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D’Onta Foreman “light-years ahead” of last year

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The Texans have had plenty of success under Bill O'Brien, but Mike Florio and Chris Simms believe Houston needs to take the next step in 2019 and win in the playoffs.

The Texans could have used D’Onta Foreman last season. They plan to use him a lot this season.

Foreman spent 2018 rehabbing from an Achilles’ tear, playing only one game and getting only nine touches. He’s healthy now, so the Texans expect to get the best version of Foreman.

“He’s light-years ahead of where he was last year at this time, coming off the injury and everything,” Texans running backs coach Danny Barrett said last month, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I still think he’s continuing to work hard. I think he’s had a good offseason to date. The time away from here, I thought was well spent for himself. Getting ready to go physically, and I think mentally, right now, is what I look at is each and every day.

“Being consistent mentally as far as being locked in to what we’re trying to do and improve on the little things and trying to get back to that form in which we saw prior to me coming into here, which was the 2017 season, his first year.”

Foreman complemented Lamar Miller as a rookie, getting 84 touches for 410 yards and two touchdowns before his season-ending injury. The Texans didn’t address the position in the offseason and lost Alfred Blue to Jacksonville.

So the Texans need Foreman to stay healthy to back up Miller.

“You have an experienced back and you have a young back,” Barrett said. “They can feed off of each other. I just think D’Onta -- again, being the younger back, having a year off has kind of helped his body but also given him a hunger to get back out there.

“So I think they’ll complement each other well. We don’t have to change up what we’re doing. They both can catch out of the backfield as well.”