Steve Slaton (Getty Images)
Before any team starts a season, there are always a handful of questions to answer. How will the quarterback play be? Will your top players stay injury free? Does your team have enough depth to overcome injuries?
There is seemingly an endless list of questions that coaches, fans and journalists alike will have about every team before a season begins. Usually, the more times you say “yes” the better. What really instills confidence though is when there aren’t even questions to answer.
The Texans have some questions, like any team in the NFL, but the questions this season appear to revolve more around health than talent, as Houston seems fit to compete. To further analyze how confident fans should be of the team, we’ll take a look at each position’s positives, lingering questions, and how the position should perform. We will follow this with an overall confidence level, running from 0-10, 10 being the highest.
Pressing Question: Will Steve Slaton be able to build on a phenomenal rookie campaign or will he fall into a sophomore slump?
Breakdown: Slaton was arguably the most impressive rookie running back in the league last year, which is saying a lot. Combining quickness, power, and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, Slaton accumulated over 1,600 yards from scrimmage. With Ahman Green and Darius Walker gone, Ryan Moats will likely see some time as a backup. A third-round pick in 2005, Moats has had injury problems through his career but he might be a nice compliment to Slaton. Chris Brown was a productive back at Tennessee and was picked up last year in free agency. He should supply decent depth. Vonta Leach was retained by the Texans and is one of the better blocking fullbacks in the NFL.
The Big If? If Slaton can remain healthy and efficient more most of the season, the team will have a solid running game to compliment a potentially dynamic passing attack.
Our Call: We’re split as to whether Slaton will hit a sophomore slump or not. Even if he isn’t as consistent as he was last year, he still has many layers to his game and should enable him to be productive behind a talented line. There is some depth behind him too, so that should keep the youngster fresh as the season goes forward.
Confidence Level: 7