Devin Singletary is quietly, steadily leaving a mark in his first season as a Houston Texans running back.
While the overall running game remains a work in progress, the Texans at least know they can rely on Singletary to handle the ball, and not just between the tackles.
Remember his touchdown pass to tight end Dalton Schultz in Week 4 to extend the Texans' fourth quarter lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then most recently, Singletary made the instinctive decision to pitch a lateral to C.J. Stroud, who then ran up the sideline for 10 yards.
The pass to Schultz was part of a designed trick play. The improvised pitch to Stroud was not.
Designed plays are cool, too. But there is something about backyard football that appeals to this team, especially Singletary.
"Growing up, we used to get in a lot of trouble for doing that, playing backyard football," Singletary said. "Coaches used to be mad at us like we're going harder in backyard football than we do on the field, but that's just the kid coming out of you."
Singletary is now 26 years old, but he still relies on his upbringing in Deerfield Beach, Florida, just outside of Miami. That's where he inherited his nickname, "Motor," from his father. That's where he learned about struggle, how to always stay humble and hungry.
With Dameon Pierce injured in the last game and the Texans looking for a spark in their running game, Singletary has steadily watched his workload increase.
"For me, I feel like it's been going well," Singletary. "I've been a starter in the league, so I've been here for. As far as the run game, it's going to take time. We've just got to take it one week at a time. We're going to find a way to get it going the way we want it.
Off the field, Singletary is pretty relaxed. When it's time to get away from football, he mostly enjoys spending time with family and saltwater fishing, though he still has not dug into the saltwater scene in Southeast Texas.
His favorite cheat meal is steak and sweet potato casserole, the best of which comes from his grandmother back in Florida.
It is also common to find Singletary intensely focused on a Connect Four board game with his teammates in the locker room. He said they do it mostly to keep their eyes and minds sharp, but it's also their competitive nature to take all games seriously.
As far as how he views the potential of this 4-4 Texans team, even as the running game finds its way:
"We've got great potential," Singletary said. "Who knows, sky's the limit, we've just got to take it week by week. Everything we want is still in front of us. Let's see how it plays out."