Texans rave about Arian Foster's skills
Houston (AP) -- Houston's Arian Foster is one of the NFL's
top running backs.
Running, however, is only one part of his game that makes him so good.
The Texans raved this week about his blocking and receiving skills, and
perhaps most importantly, his knowledge of the game.
''There's nothing he can't do,'' offensive coordinator Rick Dennison
said. ''He catches the ball extremely well. He blocks very well. The
little things, as far as seeing somebody, it's almost like a chess
move. He knows a couple moves ahead when a guy is coming so he doesn't
take a solid shot. One of the best things that you notice about runners
is they don't get hit really hard, and Arian does that very well.''
Houston has a pair of solid backup running backs, but they rarely go in
because Foster is so valuable when he's on the field.
''He understands everything we put him in,'' Dennison said. ''That's
why he's on the field all the time.''
That fact is not lost on Foster, who aims to be indispensable.
''(I take) a lot of pride,'' he said of doing many things well. ''I try
to be the most complete back I can because your value is higher, not
just monetarily, but as a football player, is higher to your coaching
staff and team if you can do all things well.''
Foster finished second in the AFC with 1,424 yards rushing in the
regular season. He added a season-high 32 carries for 140 yards in
Houston's wild-card win over the Bengals to become the first player in
NFL history to run for 100 yards or more in each of his first three
career playoff games.
He also added eight receptions for 34 yards on Saturday.
''Whether he's running or catching it, very rarely does the first
person tackle him, and that creates big plays for your offense,''
quarterback Matt Schaub said. ''When you can dump it down to your
running back if something's not there downfield and he can turn a
3-yard catch into a 12-, 15-yard gain, that's a huge positive for us.''
The Texans will need another big game from him on Sunday when they face
New England in a divisional playoff game.
If he reaches 100 yards against the Patriots, he'll become just the
fourth player in league history to reach the mark in four straight
Not bad for a player who went undrafted out of Tennessee in 2009 and
was picked up as a free agent by the Texans. Foster was on the practice
squad for part of that year, and his first career start came in the
last game of that season against the Patriots.
He did well, running 20 times for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Things
didn't go nearly as well in his next shot against New England. He had
just 46 yards rushing as Houston had to abandon the run game after
getting down early in last month's 42-14 loss.
Foster signed a five-year, $43.5 million contract before this season,
and says that he rarely thinks about the inauspicious start to his NFL
''Anytime you can achieve an elite level performance in any sport ... I
think it's special,'' Foster said. ''Me being undrafted I don't think
had anything to do with it. It didn't change my opinion of myself.''
The draft snub once motivated him, but it doesn't anymore.
''At one point it was. That training camp and that season it was,'' he
said. ''But after that nobody cares that you went undrafted anymore.''
Coach Gary Kubiak saw many good qualities in Foster before the Texans
picked him up, but he's been really impressed with how he's grown since.
''The thing that helps players really take their game to the next level
is when they don't have to work so darn hard on game plans because they
know things,'' Kubiak said. ''You can walk in with 40 new runs and 100
new passes and it will take Arian about an hour to sit there and read
and study and he can go right out there and it's no problem. His
talents take over all the time because he is such a smart player.''
Texans Gush Over Foster's Skills
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