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Texans_Chick
07-22-2008, 09:38 AM
FanHouse is doing their series on training camp battle, about three a day.

I chose to feature the running back battle (http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2008/07/22/texans-training-camp-battle-the-running-back-committee/) because I think it's important to the Texans season and well, people care about it some for fantasy purposes.

Not much new here because it's written for mostly a national audience but some people might get something out of it.

A quick add, apparently the Hashmarks AFC South guy is going to be doing more Texans stuff and mentioned this is a recent post (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/hashmarks/0-8-272/Mailbag--Do-undrafted-rookies-get-paid-in-camp-.html):

Quarterback Matt Schaub told me Friday he thinks all the backs will be interchangeable with what they are doing. I'll write more about that soon.

Brando
07-22-2008, 10:07 AM
Keeping Green and Brown healthy is the key. I think if they stay healthy and the Texans having blocking guru on board we will be scoring a lot of points. A better running game will also keep Schaub healthy, teams can't just focus on the QB. I'm excited about Slaton coming in on 3rd downs.

Hardcore Texan
07-22-2008, 10:08 AM
FanHouse is doing their series on training camp battle, about three a day.

I chose to feature the running back battle (http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2008/07/22/texans-training-camp-battle-the-running-back-committee/) because I think it's important to the Texans season and well, people care about it some for fantasy purposes.

Not much new here because it's written for mostly a national audience but some people might get something out of it.

A quick add, apparently the Hashmarks AFC South guy is going to be doing more Texans stuff and mentioned this is a recent post (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/hashmarks/0-8-272/Mailbag--Do-undrafted-rookies-get-paid-in-camp-.html):


Good read, very good in-depth explanation of our running game, maybe the national audience can get a better idea of what is going on with our team.


Conclusion: I believe that the Texans running game will be improved this year with the addition of Alex Gibbs working with the offense. Kubiak is desperate to get a consistent running game going. However, I also believe that any time you pretty much have a wide open camp competition for an unsettled but key part of your team, that is usually not a good sign for the upcoming year.
Pre-camp, I am guessing that the Texans lineup will be Green, Brown, Slaton, unless either Green or Brown have issues, and then Taylor takes their place. They might keep Taylor and only carry one fullback on the roster.



I really like your conclusion here and feel really good about the bolded statement. I think it will be Green, Brown, Slaton also.....but that's a big maybe with all the injury history we have. The one good thing is we have so many darn RB's that seem at least serviceable, one of them is bound to have a good season behind the ZBS. But which one will it be, it's compelling to me and something I will follow throughout the season. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.

For the money the Texans have invested in him, I really hope Green stays healthy, it would be really awesome to see him have a great year especially since so many have written him off because of age and injury. I am not holding my breath, but it would be great.

Overalls
07-22-2008, 11:46 AM
One thing I have been thinking about our RB situation is this.

I don't think any sane Texans fan would put up the deed to his house betting that they think Both Green and Brown will remain able to start for all 16 games. However as it looks now the toughest part of our season is the first 5 games. I bet alot of people would be willing to put something on the line saying that at least one of them will be able to start those five games. That in itself should give us a better rushing game than we had last season and thus give us a better chance of coming out of those 5 games as 3-2 instead of 2-3. Now if one or both of them remain healthy till further in the season our chances of having a winning season go way up after that point. If one or both of them stay healthy all season I think our chances of the playoffs go up but if they go down towards the later part of the season it will give the kids, like Slayton a chance to watch for awhile before being thrown into the fray.

I don't like our RB situation but I think if Lady Luck shines on our RBs we COULD have one heck of a rushing attack.

badboy
07-22-2008, 12:31 PM
Good read, very good in-depth explanation of our running game, maybe the national audience can get a better idea of what is going on with our team.



I really like your conclusion here and feel really good about the bolded statement. I think it will be Green, Brown, Slaton also.....but that's a big maybe with all the injury history we have. The one good thing is we have so many darn RB's that seem at least serviceable, one of them is bound to have a good season behind the ZBS. But which one will it be, it's compelling to me and something I will follow throughout the season. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.

For the money the Texans have invested in him, I really hope Green stays healthy, it would be really awesome to see him have a great year especially since so many have written him off because of age and injury. I am not holding my breath, but it would be great.It would be interesting to see what this Rb group could do in new system if all remain healthy & do what they have capability of doing. Of course, I could say that about entire team. We need to cut down on QB sacks we give up, turn overs and injured players. Uh, that's for those of you who did not already know that.:headhurts:

nunusguy
07-22-2008, 12:36 PM
I'm 100% in approval of Kubaik & Co. when it comes to their philosophy about
the rushing component of their offense. And I'd say that committment was only reaffirmed with the way they dissed Rashard Mendenhall in this years Draft. Too many other more important priorities, especially when its not at all difficult to find a bevy of good backs to put on the roster. They can all just be, as MS says, interchangeable.

badboy
07-22-2008, 12:51 PM
I'm 100% in approval of Kubaik & Co. when it comes to their philosophy about
the rushing component of their offense. And I'd say that committment was only reaffirmed with the way they dissed Rashard Mendenhall in this years Draft. Too many other more important priorities, especially when its not at all difficult to find a bevy of good backs to put on the roster. They can all just be, as MS says, interchangeable.Yes, but were you not surprised? I was stunned when RM was not chosen and then a trade down? Whoa. Go Smitty, go Smitty. Molden and Slaton? UUGAH!:splits:

