(SportsRadio 610) - If the Texans offense is going to get rolling, it will have to get more out of running back Dameon Pierce than his 11 carries for 38 yards in the season-opener against the Baltimore Ravens.
Pierce is arguably the Texans' best offensive weapon. It also helps a rookie quarterback, play-caller and head coach to have an effective rushing attack in trying to manage the game.
Texans first-year offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik acknowledged Thursday he wanted to stick with the run longer against Baltimore, but he got away from it toward the end of the game.
"DP (Pierce) should touch the ball more than he did," Slowik said. "We all want to see Dameon run."
The Texans want their core identity to be one that runs the ball effectively, which opens up more downfield. They face challenges early in the season with a banged up offensive line, missing three projected starters for at least the first four weeks.
Still, it is on Slowik to find a way to involve Pierce, a violent downhill back with the ability to break tackles and make defenders miss.
"That was a tough challenge last week," Slowik said. "They've got really good interior defensive line players. They've got really good linebackers. We still had some opportunities in the run game. ...
"We couldn't really always get it going. Sometimes it was a play-call issue on my part. Sometimes it was an issue as far as just executing, self-inflicted wounds stuff. So again, we'll clean that this week."
Another adjustment for the Texans offense is being without wide receiver Noah Brown, who was placed on the injured reserve this week. It means more snaps for rookie Tank Dell, the electric 5'8, 165-pound receiver they drafted in the third round this year from the University of Houston.
Dell had just three catches for 34 yards on four targets in the season-opener at Baltimore. Due to attrition, he will factor more into Houston's game plan for the home-opener Sunday against the Colts.
"Tank will always have his opportunities every week he's available," Slowik said. "He'll be in. He grinds. He does everything. He does (special) teams. So he'll definitely be a factor."