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D-Line outlook, "starting" RB, rookie updates | Dear Drew

Got a question about the Texans? Life in general? Drew Dougherty's your guy. He's been with the Texans since 2009 and is chock full of meaningful, as well as generally useless, information. Fire away by clicking here.

Nathan Pastrano: Dear Drew, The Texans had 14 combined sacks during the preseason. Do you think the d-line will be just as consistent as they were during the preseason?
DD: I do. While I'm not sure the sacks total will match what they did in August, I definitely think you'll see consistently good play, and a good level of pressure on the quarterback. Think about it: we only saw Jerry Hughes play in the first half of the finale against the 49ers, and he seemed to be in the backfield the entire time. We also didn't see much of Interior Defensive Lineman Maliek Colllins or veteran Mario Addison, and they'll figure prominently into what Head Coach Lovie Smith wants to do up front. And I haven't even mentioned Jonathan Greenard, who led this team in sacks last season, and is now healthy. There are several other pieces around those players who I didn't mention, and I'm very bullish on what lies ahead in 2022 with the defensive front. It's talented, frisky, deep and poised to improve over last season.

Stacy Binkley: Dear Drew, Who is the starting running back for this year?
DD: Smith and General Manager Nick Caserio haven't officially said it, but all signs point to rookie Dameon Pierce being the starter. He was clearly the most productive and electrifying runner during the preseason slate, averaging just under eight yards per carry. Smith has said repeatedly the Texans will be a "running team", and they'll be tougher. Pierce fits the bill with that, and will likely be the starter. Rex Burkhead and Dare Ogunbowale were the other two backs on the 53-man roster, and veteran Marlon Mack is on the practice squad.

Justin Storey: Dear Drew, What have you seen from Kenyon Green so far?
DD: The little we saw of him was promising. Against the 49ers, he pancaked a guy on one of his first snaps, and was able to move around and get into the defense and pick up linebackers to block. He was limited in camp and didn't play in the first two preseason games. But you can see why the Texans took him 15th overall in the NFL Draft. Along the lines of the answer above, if the Texans do indeed wind up being a tougher, running team, Green will likely be an important part of that.

Leonard Cook: Dear Drew, Do you see the Texans picking up another RB?
DD: Yes. I don't know exactly when, but I could see it happening. With Pierce, Burkhead and Ogunbowale currently on the 53-man roster, and Mack on the practice squad, it wouldn't be surprising to see Houston pluck a back from another practice squad, or sign a back in free agency. Since he arrived over a year ago, Caserio has always stressed the Texans will continuously look to upgrade every position, all the time.

David Hyde: Dear Drew, How is John Metchie, III doing? I know he is going through treatments or soon will be, but does anybody call in or visit with him to see how is doing?
He will be in my prayers for a speedy recovery.

DD: David, it sounds like he's doing well in his fight with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. Metchie actually visited the team on the final day of practice before the preseason game against the 49ers last week. He was in good spirits, and his visit seemed to lift the spirits of his teammates. They were all excited to see him, and the players who met with the media that day all said he looked and sounded good.

James G: Dear Drew, Why did you stop making your Dear Drew Videos? They always brought a smile even when the team wasn't. Are they gone for good or just gone for now?
DD: Thanks for the kind words, James. Glad you liked them. I enjoyed making them. Ultimately, though, enough people weren't watching. So now I answer questions here.

Marcus Penn: Dear Drew, Do think when J.J. Watt retires, he will do a one day contract and retire a Texan?
DD: I like that idea, and certainly think it's a possibility. He was amazing here, and whenever he hangs it up, I could see something like that happening. He's beloved by the organization and the fans.

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