Dare Ogunbowale turned some heads on Sunday afternoon.
On the Texans final drive of the game in Las Vegas, the veteran running back ran once for an 8-yard gain and caught five passes for 54 yards. Prior to Sunday's loss to the Raiders, Ogunbowale had contributed exclusively on special teams. But after what he did yesterday, Texans Head Coach Lovie Smith said the 6th-year pro might play a bit more on offense.
"What we did see was production from Dare," Smith said. "He's been waiting patiently for an opportunity, and he got it yesterday. He had some flash plays that caught all of our attention."
Ogunbowale has been one of the key contributors on special teams this season for Houston. He logged another tackle on a second quarter kickoff Sunday, dropping return man D.J. Turner at the Oakland 18-yard line. It was his fifth special teams stop of the season. Whether he's screaming down the field hitting return men, or catching the ball out of the backfield, Ogunbowale said his mindset remains the same.
"Whatever my role is I'm going to go out there and make plays when they ask me to," Ogunbowale said. "Any time you get a chance to play in the league, it's a blessing. Being out there, getting a chance to make plays with my teammates is always fun."
Quarterback Davis Mills went often to Ogunbowale on the Texans final drive, and despite the 38-20 loss, Smith liked what he saw.
"We believe, and we go on what we see out there once a player gets an opportunity for a few more carries, and he took advantage of his yesterday," Smith said.
For Ogunbowale, he'll keep on getting ready for gamedays the same way he said he and fellow running backs Dameon Pierce and Rex Burkhead have all season.
"I prepare as if I'm the starter," Ogunbowale said. "Me, Rex and D.P. prepare as if we're the starters, so there's nothing different about that. I was just ready for when they gave me a chance to play."
The next chance for the Texans to play is Sunday inside NRG Stadium. They'll host AFC South rival Tennessee.