettable season for Stroud as the franchise secured its first playoff spot in four seasons.

"With the quarterback we've got in C.J., like I said, he's phenomenal, and I know for a fact he's going to make that next jump, and that's in terms of playoff wins," said Mixon. "But obviously we take them one game at a time."

The Texans, who won't pick until the second round after trading away the No. 23 selection to the Minnesota Vikings for multiple picks, are taking things slow. That's how it was for Mixon at the start in Cincinnati before the franchise throttled its way to back-to-back AFC Championship games. 

Before Mixon is off the books — he'll be 31 when he's up for a new deal — he plans to do the same in Houston.

"We bought the city of Cincinnati, we got it back lit again, and I plan on bringing that same thing here," Mixon said. "[Texan] fans, I'm sure -- they got a taste of it last year, but I feel like with what we've got in the making, I think it's going to be a great thing.

"I just can't wait to make the most of my opportunity when my number is called.”