Dameon Pierce's brain is impressing his teammates as much as his brawn.
The violent running style, willingness as a blocker in pass protection, and productivity as a pass-catcher out of the backfield were all attractive parts of Pierce's game. They prompted the Texans to draft the Florida running back in the fourth round of this year's NFL Draft.
But the rookie's questions have made a big impression on a veteran teammate one week into training camp.
"He's come up to me on little details, which is huge," 10-year veteran Running Back Rex Burkhead said. "Usually if you're getting questioned about the big things, it's like, 'Okay, yeah. There's that.' But when you're asking some small details on routes and just run techniques or whatever, that's when you know someone is really locking in and picking it up quickly."
Pierce, Burkhead and the Texans put the pads on for Monday's practice, and as he's done throughout his short time in Houston, the rookie's acquitted himself well.
"Yeah, he's done a great job," Burkhead said. "He's really trying to learn as quickly as he can."
In all, Burkhead used 150 words to praise the young ball-carrier. It took Pro Bowl Offensive Lineman Laremy Tunsil just one, when asked about Pierce.
Head Coach Lovie Smith wound up in between those two in describing Pierce. The first-year back out of Florida, who the Texans chose in the fourth round of the NFL Draft this April, might figure into the special teams as well. Smith likes what he's seen so far from the "tough guy" rookie.
"He can run in between tackles and can make you miss a little bit in the open field," Smith said.
Pierce is in the mix with Burkhead, Marlon Mack and several other running backs this camp.
They'll continue with practice on Tuesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center.