HOUSTON — Carlos Hyde hasn’t been in Houston for a very long, but the running back is getting a crash course in the Texans’ offense after he was traded by the Chiefs last Saturday.
Luckily he has a translator to help him out.
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Running back Duke Johnson — who is also relatively new to the Texans, as he was traded from the Browns on Aug. 8 — played with Hyde in Cleveland for six games last season and has been helping him learn the new terminology in Houston.
“I’m just trying to get him acclimated and compare things back to when we were in Cleveland,” Johnson said. “Plays we had, calls we had, just trying to put them on the same level.
“But Carlos is a professional, and he’s a smart player. A lot of things that he’s doing now, he can do it in his sleep. It’s just different terminology, but it’s the same thing.”
Hyde is on his fourth team in two seasons. He said the biggest challenge has been just “erasing all of the information I learned in the past six months in Kansas City,” but that he is getting “comfortable” in the Texans’ offense.
“It’s like two different offenses, but I’ve been doing pretty good though, picking things up,” Hyde said. “Good thing that the offense is not too crazy here. It’s been easy for me to learn and catch on pretty quick.”
Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson were teammates with the Browns in the first half of last season, before Hyde was traded to Jacksonville. Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports
After trading for Johnson at the start of the preseason, the Texans were hoping his strength in the passing game would complement what starting running back Lamar Miller can do. But after Miller tore his ACL in the third preseason game, the Texans needed to add a veteran back. O’Brien cautioned that the Texans weren’t trying to replace Miller with Hyde, but “we’re just trying to add depth to that position and we think Carlos can possibly do that.”
While the duo will likely split the carries as the season goes on, Johnson should get the majority of the touches in Week 1 against the Saints. If the Texans trail early on Monday night, Johnson should be even more involved in the passing game.
Johnson has not missed a game in his four NFL seasons and has had at least 47 catches each year. After Miller’s injury, his workload is expected to increase.
“I’ve always been ready, especially mentally,” Johnson said. “Physically, I guess we’ll find out.”
Hyde, who has now been traded twice in the last year, feels he’s “got a lot to prove” in Houston.
“I’m definitely coming in with a chip on my shoulder,” Hyde said. “I’ve been traded twice, so things haven’t been going the way I wanted. So I’m in a fresh start right now, and I’ve got the opportunity to change a lot of people’s minds. So I’m ready to go.”