Starting Running Back - Slaton gets the start

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by Runner, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Runner

    Runner Hubcap Diamond Staff Member

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    I think that the Texans need to get Slaton back into the primary running back role. He has had two issues this year:

    1) Lack of runs breaking into the open
    2) Fumbling

    I think the Texans coaches addressed the first problem when they started using screens and short passes to get the ball to Slaton in space. His production had picked up by the time he was benched for the second problem.

    The fumbling issue can be addressed two ways. First, the coaches have to find/develop techniques that work for Slaton and make him capable of holding onto the ball. Slaton then has to work very hard to develop those techniques and make them part of his natural running style. The extended bye week layoff was the perfect opportunity to do this for both the coaches and player.

    Furthermore, the Texans are being carried by their passing offense and their defense right now. To gain team consistency, they need something closer to the running game they had last year with Slaton. The person best suited to bringing that level of running back play is, not surprisingly, Slaton. When faced with something other than the worst defense in the league, Moats had 2.4 yards per carry and a fumble at the goal line - these numbers compare to those of the "bad" Slaton. Any slight advantage Moats might have had in running the ball is more than made up for by Slaton's superior blocking and pass catching. The other running backs on the roster don't compare to "good" Slaton either.

    Finally, Slaton can't begin to give the team the running game they need from the bench. The coaches know this, and I think they've done what they can to address the fumbling. I think Slaton has done his part. Which brings me to my prediction:

    Slaton starts the next game, and is on the field for at least 2/3 of the offensive plays. The back-ups and role players will share the other 1/3. I think this happens Monday night against the Titans; at the latest it will happen next week against the Colts.
     
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  2. BigBull17

    BigBull17 Hall of Fame

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    One of Slatons main problems besides the fumbles is dancing in the hole. He isn't making one cut, he's trying to hit homeruns every play. What made him great last year was that he would lower his head and take a 2-3 yard gain. He isn't doing that this year.
     
  3. TheRealJoker

    TheRealJoker Hall of Fame

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    One thing is for sure, the coaching staff needs to make some major addition at RB and interior OL over the offseason. Somebody needs to be able to drain the clock while we have a lead late in the game and somebody needs to be able to push the pile when we need a yard.

    We're gonna be playing close games all season if we cant blow the opponent out in the 1st 3 quarters because we cant run the ball effectively.

    Given the defenses turnaround, I never thought I would say this but our top 2 needs are on offense now :(

    We're great between the 20s or early in the game when we dont try to run out the clock. But when we get into situations where we need to run it down the opponents throat we fail miserably.
     
  4. GP

    GP Go Texans!

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    So...here's my current thoughts:

    I think we're really close to becoming a consistently dominant team.

    1. The QB situation is not bad, and it's not astounding, but it is getting better with each season. Lack of Owen Daniels is not helping Schaub and the o-line's pass blocking because I feel that OD took a lot of pressure off both the o-line and Schaub.

    2. The WRs are good. AJ is great. Jacoby is making long plays when he's in there. Walter and Anderson are generally catching anything thrown their way.

    3. The defense is not bad, and it's not astounding, but it is getting better with every game played this season. That squad is totally different with Bush at the controls AND with an extra LB named Cushing to work alongside DeMeco and Diles.

    That leaves the RB position.

    4. We need somebody to lock this position down. IMO, this is the one area that is pulling us down right now.

    Which brings up another issue...

    5. Our center. I personally feel that the guards and tackles are good on most plays, and excellent on the plays when the center (whoever it is) is not getting blown up. Unfortunately, it seems the center is getting attacked by the defense on crucial plays such as a big 3rd down play, plays near the goal line, etc.

    I like what we've got going on with the vast majority of the team, but the RB and the C are my two positions that I think MUST improve in a big, big way if we're going to close out this season with 6 or 7 more wins.

    Steve Slaton needs to show up and drill the Titans for huge gains and TDs. We need him to play like he did in the last half of the season last year. I want that Titans defense quitting like the Jags did when we played the Jags in Reliant last year.
     
  5. badboy

    badboy Site Contributor

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    I agree with a lot you say but doubt you have anything to support your statement that you think Steve has done his part to correct fumbling. There is just no way to know that. He has to use two hands and he did not do that in college much and probably less in high school. He is a 20 something who has ran one way for years and is now being asked to change. JJ has seemingly corrected his problem but like one of the posters on this thread mentioned, it is not about a home run every trip to plate. I also would start Slaton Monday. Did anyone notice that there were some NFl RB fumbling during our bye? Does not make me feel better that it is not just us but ohters have this disease.
     
  6. GuerillaBlack

    GuerillaBlack Hall of Fame

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    You can change a running style. Just ask Tiki Barber. He was a fumbling machine in New York until that was fixed.
     
