Nov 23, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Alfred Blue (28) warms up before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The running game
Last week Alfred Blue looked like a man possessed. With nine rushes for 59 yards he was out to prove that he is the running back to beat for the starting spot until injured star Arian Foster returns from groin surgery.
Back up running backs Jonathan Grimes and Chris Polk failed to impress much at all, and rookie Kenny Hilliard had several shots and with the exception of one 12 yard gash, he looked rather pedestrian.
All the guys had a shot near the goal line at one point and were stuffed bad. This series was featured in the latest episode of “Hard Knocks” and the coaching staff was not happy with the lack of push by the offensive line and the lack of vision by the backs.
Polk felt like a dark horse candidate to win the starting job to me, but after last week this looks like Blue is not just the lead back but that he is far and away the best option for the team right now.
The sixth round pick from 2014 out of LSU was rumored to have put in a lot of work this offseason to become a more complete back for the Texans. So far in the small sample size he has offered up, the returns on that work look great.
The best case scenario for the Texans still is to see some of the guys behind Blue make an even better impression. Hopefully Grimes and Polk can show up more than they did last week and it would be nice to see Hilliard use that nearly 230 pound frame better in tight spaces like the goal line carries.
Next: Offensive line depth