It didn’t take long for former Florida running back Dameon Pierce to make an impression with his new team.
The fourth-round managed to get his helmet knocked off during team portions of rookie minicamp Friday at the fields outside Houston Methodist Training Center. Pierce bulled his way into the end zone nevertheless for a score.
For coach Lovie Smith, the effort and result is what the club expected when they drafted Pierce.
“We drafted Dameon in mind with having a guy that can get yards in between the tackles,” said Smith. “He is a tough football player, confident football player. We feel like we have a role for him. You can’t ever have too many good running backs. I think as you look at our running back position, they all bring something a little bit different, little bit unique to the position. ”
The job before offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and running backs coach Danny Barrett is to evaluate how to divvy up the carries between former Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead, who had the Texans’ only 100-yard rushing game last season. Also vying for playing time are veterans such as Royce Freeman.
“I know Pep, Danny Barrett, the rest of our offensive staff are looking forward to seeing how that all plays out,” said Smith. “All the guys pretty much that we have in our group have had their moments carrying the football. Can’t wait to get to OTAs coming up and then training camp. ”
The Texans’ drafting of Pierce demonstrates a commitment to get younger at the position with a valuable pick. The last time the Texans took a running back in the fourth round or higher was in 2017 with the third-round selection of former Texas running back D’Onta Foreman, who played high school football at nearby Texas City.