Houston Texans rookie running back Dameon Pierce proved in the preseason that he is a starting caliber back.
For Houston sports fans, the validation was in the preseason finale when Pierce was instrumental in helping the offense cap off an 11-play, 85-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
The only question was why the Texans didn’t saddle up Pierce as the starting running back sooner, especially since the only competition the rookie had was Rex Burkhead, Royce Freeman, and Marlon Mack.
According to offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, who met with reporters Sept. 8, the Texans wanted to see more from Pierce.
“We just felt it was a process for him to really just work on and be able to play without the ball,” Hamilton said. “Ultimately, you have guys that come out of college football that are good runners but the transition is pretty much dictated by their ability to protect the quarterback as well as staying on the field, and being able to give us tough yards for four quarters.”
Pierce will get the start as the Texans take on the Indianapolis Colts Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Central Time at NRG Stadium.