TK_Gamer
07-22-2008, 01:03 PM
I think under normal circumstances the Texans would only keep 3 RB's, But considering the importance the FO is putting on the running game (bringing in Gibbs, signing Brown, drafting Slaton) I would not be surprised if we kept 4 RB's and one or 2 on the ps (Slaton/and or Walker). I think they will rotate freely between them based on health and production. I think there is a chance one will emerge on the top of the pile so to speak, but I don't think it will really matter. The end result will be about 2000 yards or more rushing for the team. By last years standards that would put us in the top 8 in the league. They will also be able to better classify the strengths of each runner in different situations so next season they can be even more productive and efficient. Maybe by that time we can pick up a more dependable tandem through FA or the draft.

rmartin65
07-22-2008, 01:15 PM
I think under normal circumstances the Texans would only keep 3 RB's, But considering the importance the FO is putting on the running game (bringing in Gibbs, signing Brown, drafting Slaton) I would not be surprised if we kept 4 RB's and one or 2 on the ps (Slaton/and or Walker)..

Slaton does not go on the PS. Someone would grab him.

Double Barrel
07-22-2008, 01:43 PM
I have no expectations for our running game so I won't be disappointed regardless of what happens.

Goldensilence
07-22-2008, 02:03 PM
I think under normal circumstances the Texans would only keep 3 RB's, But considering the importance the FO is putting on the running game (bringing in Gibbs, signing Brown, drafting Slaton) I would not be surprised if we kept 4 RB's and one or 2 on the ps (Slaton/and or Walker). I think they will rotate freely between them based on health and production. I think there is a chance one will emerge on the top of the pile so to speak, but I don't think it will really matter. The end result will be about 2000 yards or more rushing for the team. By last years standards that would put us in the top 8 in the league. They will also be able to better classify the strengths of each runner in different situations so next season they can be even more productive and efficient. Maybe by that time we can pick up a more dependable tandem through FA or the draft.

Third round backs don't normally get put on the PS especially after signing a deal.

One thing I am thinking on is Brown's running style, how it played in injuries in Tenn and how our running game will also be affected by an efficient passing attack unlike the past few years in Tenn.

I'm not counting on Green for much but unlike the past few years we don't have to default to Ron Dayne. We've got a much better backfield combined now. I just don't see out FO making RB a big time priority after this year when we can see effective results from a combined backfield.

Corrosion
07-22-2008, 02:08 PM
I have no expectations for our running game so I won't be disappointed regardless of what happens.

About the only thing I expect from the Texans running backs spending more time on the trainers table than on the field .....

J-Russ
07-22-2008, 03:10 PM
I have no expectations for our running game so I won't be disappointed regardless of what happens.

For real.

The last two years with Ron Dayne at helm, will destory any expectations and hope you thought you had when Dom. Davis was back there.

Thorn
07-22-2008, 03:16 PM
I can't possibly see how it could get worse.

hmmmmm......perhaps I shouldn't have said that!

:hides:

Overalls
07-22-2008, 03:52 PM
Hard to believe that I long for the DD/W days.

Kaiser Toro
07-22-2008, 04:23 PM
I have never been as excited about our running game as I have been this year. We have bodies & chemistry on the OL, Gibbs, a passing game that is just scratching the surface and a cornucopia of depth at RB with guys having different things to prove.

If a 33 year old Tiki Barber can go for 1600, then why can't an incredibly fit, smart and talented Ahman Green get there? All we are looking for is that one anomaly for a RB on the plus side of 30. I think Green is as good as any cohort in trying to get there just based on talent and drive. If he can hold up, he will be in the mix for an All-Pro consideration. If he can't, then bring in Brown and repeat & stir. :texflag:

Fox
07-22-2008, 04:56 PM
I have never been as excited about our running game as I have been this year. We have bodies & chemistry on the OL, Gibbs, a passing game that is just scratching the surface and a cornucopia of depth at RB with guys having different things to prove.

If a 33 year old Tiki Barber can go for 1600, then why can't an incredibly fit, smart and talented Ahman Green get there? All we are looking for is that one anomaly for a RB on the plus side of 30. I think Green is as good as any cohort in trying to get there just based on talent and drive. If he can hold up, he will be in the mix for an All-Pro consideration. If he can't, then bring in Brown and repeat & stir. :texflag:

You make a good point, I think alot of people have relegated Ahman Green to filler status, just a guy holding the starter's position until the next guy comes along. That's what he will have been to the team if he never gets healthy while he's here, but if he can somehow avoid injury he still has the type of ability and know how to put up some solid numbers.

The Pencil Neck
07-22-2008, 05:57 PM
Hard to believe that I long for the DD/W days.

DD was great while he was healthy. People sometimes just don't realize how great he was.

CloakNNNdagger
07-22-2008, 06:06 PM
DD was great while he was healthy. People sometimes just don't realize how great he was.

He was allowed to run himself to the ground (without early treatment)........until he could run no more.

Silver Oak
07-22-2008, 06:14 PM
I have never been as excited about our running game as I have been this year. We have bodies & chemistry on the OL, Gibbs, a passing game that is just scratching the surface and a cornucopia of depth at RB with guys having different things to prove.

If a 33 year old Tiki Barber can go for 1600, then why can't an incredibly fit, smart and talented Ahman Green get there? All we are looking for is that one anomaly for a RB on the plus side of 30. I think Green is as good as any cohort in trying to get there just based on talent and drive. If he can hold up, he will be in the mix for an All-Pro consideration. If he can't, then bring in Brown and repeat & stir. :texflag:

outside of the NSZ, you and I see eye to eye on Texans football.

