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Old 08-25-2009   #1
Wolf
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Default Texans camp tour: Slaton's progress makes Houston contender

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HOUSTON -- You would think the play that defined Steve Slaton's rookie season to his Houston Texans teammates and coaches would be some sort of amazing run. After all, he did lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage, an impressive stat for a third-round pick who some deemed to be too small to be an every-down back.

While there are many runs to choose from, his cutback style being perfect for the Texans zone-blocking system, it isn't a run or even a reception or a block that stands out.

It's an effort play.

The Texans all talk about it -- rave about, in fact.

It happened in the third game of the 2008 season against the Tennessee Titans. Slaton had already run for over 100 yards against the Titans, the only player to do so last season (and he did it twice), but it was a play at the end of the game that really impressed.

Quarterback Matt Schaub was intercepted at the Tennessee 1 by Titans corner Cortland Finnegan, who had a clear path to the end zone and a 99-yard return for a touchdown to ice the game. Nobody had a chance to catch him. Nor did it matter. There was just over a minute left and the Texans trailed by 12. Why bother?

Slaton sure tried.

"Man, you see him running all out to track him down, even though he didn't have a chance, and he never gave up," Texans guard Chester Pitts said. "That's when I knew we had a special player."

The coaches noticed as well.

"You saw one guy going from one side of the field trying to catch up to him," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. "That shows you what he's made of as a player."

Slaton ran for 116 yards and scored a touchdown that day, but the biggest stat was winning over the locker room.

"Just trying to make a play," he said.

The rest of that season he showed he was much more than just an effort player and could make plenty. Slaton led the AFC in yards from scrimmage, an impressive feat for a runner who was seen as a third-down back coming out of West Virginia.

Even Kubiak said recently that the Texans weren't quite sure what they had.

"Anybody who tells you that we knew what we had in him would be telling a little bit of a fib," Kubiak said. "We thought he might be able to help us on third down. He surprised a lot of people."
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Old 08-25-2009   #2
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Default Re: Texans camp tour: Slaton's progress makes Houston contender

Great read, I hadn't heard that story and I didn't get to watch that game either. Makes me like the guy all the more
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Old 08-25-2009   #3
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Default Re: Texans camp tour: Slaton's progress makes Houston contender

Another thing I like about Slaton is that he's not shy about blocking.
He may miss here and there, but he certainly threw his body around.

In the last Titans game for example, I thought he was the most effective blocker that can take Haynesworth one on one!

(I think he took Haynie by surprise, LOL!)
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Old 08-25-2009   #4
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Default Re: Texans camp tour: Slaton's progress makes Houston contender

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Originally Posted by 76Texan View Post
Another thing I like about Slaton is that he's not shy about blocking.
He may miss here and there, but he certainly threw his body around.

In the last Titans game for example, I thought he was the most effective blocker that can take Haynesworth one on one!

(I think he took Haynie by surprise, LOL!)
He is the real deal. My favorite player right now
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Old 08-25-2009   #5
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Default Re: Texans camp tour: Slaton's progress makes Houston contender

Steve Slaton is a heck of a player.
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Old 08-26-2009   #6
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Default Re: Texans camp tour: Slaton's progress makes Houston contender

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Originally Posted by 76Texan View Post
Another thing I like about Slaton is that he's not shy about blocking.
He may miss here and there, but he certainly threw his body around.
Yeah he's willing but not always able. I think everybody knows Schaub has to stay on his feet this year...
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Old 08-26-2009   #7
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Default Re: Texans camp tour: Slaton's progress makes Houston contender

Chris WHO in Nashville ?
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Old 08-26-2009   #8
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Default Re: Texans camp tour: Slaton's progress makes Houston contender

Great find Wolf! SS is the man. I remember watching a West Virginia game the year before he entered the draft, and I was thinking this is one bad little dude. I was thinking he would definitely be a top 15 pick and there was no chance the Texans would get him. Then in the third round of last years draft when they announced that we had drafted him I was psyched! I called my brother to tell him, and before I could say anything he took the words out of my mouth. I cant wait to see what he does this year, hes gonna be special for a long time!
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