Steve Slaton was briefly a free-agent this off-season before signing a 1-year deal to return to Miami. After joining the Dolphins midway through the season, then head coach Tony Sparano rarely used Slaton.
This was Slaton’s first opportunity to be a free-agent in the NFL, and had a chance to look for a team where he might have a chance to have a greater role on the team. Slaton was on and off the free-agent market almost as quickly as it started.
After the season was over, Miami fired Sparano and brought in Joe Philbin to replace him. Philbin brought former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman in as his offensive coordinator. Sherman will install a West Coast-style offense that is better suited to Slaton’s skill set than the power running game ran by the previous regime. Reggie Bush is the starter at running back for the Dolphins, and the team is very high on 2nd year man, Daniel Thomas.
Philbin spoke with the Miami Herald this week, and had good things to say about the former Mountaineer running back and how he expects the backfield to work together.
“I think Steve Slaton has obviously had some very good production in the league,” Philbin told the Miami Herald. “He’s a guy we think fits our system of running the football very, very well. That’s his training. That’s kind of his background in the league so we really felt he was a good fit schematically.
“And one thing we need to have with all our backs, we’re looking for guys that the best we can the more balance we can have. We want guys with a variety of skills in their toolbox so to speak. We would love to have a guy that can run the ball, pass protect, and catch the ball. So defenses aren’t playing jersey numbers all the time. Hey, Slaton is in the game they’re doing this. Hey, Bush is in the game they’re doing that. You got to have guys to give you that extra dimension. Give you that balance that you’re looking for.”