:texflag:

Double Barrel
07-22-2008, 06:18 PM
I have never been as excited about our running game as I have been this year. We have bodies & chemistry on the OL, Gibbs, a passing game that is just scratching the surface and a cornucopia of depth at RB with guys having different things to prove.

If a 33 year old Tiki Barber can go for 1600, then why can't an incredibly fit, smart and talented Ahman Green get there? All we are looking for is that one anomaly for a RB on the plus side of 30. I think Green is as good as any cohort in trying to get there just based on talent and drive. If he can hold up, he will be in the mix for an All-Pro consideration. If he can't, then bring in Brown and repeat & stir. :texflag:

Your unbridled optimism is commendable, without a doubt. :thumbup

I'm just in a wait-and-see mode at the moment, because we have so many aspects of the running game to work out. We have not had any positive confirmation that any of them will be successful at this point, so my cynicism is grounded in the reality that the proof is in the pudding.

aj.
07-22-2008, 06:43 PM
The possibility of having to cobble together one player-season from Green and Brown excites me to no end.

Kaiser Toro
07-22-2008, 08:28 PM
The possibility of having to cobble together one player-season from Green and Brown excites me to no end.

Tis' the season to be optimistic. Just as I have been accused of being overtly critical, I do enjoy the homer side of things every once in a while. In the context of the Texans history, this cobble job is the best talent we have had in the backfield in my opinion.

barrett
07-22-2008, 08:44 PM
I have never been as excited about our running game as I have been this year. We have bodies & chemistry on the OL, Gibbs, a passing game that is just scratching the surface and a cornucopia of depth at RB with guys having different things to prove.

If a 33 year old Tiki Barber can go for 1600, then why can't an incredibly fit, smart and talented Ahman Green get there? All we are looking for is that one anomaly for a RB on the plus side of 30. I think Green is as good as any cohort in trying to get there just based on talent and drive. If he can hold up, he will be in the mix for an All-Pro consideration. If he can't, then bring in Brown and repeat & stir. :texflag:


great quote. rep.

aj.
07-22-2008, 08:50 PM
... this cobble job is the best talent we have had in the backfield in my opinion.

Pretty sad testimony...

I'm optimistic about the team, as I was last year, but I can't wait until we have a feature RB +1. Right now we have two 0.5's and a hi-po 3rd down guy. Slow improvement. They'll get there.

I realize Alex Gibbs farts excellence but whether AG can make it through 50 tackles without getting sore is a big question in my mind. Then add CBs history and ... well ... here's hoping for one good player-season between the two.

beerlover
07-22-2008, 09:26 PM
Pretty sad testimony...

I'm optimistic about the team, as I was last year, but I can't wait until we have a feature RB +1. Right now we have two 0.5's and a hi-po 3rd down guy. Slow improvement. They'll get there.

I realize Alex Gibbs farts excellence but whether AG can make it through 50 tackles without getting sore is a big question in my mind. Then add CBs history and ... well ... here's hoping for one good player-season between the two.

excatly.

sad commentary indeed. wholesale changes where needed, have been instituted now lets just watch & see how it develops.

Wolf
07-23-2008, 01:09 AM
A blog that mentions mrs Stradley's

http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/napersports/2008/07/fanhouse-ponders-how-chris-bro.html

dalemurphy
07-23-2008, 05:45 AM
Pretty sad testimony...

I'm optimistic about the team, as I was last year, but I can't wait until we have a feature RB +1. Right now we have two 0.5's and a hi-po 3rd down guy. Slow improvement. They'll get there.

I realize Alex Gibbs farts excellence but whether AG can make it through 50 tackles without getting sore is a big question in my mind. Then add CBs history and ... well ... here's hoping for one good player-season between the two.

Why does nobody mention Chris Taylor? The most exciting thing about our RB situation is its depth. We would have to lose 4 RBs to injury before we would have to trot out Ron Dayne again. Regarding Taylor, he's strong, explosive, and a one cut runner. He may be the feature back once Green is injured or is moved out.

aj.
07-23-2008, 05:56 AM
I've mentioned Taylor plenty of times ... it's just that *when healthy* Green and Brown are still ahead of him in the pecking order. Beyond a doubt Taylor and Walker will see significant action in preseason. Whether Taylor sees action at backup FB remains to be seen.

Hervoyel
07-23-2008, 10:17 AM
I have never been as excited about our running game as I have been this year. We have bodies & chemistry on the OL, Gibbs, a passing game that is just scratching the surface and a cornucopia of depth at RB with guys having different things to prove.

If a 33 year old Tiki Barber can go for 1600, then why can't an incredibly fit, smart and talented Ahman Green get there? All we are looking for is that one anomaly for a RB on the plus side of 30. I think Green is as good as any cohort in trying to get there just based on talent and drive. If he can hold up, he will be in the mix for an All-Pro consideration. If he can't, then bring in Brown and repeat & stir. :texflag:

That's what I keep coming back to in my mind. The guys we have back there just have me grinning ear to ear this season. Remember when we started and there wasn't a Texan RB who could even make another team? We had nobody and now I am certain that we're going to be cutting guys who can play.

Depth is a wonderful thing.

