TORONTO – After a 2013 season that saw six different running backs carry the football for the Argonauts (seven if you include RB/SB Andre Durie), and Chad Kackert’s season ending with a serious ankle injury one day before the biggest game of the year, the Double Blue has made it an off-season priority to expand their stable of ball carriers for 2014.
On April 24, the Boatmen added to that corral by signing former Houston Texans rookie sensation Steve Slaton. Selected in the third round (89th overall) by the Texans, he set multiple franchise records in his first season, including a new single-game rookie record with 156 rushing yards and a touchdown. He also broke the then-franchise single season rushing record with 1,282 yards.
Following some injury troubles, Slaton was eventually waived by the Texans in 2011, claimed by the Miami Dolphins and eventually released in 2012. After a year off from football, Slaton is looking forward to his return to the gridiron in the CFL.
“I’m just looking for an opportunity to play football again,” Slaton said in an interview on TSN 1050 Radio with TSN Drive host and CFL Insider Dave Naylor.
“I’m happy to come over here and play.”
Slaton’s connection to the CFL runs deeper than one may think–many of his former West Virginia University team mates are now signed on with CFL clubs. Most notably Noel Devine, a running back and kick returner who was with the Montreal Alouettes, Pat White, who just signed a contract with the Edmonton Eskimos, and Jock Sanders, a running back who has spent time with the Lions, Roughriders and signed with the Stampeders this past off-season.
During his interview on TSN 1050 Radio, Slaton mentioned that he had been in touch with Pat White before he signed and also spoke to him about his own signing with the Argos.
When asked about his familiarity with the Canadian game and his former teammates, Slaton was quick to respond.
“[I’ve been] keeping up with a lot of guys that I’ve played with that have jumped over to Canada, watching them and supporting them.”
Slaton was also quick to note that he thinks his speed will be perfect for the Canadian game, as the league is all about getting, “your playmakers in open space. With the wider field you’ve got a lot of space to work with.”
The Argos coaching staff will also be happy to hear that Slaton could fit right into the Argos style of offence. He mentioned near the end of his interview that, “protecting the quarterback is the number one thing.”
Music to the ears of Scott Milanovich and #15 behind centre.