On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT Houston Texans at Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Houston Texans Stampede Tour pres. by Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Stop by Academy Sports + Outdoors (8453 Memorial Blvd., Port Arthur, TX 77640) from 4-5 PM to meet the Houston Texans!

    Stop by for autographs and pictures with:

    FORMER HOUSTON TEXANS LINEBACKER #56 JAY FOREMAN*

    FORMER HOUSTON TEXANS KICK RETURNER #84 JJ MOSES*
    HOUSTON TEXANS CHEERLEADERS
    AND TORO!

    Houston Texans Giveaways!

    Autographs not guaranteed for everyone and signings strictly limited to times listed per appearance. *Celebrities subject to change.

  • Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM CDT Houston Texans at Buffalo Wild Wings

    Houston Texans Stampede Tour pres. by Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Stop by Buffalo Wild Wings (3939 Dowlen Rd., Suite 11, Beaumont, TX 77706) from 8-9 PM to meet the Houston Texans during the first half of the Texans vs. Broncos game!

    Stop by for autographs and pictures with:

    FORMER HOUSTON TEXANS LINEBACKER #56 JAY FOREMAN*

    FORMER HOUSTON TEXANS KICK RETURNER #84 JJ MOSES*
    HOUSTON TEXANS CHEERLEADERS
    AND TORO!


    Houston Texans Giveaways!

    Autographs not guaranteed for everyone and signings strictly limited to times listed per appearance. *Celebrities subject to change.
  • Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 8:00 PM CDT Texans at Broncos The Texans travel to Denver to face off against the Broncos.
  • Sun., Aug. 24, 2014 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT Back To Tailgating The Houston Texans are Back to Football so it’s time for you to get Back to Tailgating at the Academy Sports + Outdoors in Pearland on Sun., Aug. 24 from 3-5 PM. Join the Houston Texans Cheerleaders, Ambassadors, TORO & Deep Steel Thunder for this free event.  Also, get tailgating tips for the 2014 season from former H-E-B Tailgaters of the Year!
  • Tue., Aug. 26, 2014 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM CDT Houston Texans Team Luncheon presented by Amegy Bank of Texas The Houston Texans Team Luncheon presented by Amegy Bank of Texas is Tuesday, August 26 at 12 noon.  It’s your chance to have lunch with the entire Texans team, as well as hear from new head coach Bill O’Brien as we get Back to Football and prepare for the 2014 season. 
  • Thu., Aug. 28, 2014 7:00 PM CDT 49ers at Texans The Texans host the 49ers at NRG Stadium.
  • Sat., Aug. 30, 2014 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM CDT AdvoCare Texas Kickoff

    Celebrate the return of college football with a Big Ten and SEC showdown at NRG Stadium, as the LSU Tigers and Wisconsin Badgers square off in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff on Saturday August 30 at 8pm. Secure yours today by calling 832-667-2390 or at advocare texas kickoff dot com.

  • Sun., Aug. 31, 2014 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT Kickoff at Kemah Boardwalk Join the Houston Texans Cheerleaders, Ambassadors, TORO, and the Battle Ready Band at the Kickoff at Kemah Boardwalk on Sun., Aug. 31 from 1-3 PM. Bring the entire family for autograph signings, live music, & prize giveaways!
  • Sun., Sep. 14, 2014 8:15 AM - 10:30 AM CDT Houston Texans Running of the Bulls 5K Run/Walk presented by H-E-B Houston Texans Running of the Bulls 5K Run and Walk presented by H-E-B is Sunday, September 14 at NRG Park.  The 5K run/walk and TORO's Kids 1K presented by Aramark will both finish on the floor of NRG Stadium, where the post-race party is with the return of pizza and beer! Also, there is a new course for 2014. Secure your spot before Sept. 8 at 5 PM at HoustonTexans.com.
  • Wed., Nov. 12, 2014 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM CST Bulls & Birdies Golf Tournament supported by Bud Light

    Have you ever dreamed of playing a round of golf with the Houston Texans Cheerleaders cheering you on?  Now’s your chance!  Sign up today at HoustonTexans.com for the annual Bulls and Birdies Golf Tournament supported by Bud Light at Wildcat Golf Club on Wednesday, November 12.

News

Print
RSS

RB Dennis Johnson's time to shine

Posted Jul 31, 2013

When running back Dennis Johnson was not selected in this year’s draft, he had some choices to make.

When running back Dennis Johnson was not selected in this year’s draft, he had some choices to make. Despite finishing the 2012 season at Arkansas as the leader in rushing yards (757) and rushing touchdowns (8), Johnson was always overshadowed by the team’s starting back, Knile Davis. Johnson made the most of his opportunities in 2011 when he was named the starter in place of the injured Davis. In 2012, when Davis returned, Johnson’s carries continued to increase until he was named starter once again. When the Texans called him, Johnson said he was hesitant at first but was sure of his decision once he made it.

“I tweeted right after the draft, like about an hour or two after I told the Texans that I wanted to come,” Johnson said Wednesday. “I tweeted. I said, ‘I want to go learn from the best undrafted free agent there is out there, so I came.”

Foster’s is a well-known story of going from undrafted free agent out of Tennessee to three-time Pro Bowler.  His current backup, Ben Tate, finished third last season averaging 4.3 yards per carry with 279 yards on 65 carries, but missed five games due to hamstring and toe injuries. With the departure of Justin Forsett to Jacksonville, the Texans’ second-leading rusher in 2012, Johnson now has a chance for a roster spot behind the Foster/Tate tandem.

While in training camp, Foster has been listed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP)  list with a calf injury he sustained during OTAs this offseason. Foster’s absence and Forsett’s departure have given Johnson an opportunity to shine, but he is fighting for a roster spot with fellow undrafted backs Cierre Wood, and Ray Graham as well as fourth-year veteran Deji Karim. Even Ben Tate is under pressure with this season being his last under contract with the Texans. Competition for the third spot on the running back depth chart is fierce.

“We are in this together when we walk off the field but when you are out here on the field, it’s always competition,” Johnson said of the other running backs. “I have always been in competition ever since I was at Arkansas so I mean, it brings out the good competition in me.”

What has helped Johnson through this offseason is the advice and support of running backs coach Chick Harris. Johnson takes the coach’s advice to heart and is encouraged by it.

“He says he’s liking, keep doing what I’m doing,” said Johnson. “I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and work.”

Work includes looking to the veterans on the team for advice. Johnson is watching and learning what to do on the field as well as off of it from both Foster and Tate.

“Arian and Ben Tate are some good leaders of the running back group,” Johnson said. “I mean, they are out here working. I watch how they work and how they conduct themselves. They have fun but they are about business and they teach. When you don’t know something, they tell you. They’ll help you out.”

What many may not know about Johnson is his collegiate success as an elite kickoff specialist. Johnson holds the SEC conference record for most kickoff returns (119) and kickoff return yardage (2,784). In Texans training camp, it comes as no surprise that Johnson participates in kickoff returns during special teams drills.

“The young kid from Arkansas has really stood out,” head coach Gary Kubiak said after practice Tuesday. “He’s done some good stuff, special teams wise too.”

At 5-7 and 193 pounds, the 23-year old Johnson says he brings speed and toughness to the running game.  A self-proclaimed physical player, Johnson laughed when asked if his size had ever been a challenge in his style of play.

“I don’t think my size is the biggest challenge because I have been this size all my life, so I got this far with it,” he said good-naturedly.  “It’s just me being focused and coming out here every day prepared.”

Twitter.com/DeepSlant

Recent News

Content on HoustonTexans.com does not necessarily represent the views of the Houston Texans front office staff, coaches or executives.