76Texan
07-23-2008, 11:45 AM
I agree with KT that our running game should be more effective this year.
It would be foolish to make any kind of guarantee, but the following are my observations:

1. We have two more guys with the ability to release to the next level and take on a defender there (Myers and Brown).
IMO, they both are better at that than any guys we have last year, including Winston.

Let's assume that we will be able to do that on five more running plays.
Whether it's Green or Brown or Slaton at RB, we should gain 3-4 more yards on those running plays. That will add about 15-20 yards overall.

2. The addition of Brown/Brown and Slaton will give the Texans the opportunity to run the stretch play to the outside more.
One successful stretch play could add ten-fifteen yards.
With AJ and Walter blocking downfield, there's always the chance of a jail-break for our RBs, especially Slaton.

3. These 3 RBs all have the ability to make something out of a screen pass.
The opponents will also have to worry about our draw play.
This will open up our passing game.
And when the defense has to wacth for our play action pass, the running game in turn will open up.

We averaged 99 yd rushing and 234 yd passing last year.
My guesstimate for this year is 120-130 yd rushing and 225-235 yd passing.
That will be between top 10 and top 5 in the league.:kingkong:

badboy
07-23-2008, 11:55 AM
I agree with KT that our running game should be more effective this year.
It would be foolish to make any kind of guarantee, but the following are my observations:

1. We have two more guys with the ability to release to the next level and take on a defender there (Myers and Brown).
IMO, they both are better at that than any guys we have last year, including Winston.

Let's assume that we will be able to do that on five more running plays.
Whether it's Green or Brown or Slaton at RB, we should gain 3-4 more yards on those running plays. That will add about 15-20 yards overall.

2. The addition of Brown/Brown and Slaton will give the Texans the opportunity to run the stretch play to the outside more.
One successful stretch play could add ten-fifteen yards.
With AJ and Walter blocking downfield, there's always the chance of a jail-break for our RBs, especially Slaton.

3. These 3 RBs all have the ability to make something out of a screen pass.
The opponents will also have to worry about our draw play.
This will open up our passing game.
And when the defense has to wacth for our play action pass, the running game in turn will open up.

We averaged 99 yd rushing and 234 yd passing last year.
My guesstimate for this year is 120-130 yd rushing and 225-235 yd passing.
That will be between top 10 and top 5 in the league.:kingkong:I,too think the draw play will get a lot of calls this season.

Specnatz
07-23-2008, 12:45 PM
Why does nobody mention Chris Taylor? The most exciting thing about our RB situation is its depth. We would have to lose 4 RBs to injury before we would have to trot out Ron Dayne again. Regarding Taylor, he's strong, explosive, and a one cut runner. He may be the feature back once Green is injured or is moved out.

Because he has yet to do anything in the league. Yes he has promise but a lot of players come in with a lot more promise than Taylor and it is not developed or showed. Until he gets on the field and in game situations that matter and does something he is just a bench warmer.

Texans_Chick
07-23-2008, 02:33 PM
Why does nobody mention Chris Taylor? The most exciting thing about our RB situation is its depth. We would have to lose 4 RBs to injury before we would have to trot out Ron Dayne again. Regarding Taylor, he's strong, explosive, and a one cut runner. He may be the feature back once Green is injured or is moved out.

You never know.

With this group, whoever survives camp looking like the dependable option is going to get the rock.

Terrell Davis almost didn't make the roster with the Broncos, and with his preseason play ended up being one of the best backs in Bronco history.

We need some luck, and we need for them to make their own luck.

Mr PC
07-23-2008, 03:47 PM
I agree with Schaub that any one of the backs could probably be productive in the rushing game. Slaton should not see too much action his rookie year, but he provides good depth along with Walker and/or Taylor. Hopefully C. Brown will stay healthy because he represents the best option for our running attack this year, i think he will surprise a lot of people. Green might still be useful for short yardage and moderate gains, but I think its clear he has lost the breakaway speed he once possessed and this is going to limit his ability to a great extent. He wont break long touchdowns because he cant run away from the linebackers and defensive backs like he did back in his prime with Green Bay.

barrett
07-23-2008, 03:59 PM
hell we could end up with mike bell as our starting RB by the time camp is over. He was released by Denver this week. Anything is possible in this plug 'em in system.

76Texan
07-23-2008, 11:02 PM
Because he has yet to do anything in the league. Yes he has promise but a lot of players come in with a lot more promise than Taylor and it is not developed or showed. Until he gets on the field and in game situations that matter and does something he is just a bench warmer.
Right, until Green or Brown get injured (and none of us want that to happen), Taylor will just languish on the bench.

Why would we sign Brown in the first place?
'Cause he's very familiar with the ZBS, and he's proven.

The only thing that will stop Slaton is if he puts the ball on the ground more than Kubiak would like to see.
The guy is made for the WCO/ZBS marrriage. He's the most versatile of all the backs we have.

He can run between tackles.
He has the vision and the quickness to make the cut back.
He can take the ball outside on a stretch play.
He can line up in the slot and take a pass, whether it's a dump-off to the flat or a quick slant.
He can turn a screen pass into a good gain.
He has the elusiveness, once an Olineman can give a decent block on the next level, he might be gone!

NOT TO SAY that he can't be stopped.
Overall, I'll just say that we don't have to pay Reggie Bush's salary.
(They are not in the same mold really. Slaton is better than Bush between tackles. Bush is more elusive in the open field. Something like that.)
The difference is definitely not worth those gazillion dollars!!!

