The Texans backfield will look differently in 2020 than it did in 2019.
David Johnson joins Duke Johnson to give the Texans a tandem of backs that are capable of running and catching the ball effectively. That has offensive coordinator Tim Kelly excited about the upcoming season.
"I think it opens up the play calling, obviously," Kelly said. "You're not limited by a guy's ability to only run the ball or only catch the ball."
For their careers, David Johnson and Duke Johnson have averaged 10.7 and 9.2 yards per catch, respectively. Both entered the NFL in 2015, and according to Kelly, they give the Texans offense a new dimension that didn't previously exist.
"When you have guys that are versatile and are both a vital running threat and a good receiving threat, it allows you to open up and be creative and find different ways to get guys the ball in space and do some good things," Kelly said. "So, yeah, we're excited to have both of those guys back there."
Both Johnsons came to the Texans via trade. Duke Johnson arrived in early August from Cleveland, while David Johnson was dealt to the Texans in March. Getting extra time to learn the playbook should benefit the Texans greatly. Last year, Carlos Hyde joined the squad just a week before the first regular season game. Now, both the Texans primary backs will have an entire offseason in the system.
"Especially with Duke, this is the first offseason that Duke's gone through," Kelly said. "So, a lot of this stuff that we're covering right now, it's the first time they're really being able to kind of hear it in depth and it's really, really good."
Kelly, the Johnsons and the Texans continue to work in a virtual offseason program.