  7. TexCanada

    TexCanada Hall of Fame

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    Slaton's fumbling problem and his "home-run swing at every pitch" are the same problem for the most part. If he starts protecting the ball by putting 2 hands on it and putting his head down, we will see improvements in both areas. He has had a few weeks to think about this, and I'm sure our coaches are helping him realize it. I think Slaton will soon be fine. Another solid back could only help our cause though, and I would love to see Foster get some touches or else address this issue through the draft.
     
  8. Runner

    Runner Hubcap Diamond Staff Member

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    You are correct. I have nothing to post to "prove" what I said that I think Slaton has done in the thread. Then again, I really don't need to because I didn't present it as a statement of fact. I specifically used the term "I think" about five times in the post. I used it immediately before what I think the coaches and Slaton have done to indicate that it was an opinion. I did that on purpose because I'm not one to post theories as facts.

    I think that the coaches and Slaton did the things they did because they are reasonably competent at their jobs and want to improve. Nothing Slaton has done makes me think he wouldn't do what it takes to correct the fumbling problem and win back his starting job.

    Likewise, I prefaced my prediction as a prediction. I'm don't claim to have a crystal ball with perfect knowledge of the future

    ============

    So, back to the thread. What do others think about:

    A) the odds of Slaton approaching the standard he set last year
    B) the success of the Texans running attack if Slaton can't step back up
     


  9. TexCanada

    TexCanada Hall of Fame

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    A) I think the odds are high, but it will take time as his confidence is likely a little low right now.
    B) Our running attack will be dismal without him.
     
  10. Runner

    Runner Hubcap Diamond Staff Member

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    A) hopefully a little short term success will jump start his confidence if it is low. He just needs to get on the field to have a shot at that success.
    B) that's what I think. I don't think it improves much unless Slaton does.
     
  11. nunusguy

    nunusguy Hall of Fame

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    This is not a good time to start experimenting with Steve Slaton since our year is now approaching the gun-lap in this long season and there's a definite scenario(s) for our first playoff birth which doesn't include untimely turnovers.
     
  12. TexCanada

    TexCanada Hall of Fame

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    So what is your suggested solution? Put Moats in again?..well he fumbled last game as well. Brown? he has been useless. Obviously if we had somebody carrying the ball with any success then Slaton wouldn't be getting thrown right back in there. But as it stands right now, Slaton is the only guy who has shown us that he at least has the potential to play well.
     
  13. badboy

    badboy Site Contributor

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    Oh, I agree and did not mean to indicate it can't be fixed. Just said nothing indicates it has with Slaton.
     
  14. stevn8r

    stevn8r Zombie

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    With the first few fumbles, Slaton was benched for a few plays and came back in as a beast (for this years standards) I just pray that the not starting will have fired him up for the rest of the year (especially for fantasy reasons!) I still believe that SS gives us the greatest chance for success
     
  15. Kaiser Toro

    Kaiser Toro Native Mod

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    Good read until that bomb shell. I always assumed you had one. :devilpig:
     
  16. Runner

    Runner Hubcap Diamond Staff Member

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    If I do I don't know how to use it. I don't see one though.
     
  17. Runner

    Runner Hubcap Diamond Staff Member

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    I consider Moats nothing better than Slaton (as he started this season) with a lower upside. In my opinion we've seen his best against Buffalo and his normal against Indy. Low yards per carry and a fumble against a decent defense; he's just as much an experiment as Slaton.

    Brown doesn't offer much.

    Recent practice squad transfers would be an even bigger experiment.

    That is why I think the best chance the Texans have is to work Slaton back up to speed. It's the best option for improving the running game for the rest of the season. Shuffling him in and out with ineffective back-ups does nothing but make it harder for him to get back in the groove.
     
  18. badboy

    badboy Site Contributor

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    I was hoping your thinking was based on something you had seen or heard reported as most folks develop thoughts based on something. As in "I think that Slaton has not had his fumbling problem corrected in 9 games so far and while the coaches surely tried everything they could think (uh oh there is that word again)of, maybe they thought of something new to try before game 10."

    Your post was sort of like I think the Texans will win the Super Bowl. It is a feel good statement. Nothing wrong with that. I was hoping you actually had something to go on. Just my opinion that a "theory" can be posted without it being a fact.
     
  19. Livid13

    Livid13 Veteran

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    WOW, I thought I could bring the heat on occasion ! That post was acidic to the point of perfection. Sarcasm is routinely used on all MB's, but yours was perfect. Just the right amount of venom, without being over the top. I'm actually laughing as I type this.....GREAT POST!
     
  20. Runner

    Runner Hubcap Diamond Staff Member

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    My thinking was based on what I believe a competent coaching staff and a dedicated player would do. Add that to the opportunity the bye week presented and I came to a conclusion - Slaton taking heavy rb duties back. I then posted it to get other opinions on the rb situation.

    It is true that I didn't base this on anything I read in a John McClain article, nor on reading the offense's body language in a still picture. I didn't even pick it up from the well-informed fans on this board!

    If that makes it a feel good statement in your mind, fine.

    ========

    Hey Sunshine Club! Am I one of you now? :)
     

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