On the other hand, I wouldn't mind if Slaton sits on the bench either.
For it means that Green and Brown are healthy. And I'm cool with that!

CloakNNNdagger
07-25-2008, 01:29 PM
Even though Kubiak earlier made statements that Chris Taylor would not be entertained in the FB position, I found this quote from Kubiak on HT.com TC Quotes (http://www.houstontexans.com/news/Story.asp?story_id=4420)
(on if he feels if RB Chris Taylor is back to where he was and where he fits in) “I felt that way the last four or five days of OTAs. I did not feel that way initially. It looked like he was definitely not the same. But he came out of OTAs very good. He looked good this morning. We are also going to work him a little bit at fullback. So, he’s a big part of this team and he needs to have a good camp and stay healthy.”

If it indeed occurs, it may allow for more, or at least consolidated RB/FB roster.

ObsiWan
07-25-2008, 01:53 PM
http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/nfl.fanhouse.com/media/2008/07/milk-carton-running-game.jpg

Enjoyed the article but that picture's cold Steph!
LOL

dalemurphy
07-25-2008, 02:33 PM
Even though Kubiak earlier made statements that Chris Taylor would not be entertained in the FB position, I found this quote from Kubiak on HT.com TC Quotes (http://www.houstontexans.com/news/Story.asp?story_id=4420)


If it indeed occurs, it may allow for more, or at least consolidated RB/FB roster.


As I've been saying, they are going to have to keep 4 RBs this year. This is the first clue to that. With all the injuries at RB and the focus on running the ball this year, we can't go to war with AGreen, CBrown- too many injury concerns and a rookie... CTaylor will make the team unless he's seriously injured.

Vinny
07-25-2008, 09:24 PM
http://images.chron.com/photos/2008/07/25/12183481/600xPopupGallery.jpg

Slaton sure does have little skinny thighs.

pittbull3
07-25-2008, 10:13 PM
He's a little guy Vinny. Saw too much of him at WVU. Great speed and good in the open field. I worry more about his ability to hold on the ball, rather than those thighs though. Was fumble prone and tends to carry the ball on one side of his body. Hope the coaches correct that immediately! If they do, look out. Could ahve another home run hitter to go with the other playmakers!:specnatz:

edo783
07-25-2008, 10:55 PM
Supposedly, Slaton came to OTAs at 201 and is now 210. If he has put on some muscle and maintained speed, that's a good combo. I doubt he will ever be a "Pile mover" type of back, but if he can squirt though the line and not get taken down with light contact, he could be a fun guy to watch.

The Pencil Neck
07-26-2008, 08:32 AM
He's a little guy Vinny. Saw too much of him at WVU. Great speed and good in the open field. I worry more about his ability to hold on the ball, rather than those thighs though. Was fumble prone and tends to carry the ball on one side of his body. Hope the coaches correct that immediately! If they do, look out. Could ahve another home run hitter to go with the other playmakers!:specnatz:

Weren't his fumblitis and ball on the one side problems both because of playing with a broken wrist or hand or something?

CloakNNNdagger
07-26-2008, 09:18 AM
Weren't his fumblitis and ball on the one side problems both because of playing with a broken wrist or hand or something?


This is the most in depth profile that I have come across of Slaton........feel free to review the rest of the analysis ("positives" and "injury history") in this LINK. (http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/players/draft/565727)


A consensus All-American and unanimous All-Big East Conference choice as a sophomore, Slaton put together a record-breaking 2006 campaign, despite being forced to carry the ball exclusively in his left hand most of the season due to a right wrist injury that would require surgery. His 1,744 yards on the ground and 2,104 all-purpose yards set school season marks, as he ranked fourth in the nation in rushing (134.5 ypg) and second in all-purpose yardage (161.85 ypg).

The wrist injury saw Slaton fumble the ball seven times on 248 carries, but he produced 16 touchdowns on the ground and 114 points. He also ranked third on the team with 27 catches for 360 yards (13.3 avg) and two scores. His 27 grabs were the third-best season total by a Mountaineers running back in a season.

Primed for a banner junior campaign with his wrist fully healed, Slaton ran into several roadblocks in 2007. He tried to get too fancy carrying the ball, spending more time dancing in the backfield than attacking the rush lanes. With frosh sensation Noel Devine now vying for backfield time, fumble issues caused the coaching staff to lose faith in its junior runner in crucial situations, as he saw his chances to carry the ball slowly get reduced each game.


Negatives: Lacks size and bulk you look for in a running back who will need to carry the ball 20-25 times per game, and with his long history of injuries the last two years durability issues are sure to arise … Needs to show more straight-line explosion and urgency hitting the rush lanes, as he got in trouble in 2007 by dancing around so much in the backfield, trying to pick that perfect hole to break it open for a big gain rather than be concerned with moving the chains … His right wrist injury forced him to carry the ball in his left hand, resulting in a high amount of fumbles in 2006, but even after he recovered from the injury in 2007 he failed to properly distribute the ball. When he began another rash of fumbles, he gradually saw his playing time reduced … Seems to be a reluctant entry in the draft, citing his coach leaving the school for the reason he came out, but it more than likely was due to losing playing time to frosh sensation Noel Devine and the prospect that he would have had to compete for his job next year with the new coaching staff in place … The old staff seemed to lose confidence in him during the second stage of 2007, as they became frustrated by his ball security issues and shyness taking the ball up the gut … Has marginal blocking skills, some due to a lack of desire, but mostly because his size prevents him from gaining leverage vs. the bigger defenders … Does not play up to his timed speed, as he does not consistently show the burst or suddenness out of his stance and into the holes as he showed earlier in his career … Most of his carries have come on pitches and tosses out of the shotgun formation and he will need time to adjust to pro sets and playing closer to the line than he is accustomed to … Might not be able to withstand the punishment of being a featured back and could be better suited for change-of-pace duties … Has improved his receiving skills the last two years, but has been confined to simple, controlled routes … Seems to struggle on long patterns trying to locate the ball in flight and has just marginal timing leaping and attacking the ball at its high point … Will drift and take soft angle cuts as a receiver … Does not have the power to move the pile or break many arm tackles (relies more on his quick feet, fakes and hip snap to elude), as he will generally be captured on the initial hit … Not the type who can digest a complicated playbook and needs more than a few reps to retain … Never used as a lead blocker and has to improve his angles when asked to cut block in the second level.

