10 questions with Slaton

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Rookie running back Steve Slaton, a third-round pick out of West Virginia, has been a popular pick among draft pundits and Texans fans. Both parties have said Slaton could make a tremendous impact his rookie season. Here's what the ball carrier had to say about coming to Houston:

1. Has it sunk in that you are a Texan and will be reporting to your first pro mini-camp on May 9?

"I think it will hit me more when I'm on the plane ride. I know that I'm a Texan, but I won't know what that's like until I get to Houston and get on that field."

2. What do you think will be the hardest part of transitioning from college football to the NFL?

"I think it's knowing that everybody is after your job, that everybody wants that spot. And, now, everybody is the best of the best."

{QUOTE}3. Describe your running style.

"I am defensively strong. I can break tackles and push off defenders and I can break away. I'm a hard, fast runner."

4. After the Texans selected you in the third round, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan compared you New Orleans' Reggie Bush and New England's Kevin Faulk. How are you similar to these players?

"The Texans want me to be a third-down back, and Kevin Faulk is a very reliable third-down back. Reggie can do everything. That's what I want to do. I want to be that type of player for the Texans."

5. What makes you a good third-down back?

"I can catch the ball. I can get to the outside. I can create one-on-one mismatches. There will be a lot of mismatches for me with corners and linebackers."

6. Next season, the team will be installing assistant head coach Alex Gibbs' zone blocking system. How familiar are you with a zone scheme?

"I ran a zone system in college, so that's a big positive for me. That will help me at my position a lot. It helps that I ran in a zone for three years and that is what Gibbs is putting in there."

7. The Texans will be taking five ball carriers into mini-camp (Ahman Green, Chris Brown, Darius Walker, Chris Taylor and Slaton). What do you know about the competition at running back?

"I know there is good competition. I've seen a few of these guys play and I know they are talented. But we are all trying to play the same position. We're all going to try to make plays, so there'll be competition."

8. A fan poll on HoustonTexans.com indicated that you would be the rookie who has the biggest impact in 2008. What is your reaction to being considered such a highly rated pick?

"That's exciting. I hope that I can prove them right. It's a dream that I have had all my life to go to the NFL and fill big shoes and do very positive things for a pro team."

9. What is the first thing you are going to buy as a pro?

"I'm going to need to buy a condo. I'm going to need a place to stay!"

10. What's something interesting about you that Texans fans might not know?

"I'm a guy who likes to put hard work in, but I also have a playful, funny side."

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To have the opportunity to sit down with Slaton or another Texans rookie at the Pancakes & Pigskins Rookie Breakfast on Sept. 9, click here.

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