Dameon Pierce made himself a well-known commodity amid a stellar rookie season in 2022, and the Texans running back is expecting a productive follow-up by virtue of Houston's rookie offensive coordinator in 2023.
Bobby Slowik was brought along by new Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans from San Francisco, where he was heavily involved in Kyle Shanahan's highly efficient offensive scheme the past few years.
Pierce, who described Slowik's offense as "running back friendly" at OTAs, has been studying 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey in preparation for being utilized more frequently through the air.
"Oh, the more ways I can get the ball, the better, baby. I love that. I love that," Pierce said Tuesday. "But, I've got a lot of great guys to look at. Most recently, probably Christian McCaffrey. He thrived last year in the league, in his offense he's just getting out of the backfield, getting in the flat, catching hitches or whatever the case may be. There's multiple ways to get a running back the ball."
McCaffrey "exemplifies" Slowik's offense because of his ability to run routes out of the backfield, according to Pierce. Acquired by the Niners midway through last season, McCaffrey caught 52 balls for 464 yards and four touchdowns while adding 746 rushing yards and six more scores in 11 total games.
Pierce generated only 30 receptions for 164 yards and one TD last season through the air. Adding a passing threat to his bruising running style, which garnered 939 rushing yards in 13 games played, would make the 23-year-old all that more dangerous out of the backfield.
"I like the dynamic that coach Slo brings," Pierce said. "He likes to attack the defense in every way possible. If he sees a weakness, he's going to pull that thread until the whole ball of yarn comes loose. He's going to pick at the defense, he's going to put the defense in positions where they have to think, and not where they can react. He likes a lot of movement, he likes a lot of motions, he likes putting us out, you know what I'm saying?"
While it remains to be seen who will be throwing to Pierce as Davis Mills and rookie C.J. Stroud prepare for a training camp battle, Pierce is preparing himself to become a quarterback's best friend in Year 2.
"Dameon has been consistent all offseason," Ryans said Tuesday. "He's been here every day, he's been upbeat. He brings tremendous energy -- not only to our offense, but to our entire team. Always has a smile on his face, always working hard, improving on the little things that he has to work on. I'm excited for the season that he will have ahead of him."