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By Mark Lane

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.

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Dive Deeper:
Why rookie RB Dameon Pierce will be the Texans’ three-down weapon
Touchdown Wire's Laurie Fitzpatrick goes to the film to show why Dameon Pierce is the Texans' future three-down back.
Texans to sign former Stanford DL Thomas Booker
The Houston Texans have signed another one of their 2022 NFL draft class in former Stanford DL Thomas Booker.
Bob Wojnowski: Schedule is out, and predicting Lions’ record is trickier than usual
It was a reflective moment, a couple days after the Lions finished a draft that was widely praised. Dan Campbell…
Texans sign LSU CB Derek Stingley
The Houston Texans have signed former LSU cornerback Derek Stingley to a four-year contract worth $34.6 million.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Chargers 2022 schedule: Ranking Los Angeles’ opponents
Here’s a look at the Chargers' opponents, ranked from easiest to most challenging to gear you up for the new…
3 of Cardinals’ Day 3 picks sign rookie deals
Sixth-round picks Keaontay Ingram and Lecitus Smith and seventh-round pick Jessee Luketa all signed their rookie deals.
Get all your news in one place