"I think he's earned a right to get some reps with that first group," said Texans head coach Gary Kubiak. "We're going to probably go three quarters this week with our first group. Going against this team this week is as good as there is in the league, personnel-wise. So, yeah, he'll definitely become part of that."
Slaton commented about what he can give the team as a potential starting running back--
"Just a lot of speed. I think that's the biggest asset of my game, and that's what I bring to the table."
Everyone was aware of Slaton's game-breaking speed when the Texans selected him in the third-round, but the rookie from West Virginia
has shown an ability to run in between the tackles. With Ahman Green
injuring his groin, and Chris Taylor
looking like a player that may be better suited for the fullback position, Slaton certainly has an opportunity to make his mark. Gary Kubiak spoke about Taylor—
"I thought Chris did some good things. I thought vision-wise, running, a couple of times he could have been better. That comes with reps. Will he get some fullback? Let's just say, I know that Chris can play both. Until we get to that final roster decision day, whether we keep two fullbacks or one fullback or whether we count on Chris being a fullback all the way, that decision is probably going to be made off special teams, to be honest with you, and what goes on elsewhere. I just think we need to keep working Chris where he is at. He is always going to get a few reps at fullback but he needs to step up his game on special teams too, he needs to help this team and help (special teams coach) Joe (Marciano) on special teams. He needs continued improvement."
With the Texans passing game seemingly hitting its stride even without Andre Johnson
, teams will likely be forced to drop men in coverage which will open up the running game for a guy like Slaton.
"(Running back Steve) Slaton, starting with him, he played pretty darn well," Kubiak told reporters. "He's a player that's getting continuously better every time we go out. He's a much better player this week than he was last week. He was better in protections. There are still some mistakes that concern you the closer you get to the season, but it's obviously he can be a big help to us offensively."
Slaton has improved his game greatly since the beginning of training camp, especially as a run-blocker.
"I think I've gotten a lot better," Slaton said. "I've spent some time trying to work on what the coaches have been telling me about like the blitzes and everything. I think I'm doing a lot better."
The Texans were one-dimensional last season as they finished 22nd in the NFL in rushing, mainly due to the injuries to Ahman Green. With Steve Slaton
in the backfield, the Texans will likely be much more balanced, and that is one of the characteristics of a playoff team.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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Rookie running back Steve Slaton led all Texans rushers Saturday night in their 31-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Slaton ran inside and outside to the tune of 57 yards on 13 carries including a 12-yard touchdown run, and his impressive performance could yield him some more touches, especially earlier in games.
His impressive performance could yield him some more touches, especially earlier in games.