pittbull3
07-26-2008, 11:46 AM
Weren't his fumblitis and ball on the one side problems both because of playing with a broken wrist or hand or something?

No. He's always been more comfortable toting the ball in left arm anyway and had fumble issues throughout college. Again, saw too much of him, with me being a Pitt fan! WVU worked with him for the senior year in regards to the changes and it worked slightly. But, you can best believe in the league, this will get changed. A good mentor will be Green, who carries the ball similarly, due to his fumblitis, and this can aid Slaton's career early!:wild:

Corrosion
07-26-2008, 04:08 PM
Running back Chris Taylor (http://blogs.chron.com/gamedaytexans/2008/07/some_texans_players_show_they.html)left toward the end of practice with what appeared to be cramping in his legs caused by the heat. That was something he struggled with last year as well.



I wondered who would be first , Green or Taylor . I'm not expecting much from either of them .... As long as they get one full season outa the lot of them I'll consider it a success.

TexanBacker93
07-26-2008, 04:22 PM
I wondered who would be first , Green or Taylor . I'm not expecting much from either of them .... As long as they get one full season outa the lot of them I'll consider it a success.

A few plays earlier than Taylor went out Green came up limping and I didn't see him back in there again. I haven't seen anything official so it must not have been anything big, but others in my area noticed the same thing. Definitely a downside to the 80 man roster.

CloakNNNdagger
07-26-2008, 06:02 PM
http://images.chron.com/photos/2008/07/25/12183481/600xPopupGallery.jpg

Slaton sure does have little skinny thighs.

Vinny, I can't make out who's coming in on him (Chaun Thompson?), but that player looks like he may have even thinner legs than Slaton.

PHAROAH
07-28-2008, 10:05 AM
If Ahman Green can stay healthy I think he is the best option as the combination runner but for the running game to explode Steve Slaton has to be rotation because he brings the explosion that the others don't have SPEED.

Texecutioner
07-28-2008, 10:17 AM
Amaan Green being healthy? For me, their just isn't any reason to expect that to happen. He hasn't played a full season in like 3 to 4 years now. He might gives us a few nice games, but he'll most likely be on injured reserve at some point. I'm more concerned about keeping Brown healthy. If the Texans can keep Chris Brown healthy at RB for most of the season, then that will be pretty nice.

Vinny
07-28-2008, 01:15 PM
Chris Brown looked slow to me at practice....he wasn't as quick as the other backs and he may have lost a step.

J-Russ
07-28-2008, 01:35 PM
Questions already arising in Texans running back situation

Chris Brown is already being forced to the sidelines with aches and pains. The Texans signed Brown as a free agent to help spell Ahman Green. But they knew Brown came with injury issues of his own. And those issues are already starting to creep up.

He has a sore back that has forced him to miss Monday morning's practice. It's not a good sign for a player who has only played in 17 games with four starts over the past two seasons.

The good news is it's giving the younger guys like Chris Taylor, Steve Slaton and Darius Walker more repetitions. But they aren't all looking like they are taking full advantage of it. Taylor is having problems keeping hold of the ball, and Slaton has struggled with that at times, too. He got the ball popped out of his hands today by DeMeco Ryans.

It's good they are all getting that work now though. It's clearly better to drop in practice than the games. And with Taylor being out of football for a year, it's going to take him some time to get back to where he was before.

Green is still not having any knee issues — knock on wood. And the coaches are resting him so that he's only a once-a-day practice player.

Running back is one of the most integral positions on the team this season. Sore backs and dropped balls mean little now, but there is concern about how healthy and productive this unit can be when the games become important. How do you see the situation working itself out? Who will get the bulk of carries this season?

http://blogs.chron.com/gamedaytexans/2008/07/questions_already_arising_in_r.html

Doesn't look good too far. Gibbs better turn water into wine, or else we'll be in for another long season.

Kaiser Toro
07-28-2008, 01:40 PM
some of Kubiak's Day 4 quotes from the .com (http://www.houstontexans.com/news/Story.asp?story_id=4433)

(on how he feels about RB Chris Brown’s continuous injuries) “It’s part of camp. You’re always going to have things to deal with. But for him to help his football team, he has to be on the field. He has a lot of teammates out here that he has to come with and go to work with, and missing time is not good. But if his back is bothering him, it’s bothering him, you know? Hopefully, he will be back on the field tomorrow.”

(on if the entire team is present) “Yeah, everybody’s here today.”

