Slaton Snubbed Again

Steve Slaton (Getty Images)

Steve Slaton was overlooked by all 32 NFL teams at least twice during last April's draft, and some teams even passed him up three times. The Texans talented running back had to wait all the way until the 89th pick before his name was called in April, and despite having a superb rookie year, he is still getting overlooked.

When the AFC Pro Bowl roster was announced in mid-December, Steve Slaton's name was mysteriously omitted. The New York Jets' Thomas Jones, Tennessee's Chris Johnson, and Miami's Ronnie Brown were the three initial choices by the combination of coaches, players, and fans.

Thomas Jones selection was a no-brainer, as he led the AFC in rushing yards for a team that was in playoff contention up until the final week of the season. The other selections were somewhat perplexing as Slaton had more yards rushing and more yards from scrimmage than Chris Johnson, who was selected ahead of him, and had more explosive plays. Slaton finished with nearly 400 more rushing yards than Ronnie Brown, and four times as many explosive plays. There's a pretty easy case that can be made for Slaton over both the Titans and Dolphins backs.

"I just think he never stops his speed," Kubiak said of his star rusher who was tops in the AFC with 12 rushes of 20+ yards, and four rushes of 40+ yards. "When he gets in crowds his stature sometimes it gets lost in there. They'll think he's down and he's still moving and our guys keep working up front. That's a sign of a good football team. Everybody knows you have to run, and at the end of the game you still find a way to run it. That's a nice step forward for us."

Still, the Texans back will not be heading to Hawaii with teammates Andre Johnson, Mario Williams, and Owen Daniels. To make matters worse, this week Titans rookie running back Chris Johnson bailed from the Pro Bowl and who else replaced him, none other than the Bills Marshawn Lynch.

To his credit, Lynch had a very good season as he ran for 1036 yards on 250 carries (4.1 ypc.), with eight touchdowns and another 300 yards receiving. Still, those numbers pale in comparison to Steve Slaton's 1282 yards on 268 carries (4.8 ypc.), with nine touchdowns and another 377 yards receiving including one receiving touchdown. Lynch did manage to have one more hit and run automobile accident than Slaton did, so apparently that makes up for his lack of production on the football field.

It's unlikely that any other AFC running backs will pull out of next weekend's Pro Bowl, but if they did, the league would probably opt for sentimental favorite Fred Taylor, or possibly even Sammie Morris, who had a nice year. Slaton will have to take his snubbing with class, again, as he did a little over a month ago and use this as another chip on his shoulder as he did with the 88 players that were chosen ahead of his in last year's draft.

This blatant snubbing is once again proof that the Pro Bowl really doesn't mean much. Still, we at BattleRedNation.com will be covering it.

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