Training Camp is 21 days away, and the Houston Texans primary two news sites have shed light on the Texans’ running back depth: (1) Arian Foster; (2) Steve Slaton; (3) Ben Tate.
The Houston Chronicle’s Richard Justice reported this week that Arian Foster has “made a believer of coaches that were once skeptical he could help.” Justice’s report is no surprise after Foster’s impressive two-game finale to 2009 and a load of reports announcing Foster’s number one on the Texans running back depthchart.
N.D. Kalu, without hesitation, told that Drew Dougherty of HoustonTexans.com that out of the nine rookies drafted, Ben Tate is the most intriguing heading into 2010:
“Ben Tate. Kareem Jackson would be the easy answer…but I really think the success of the running game will fall on Ben Tate, even if he’s not a starter. He’s going to have to be that Thunder to Steve Slaton’s Lightening, and he’s going to have to be part of that three headed monster when you look at Arian Foster and Steve Slaton. I really think Ben Tate’s going to have to do the things he did in college on the pro-level to be successful.”
So as of now, Arian Foster is the Texans starting running back heading into training camp. Chuck Harris told NFL Fan House after OTA’s that Foster puts the Texans in a good spot to start 2010. Head Coach Gary Kubiak said Foster’s made the big jump from the first year back to his second year. Owen Daniels recently insinuated to the NFL Live crew that Foster will be leading it off with Slaton behind him in the three-back system.
Ben Tate, who was hampered with a hamstring injury for the OTA’s and majority of minicamps, may make a late push for a starting job, if not, at least, take good share of the carries from Foster and Slaton every game. #44 at Auburn registered 678 attempts, 3,321 yards and 24 touchdowns in four seasons. For now, look at Tate as a major sleeper for the Texans starting job due to his ability to run in offensive coordinator Rick Dennison’s power blocking system. Consider Steve Slaton, who’s slimmed down, our third down scatback.