Tag:Steve Slaton
Posted on: August 24, 2010 5:27 pm

Holliday season-ending injury not worst thing

T. Holliday (US Presswire)Posted by Andy Benoit

College sports fans recognize the name Trindon Holliday. Holliday was a 5’5”, 165-pound bundle of sheer speed at LSU. He was a running back, receiver and return specialist on the football team and record-setting sprinter on the track team.

The Texans invested a sixth-round pick in Holliday back in April. But after tearing ligaments in his thumb (which will require surgery), the rookie will have to wait until 2011 to kick off his NFL career. That may not be the worst thing. Reports during the offseason said that Holliday, 24, had a lot to learn about playing receiver at the pro level. Had he been unable to grasp the nuances of the position, Houston may have cut him.

Now, Holliday will have a year to learn the game. In the meantime, the Texans will turn to Jacoby Jones on punt returns (Jones can be a dynamic homerun threat) and third down running back Steve Slaton on kick returns.

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Posted on: August 15, 2010 5:05 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2010 6:27 pm

Tate requires surgery, done for the year?

Posted by Will Brinson

Ben Tate suffered a nasty ankle injury during the Texans Saturday, and there were rumors late in the evening that the injury could force Tate, the highest running back ever taken by the franchise, to miss his entire rookie year.

According to the Texans' website, Tate will indeed have surgery, and it could happen as early as Tuesday.

Coach Gary Kubiak told reporters that he would know more details relating to Tate's injury come Monday, but he called it "very significant."

It certainly sounds like Tate could miss all of 2010, and that, as mentioned last night, is highly problematic for a Texans team that really wanted to establish a better running game in the coming year.

Steve Slaton and Arian Foster can still provide some punch, but Tate was believed to be "the guy" who could really take the Texans' offense to another level. If his injury is as serious as it sounds, clearly, he won't be, at least this year.

Update (6:26): Nightmare for the Texans, if the Houston Chronicle 's report is correct, because Tate is headed to injured reserve, and will miss the entire season.

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Posted on: August 14, 2010 7:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2010 7:35 pm

What to Watch For: Saturday Preseason Games

Saturday features a pretty good slate of preseason games, each with some interesting storylines. You can follow all the action on our NFL Scoreboard, but for now, let's take a quick walk through the schedule and let you know what we're looking for; hit us with what you're watching in the comments or on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • Miami v. Tampa Bay : Easily the biggest story here will be the performance of the Bucs' youngsters. While it's unlikely Tampa Bay will be contending for anything in 2010, how Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Josh Freeman, Gerald McCoy and Brian Price perform during the season will probably determine the length that Raheem Morris keeps his job. For the Dolphins, seeing how Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne click will be interesting -- their being on the same page is paramount for the Fins success.
  • Pittsburgh v. Detroit : It's all about Ben Roethlisberger. (Will he start? Will he get booed?) At least for Pittsburgh, anyway. For Detroit, I'm focusing on how Jahvid Best runs and what kind of coverage Calvin Johnson sees with additional weapons on the offensive side of the ball, as well as how much disruption Ndamukong Suh can cause.
  • Arizona v. Houston : For the Cardinals, the passing game is going to be crucial -- how will Matt Leinart perform in his first opportunity to make an in-game impression following the Kurt Warner era? The Texans are set as far as the passing game goes, but the running game is a whole different issue: out of Arian Foster, Ben Tate and Steve Slaton, someone has to emerge who can carry the load.
  • Green Bay v. Cleveland : Yikes -- the Packers are fun and all, but this shouldn't be a thriller. I suppose it's worth checking out my man Jake Delhomme to see if he can make Cleveland relevant. Rookie Joe Haden will start too, and he gets quite the test against Aaron Rodgers. Andy and I discussed the man-crushing on Jermichael Finley Friday as well, so it'll be interesting to see if Rodgers looks his way first chance he gets. Bryan Bulaga's probably the only other potentially big surprise for the Pack.
  • St. Louis v. Minnesota : I, for one, am stoked to see how Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley compare. Also, Mardy Gilyard is stupid good on Madden '11 (I know, I know) but unfortunately, he's not supposed to play. For Minnesota, the focus is going to be on the quarterback position as well -- if Brett Favre doesn't come back, can Tavaris Jackson at least look good against what shouldn't be dangerous defense? (Or, alternately, can the Rams' D manage to make the Favre-less Vikes O look bad?)
  • San Diego v. Chicago : With Shawn Merriman now in camp, the biggest issue facing the Chargers is the absence of Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeil -- can Malcolm Floyd/Buster Davis and a patchwork group of left tackles fill the respective holes on the offense? For the Bears, Julius Peppers' performance will be interesting to watch, but more important will be the offensive line play and Jay Cutler's ability to adapt to Mike Martz' system.
  • Seattle v. Tennessee : I'll be scoping out Golden Tate's action, as I think he could be a difference maker this year. I also happen to love Justin Forsett for some reason -- Charlie Whitehurst will get some action to prove why he's such a highly paid backup. Vince Young's ability to perform at the same level he maintained during the second half is imperative for the Titans to succeed. Tonight we get to see if he can get off on the right foot.
So, what about you -- what are you looking for tonight?

