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Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans: Dameon Pierce, Joe Mixon can be 'one-two punch' in Houston

The Houston Texans made a few blockbuster moves this offseason after a surprising 2023 season.

Houston traded for wide receiver Stefon Diggs and running back Joe Mixon and signed pass rusher Danielle Hunter for a historic offseason. Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans expects running back Dameon Pierce to have a "really productive" season despite Mixon's addition to the roster.

"What I have seen from Dameon this offseason is a guy who has put in the work," Ryans said this week, via the Houston Chronicle. "I see Dameon having a very clear headspace as we are out working, and I think that will allow him to have a really productive year this year. He has everything it takes to be a really good running back for us and I think him and Joe as a one-two punch would be very beneficial for us all."

In 2023, Pierce struggled in offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik's scheme. Pierce started the first seven games of the season but suffered an ankle injury that caused him to be inactive for three games. When Pierce returned to action, he fell in the depth chart as Devin Singletary emerged and remained the starter for the rest of the season.

Pierce finished his sophomore season with 145 carries for 416 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 14 games.

Ryans hopes Mixon's play style fits the Texans well, and with Singletary heading to the New York Giants in free agency, adding a veteran like Mixon made sense. Mixon is fresh off a 1,000-yard rushing season, and Ryans envisions Pierce as a perfect back to pair next to the former Bengal. Since 2021, Mixon has had 29 rushing touchdowns, which ranks third among RBs in that span, according to NFL Research.

As Pierce enters his second season under Slowik's offense, Houston hopes the extra reps in practice pay dividends heading into training camp. With OTAs wrapping up at the end of May, Ryans has faith that Pierce can create a dynamic "one-two punch" with Mixon for the 2024 season.

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