Houston Texans News: Tim Kelly can open up offense with running backs

Tim Kelly Houston Texans (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
Tim Kelly Houston Texans (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans news for 2020 is having a better overall offense.

This past week, the Houston Texans news media spoke with new offensive coordinator Tim Kelly about a variety of topics when it comes to the 2020 team. Kelly has been on the coaching staff as of late, but this will be the first year as a play-calling offensive coordinator, and that will make a difference for this franchise.

The Texans are on the verge with their current offense to be a big surprise or a big letdown as they no longer have DeAndre Hopkins or Carlos Hyde on their roster, but they now have a wide receiver group of Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, Randall Cobb, and others who could all combine to make the Texans offense a solid group.

Of course, the Texans have an offensive line that is back and only going to improve, plus there is quarterback Deshaun Watson who is one of the very best at his position in the league. What about the running backs? What will be the Houston Texans news for that group of players who will have to be difference makers for the Texans in ’20?

Houston Texans News: Tim Kelly on the running backs

Tim Kelly was asked in the recent Texans news video press conference about having running backs such a David Johnson and Duke Johnson and their abilities to not only carry the football, but their abilities to catch passes out of the backfield. Kelly had the following response to the question at the Texans news video conference:

"“I think it opens up the play calling, obviously. You’re not limited by a guy’s ability to only run the ball or only catch the ball. 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.”"

The running backs have the potential to be a very special pairing if the Texans use them the right way. If David Johnson can just be 75 percent of the player he was a few seasons ago with the Arizona Cardinals, that will mean he’s a very dangerous player for the Texans to have.

Johnson’s very best season with the Cardinals in 2016 saw him dominate the league with 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing on 293 carries, but just as impressive was he caught 80 receptions for 879 yards and four touchdowns that season. It will be very tough for Johnson to be that player ever again as it was four seasons ago, but he still has the opportunity in front of him to be a productive player.

Even last season with Arizona — before he was benched for Kenyon Drake — Johnson totaled 94 carries for 345 yards with two touchdowns and had 36 receptions for 379 yards and four touchdowns. Johnson is going to have to do better than his 3.7 yards per carry he had last year, but he did average 10.3 yards per reception, which is near his career average of 10.7 ypr.

Duke Johnson has a lot of untapped ability too that the Texans didn’t use last season. Johnson averages 4.4 yards per carry in five NFL seasons on 382 career carries, has seven career rushing scores, and receiving he’s collected 279 receptions for 2,580 yards receiving with 11 touchdowns, all while averaging 9.2 yards per reception.

In his first season with the Texans in 2019, Duke Johnson rushed 83 times for 410 yards with two touchdowns. He also had 44 receptions for 410 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 9.3 ypr.

All in all with Kelly at the helm of the offense and making all of the play calls, this will be a nice transition from the Texans having head coach Bill O’Brien making all of the play calling choices in each and every game.

The running backs the Texans have are set to surprise many teams and fans this upcoming season, as both David Johnson and Duke Johnson are underrated players at their position. Add that with the offensive line being better than in recent memory, and the offense of the Texans can stay in games, and possibly take over some contests, too.

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The Texans news for 2020 could be one of surprise as this group is set to have a spark with the Johnson running back duo, and Kelly knows what he has in those two players with their rushing and pass catching abilities.