(on the running backs) “Well, its interesting that you would ask because I was so impressed with (Chris) Taylor, Ahman (Green), 37 (Darius Walker) - yeah, I call them all kinds of names - and (Steve) Slaton. Just really, really an impressive morning from the group because they were short a guy, one of their partners was down and they had to pull on each other a little. But the running back group had a hell of a practice.”

HOU-TEX
07-28-2008, 01:45 PM
http://blogs.chron.com/gamedaytexans/2008/07/questions_already_arising_in_r.html

Doesn't look good too far. Gibbs better turn water into wine, or else we'll be in for another long season.

Chris Brown has been by far the least impressive of the bunch anyways.

I went to both practices over the weekend and didn't see the ball hit the ground once by RB's. There were a couple botched snaps, that's it. If Slaton put the ball on the ground today then it's probably the first.

I think the RB group (besides Brown) has done a decent job considering it's the first week of camp.

*edit: From KT's post above.........I think I'll take Kubiak's opinion before Manful's. LOL

Ole Miss Texan
07-28-2008, 02:03 PM
I had high hopes for Chris Brown at RB... but I'm starting to already talk about him in past tense. Sounds like he's starting to be on the outside looking in. Glad to hear the young guys are doing well.

Toro59
07-28-2008, 02:04 PM
Something tells me we'll be seeing alot of Mr. Walker. IMO

buddyboy
07-28-2008, 02:06 PM
Something tells me we'll be seeing alot of Mr. Walker. IMO

Or, apparantly, number 37 as Kubiak likes to call him.

Texecutioner
07-28-2008, 02:13 PM
http://blogs.chron.com/gamedaytexans/2008/07/questions_already_arising_in_r.html

Doesn't look good too far. Gibbs better turn water into wine, or else we'll be in for another long season.

No surprise here. I wasn't happy about getting him in the first place. I figured that they would have learned from grabbing Green the year before. I don't think we'll be seeing much of Brown or Green this year. It will be Slaton, Walker, and Taylor which none of them I'm stoked about.

If Brown or Green could stay healthy, I think we could have a decent running game, but that is so highly unlikely.

Polo
07-28-2008, 02:23 PM
If Chris Brown doesn't get on the field he's gonna get cut

gtexan02
07-29-2008, 03:46 PM
I've been one of Chris Taylors biggest critics (I always thought he got too much credit) but after watching the training camp videos and interviews, Im sold. I really hope this guy makes the team.

He's a decent runner, a really hard worker, and seems like he'll do just about anything to be part of the Texans organization. Thats the kind of attitude you need to have to be successful in this league

Ole Miss Texan
07-29-2008, 04:01 PM
I think it would be really really cool if Chris Taylor was healthy all season and developed into our starter for the 2009 season, Darius Walker proved to be a solid backup for us, and Steve Slaton proved to be a homerun threat and great 3rd down back. I hope Green stays healthy this season and gives us some really good games, but we save some money going into his 3rd and 4th year of his contract by releasing him next offseason. Keep a cheap cheap backfield.

Our offensive line develops pass/run blocking perfectly and for 2009 we've got 2 undrafted free agents and a 3rd rd pick as our RB's and we are a top 5 or top 10 rushing team...

TexanSam
07-29-2008, 04:05 PM
I think it would be really really cool if Chris Taylor was healthy all season and developed into our starter for the 2009 season, Darius Walker proved to be a solid backup for us, and Steve Slaton proved to be a homerun threat and great 3rd down back. I hope Green stays healthy this season and gives us some really good games, but we save some money going into his 3rd and 4th year of his contract by releasing him next offseason. Keep a cheap cheap backfield.


I don't think Darius Walker makes the team. The only way he makes the team is if one of our other RBs gets hurt. I could be wrong though. If everyone stays healthy though, it's hard to see Walker making the final cut.

Ole Miss Texan
07-29-2008, 04:29 PM
I don't think Darius Walker makes the team. The only way he makes the team is if one of our other RBs gets hurt. I could be wrong though. If everyone stays healthy though, it's hard to see Walker making the final cut.

I'm starting to think more and more that if Taylor makes the team as backup FB, it really opens his (Walker's) chances ALOT. I'm more convinced Green makes the starter role and Slaton is the 3rd down back. That leaves 1 spot between Brown and Walker to fill in as back up. I've been pretty excited about Brown but am starting to get some negative vibes with the other RB's looking more impressive and Brown now somewhat injured (again). If he isn't on the field practicing soon, I can easily see him being the one that gets canned.

HOU-TEX
07-29-2008, 04:31 PM
I don't think Darius Walker makes the team. The only way he makes the team is if one of our other RBs gets hurt. I could be wrong though. If everyone stays healthy though, it's hard to see Walker making the final cut.

I used to think Walker was the odd man out too, but he's been pretty good in camp so far.

The fact that Chris Brown's Puh C is hurting already can only help guy's like Walker.

Brown has been the least impressive of the bunch while he was on the field and now that he's pulling a McLady it'll take a miracle for me to hop back on his bandwagon (not that I was ever on it). Couple that with his history of being injured and missing the first practice of camp....Eh....off with his head.

:texflag:

:texflag:

gtexan02
07-29-2008, 04:32 PM
I don't think Darius Walker makes the team. The only way he makes the team is if one of our other RBs gets hurt. I could be wrong though. If everyone stays healthy though, it's hard to see Walker making the final cut.

Have you heard the quotes from Kubiak? Seen the videos from training camp?

