Houston Texans: Taking a closer look at the offensive depth chart

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in huddle (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in huddle (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
4 of 6
Houston Texans
Houston Texans running back David Johnson (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

Running back

Let me get this straight because I don’t think I have gotten this point down in any of my articles since the Hopkins’ trade.

I am not rooting for David Johnson to fail just to show how idiotic the Hopkins’ trade was. I do not hate David Johnson at all despite the numerous amount of times I have referred to the return in the D’Hop trade as a “moldy sandwich.” In fact, I am a great fan of the experience and skill-set he can bring to this Houston Texans offense. I hope David Johnson proves me wrong about the trade and has a great year.

It’s just due to certain “circumstances” that I didn’t welcome him with open arms.

For starters, in my mind, 28 is old for a running back. I can thank Arian Foster for this opinion, for his last good year with the Texans, for his standards back then, was when he was 28 years old. The difference between these two is that Foster had four good years by the time he was 29, while David Johnson has only had one great year, two decent years until this current moment. Somebody is probably saying that “David Johnson could’ve had more good years if he didn’t have those injuries and lose his starting job.” But doesn’t that say something in itself?

David Johnson is a good receiving back who is shifty and is a decent blocker. My only issue is that we kinda already have a running back who plays JUST like that. Literally, they are so similar that even their names aren’t that far off from each other. David Johnson and Duke Johnson. Somebody could argue that they are fraternal twins who were separated at birth. If the Texans were looking for a running back that could catch, run and block, I think it’s kind of funny that it cost us our top WR when we already had a running back could already do all three of those things.

Now, does Duke Johnson do it all as well as David Johnson can? That is debatable, but Duke Johnson did average 4.9 yards per rushing attempt and 9.3 yards per catch. These numbers are pretty high, but it could also be due to the opinion that Duke Johnson was underutilized last season. People could say the same for David Johnson last season as well, so it’s all debatable.

In my mind, David Johnson wasn’t really needed. However, he is here now, so we now have two RB’s with the same skill set and very similar names. They can both catch, run, and block, and several people have claimed that if you put both D. Johnsons on the field at the same time, then it will be tougher for the defense because they will mix up who to guard and collapse.

However, I’m pretty sure that defenses will just remember the jersey number, making that idea pretty useless, but who knows. It may be not such a bad thing to have two RBs who can do similar things but only time will tell.

If this Houston Texans team does decide to pick up a 3rd running back before the season starts, other than Buddy Howell and Karan Higdon, I’d roll the dice on Devonta Freeman if he agrees to a small short-term deal. Lamar Miller is still available if need be, but he would be exactly what the first two running backs bring. We would need the third RB to be more of a power type runner.