(Ed. Note: Sorry, we published an un-saved version that didn't have the SD/CHI and SEA/TEN games on there. Our bad.)
Posted on: August 3, 2010 8:20 pm

Steve Slaton to have a smaller role in 2010

Two years ago, Texans running back Steve Slaton took the NFL by storm. The diminutive West Virginia Mountaineer rushed for 1,282 yards and scored 10 touchdowns as a third-round rookie. Quickness and ability to accelerate downhill made Slaton an ideal fit operating behind Gary Kubiak’s zone-blocking scheme.
S. Slaton (US Presswire)
However, last season, Slaton hit a wall. He bulked up and became somewhat sluggish. As a ballcarrier, his indecisiveness was baffling at times. More obvious were the fumbling problems that landed him on the bench. When things couldn’t get worse, Slaton hurt his neck and underwent surgery in the offseason.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Slaton is back healthy, but he’s now working as a kick returner and third down back. Arian Foster (an undrafted runner whose style is similar to Ryan Grant’s) is currently the No. 1, though second-round rookie Ben Tate could ultimately assume the starting role. Slaton could recapture his No. 1 job at some point, but his receiving prowess and quickness in the flats seemingly makes him a consummate third down option. If Slaton plays well, the Texans may have trouble moving him.

--Andy Benoit 

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Posted on: July 6, 2010 3:02 pm

A look at the Texans backfield

Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle has a quick write-up about the Houston Texans’ outlook for 2010. Justice touches on the team’s depth at running back.
S.Slaton (US Presswire)
Steve Slaton is back to the weight he played at during his rookie season. Arian Foster has made a believer of coaches that were once skeptical he could help. And, finally, rookie Ben Tate is a nice combination of power and speed. The Texans have never had this kind of depth at running back. Kubiak gave up on running the ball at halftime of the fifth game, and the Texans won three in a row and got back to respectable. But he wants to run the ball and is still committed to it. He believes it saves a defense and the quarterback.

Slaton’s weight isn’t the issue, though. The issue is his decisiveness as a runner. Houston’s zone-blocking scheme calls for runners to make one cut and go. Slaton was, for whatever reason, hesitant – and perhaps even timid – in 2009. He spent the offseason recovering from neck surgery. Will that help or hinder his aggressiveness?

The Texans aren’t banking on Slaton – they spent a second-round pick on Auburn’s Ben Tate. And Arian Foster has indeed impressed. Foster doesn’t flash star potential (he’s a bit stiff and methodical), but his downhill running style is a great fit for the scheme.

--Andy Benoit

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com