Other than a few miscues, Kubiak has spoken very highly of Walker. In the last quote session he described him as developing into a "fine, fine football player"
He said Walker was the pinnacle of conditioning, and could go all practice.

It may seem like Walker is the odd man out on paper, but on the field:
1) He is the only RB on the entire team without injury concerns
2) He is the "thickest" guy we have
3) He proved himself at least capable of sustaining the team last year

I don't think he's going to be an easy cut

drewmar74
07-29-2008, 04:41 PM
I don't think he's going to be an easy cut

Agreed.

If I had to put money on it right now, I'd bet on Chris Brown being unemployed long before our little Klingon friend is.

Texans_Fan59
07-29-2008, 11:22 PM
"fine fine football player" couldnt agree more with coach kub.

botton line the line the kid always seems to find the open holes, and seems to be a perfect fit for the zone schene.

painekiller
07-29-2008, 11:41 PM
Sorry Brown missed day 1 to go to a wedding, then on day 2 he looked pretty bad, while Walker looked like the best RB at the practice.

Next couple days, Brown sits out and Walker continues to look like an NFL player.

Brown has open the door for Walker very wide, very wide indeed and Walker is blasting through the door faster then he ran at the combine.

The Pencil Neck
07-30-2008, 12:53 AM
Brown has open the door for Walker very wide, very wide indeed and Walker is blasting through the door faster then he ran at the combine.

So... he's like... JOGGING through it?

:whip:

TexanSam
07-30-2008, 01:06 AM
A wildcard in RB might be Mike Bell. There was a thread about him earlier and it does appear that he'll be given a tryout.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/5914753.html

On Friday, the Texans will give tryouts to some running backs, including Mike Bell, who played at Denver the last two years.

General manager Rick Smith also will bring in some cornerbacks for tryouts.

Bell was a rookie free agent from Arizona in 2006 when he rushed for 677 yards and scored eight touchdowns for the Broncos. When he failed to make a successful transition to fullback, they waived him.

“We need some fresh legs to help the other guys,” coach Gary Kubiak said about the backs. “We know he can run our scheme.”

CloakNNNdagger
07-30-2008, 06:49 AM
A wildcard in RB might be Mike Bell. There was a thread about him earlier and it does appear that he'll be given a tryout.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/5914753.html

On Friday, the Texans will give tryouts to some running backs, including Mike Bell, who played at Denver the last two years.
=========================

There are quite a few undrafted RBs and FAs out there, and it seems that Kubiak is going to take a look at whomever he feels can improve our stable.

TexanBacker93
07-30-2008, 07:34 AM
C'mon coach give me a tryout. I can at the very least do what Chris Brown's done so far at TC. I don't have a wedding to go to, though, so I'll come up with some other excuse.

Right now I would have to rank themas:

Green
Slaton
Taylor
Walker
Bell
Benson
TexanBacker93
Campbell
Brown

This isn't like the old Texans where if you were hurt and couldn't work they just sent a duck around to give you money. You don't practice and you won't make the team (Petey you should probably listen to this as well.)

drewmar74
07-30-2008, 10:04 AM
=========================

There are quite a few undrafted RBs and FAs out there, and it seems that Kubiak is going to take a look at whomever he feels can improve our stable.

Or who can at least reduce the wear and tear on the four guys who are out there b/c Brown can't go.

I'd say its a very smart move. I bet Brown is gone soon and will join that long list of veteran RB's who are out of work.

FWIW, Brown is another player with a huge forehead. We've already got one huge forehead in Darius Walker and I think that two is just too creepy. Let one of them go because all the Klingons running around are starting to freak me out.

TexanAddict
07-30-2008, 10:48 AM
FWIW, Brown is another player with a huge forehead. We've already got one huge forehead in Darius Walker and I think that two is just too creepy. Let one of them go because all the Klingons running around are starting to freak me out.

The similarities are uncanny!
http://msn.foxsports.com/fe/img/NFL/Headshots/140x170/6429.jpg

http://www.wayneworld.com/zc/images/bigheads-klingon.jpg

drewmar74
07-30-2008, 10:50 AM
http://msn.foxsports.com/fe/img/NFL/Headshots/140x170/6429.jpg

http://www.wayneworld.com/zc/images/bigheads-klingon.jpg

I rest my case.

Toro59
07-30-2008, 11:08 AM
C'mon coach give me a tryout. I can at the very least do what Chris Brown's done so far at TC. I don't have a wedding to go to, though, so I'll come up with some other excuse.

Right now I would have to rank themas:

Green
Slaton
Taylor
Walker
Bell
Benson
TexanBacker93
Campbell
Brown

This isn't like the old Texans where if you were hurt and couldn't work they just sent a duck around to give you money. You don't practice and you won't make the team (Petey you should probably listen to this as well.)



I say we throw John Mclain on that list. He's "thick" and looks like he could shed some tackles...idonno:

Ole Miss Texan
07-30-2008, 11:16 AM
I saw Cory Boyd got released. IIRC he's a big RB from South Carolina (rookie). I think he's got some potential in this league. Not sure on this team or not... apparently he may have some character issues so if those are anything serious then I doubt he comes.

I think it's a good idea to get some other RB's in camp to help save our RB's going into the season. Preseason games will be a big factor in who stays on the team.

drewmar74
07-30-2008, 12:45 PM
I say we throw John Mclain on that list. He's "thick" and looks like he could shed some tackles...idonno:

John McClain > Ron Dayne

:thinking: