Fired-up Foster: 'I'm ready to carry ball'

With Frank Gore hobbled by an ankle injury, DeShaun Foster likely will be carrying the load at tailback on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Here, Foster talks about his first season with the 49ers and the larger role he's expected to take in the offense against Miami.

Q: What's your mentality going into this game, considering you are likely to be carrying the load at tailback?
Foster:
Just prepare like any other week, basically. Make sure I'm ready to go. I feel good, and I'm just making sure I know the offense and I'm ready to carry the ball.

Q: How would you compare your skill set to Frank Gore's?
Foster:
Frank's a good back and he can do everything, basically. So I'm just going to get in there, me and Mike Robinson, and just try to help this offense and carry the load.

Q: Do you expect that you might be catching the ball more out of the backfield?
Foster:
We throw to the back anyway. So I don't think our offense will change too much. We're just going to get out there and still call the same plays and just get after it.

Q: How much more do you expect to be used this week?
Foster:
I just get in there and just help the offense and just help the team basically. I've been called to help on special teams and that's what I'm here for, I'm just here to play basically.

Q: How would you describe your style of running?
Foster:
Just my style. That's it. I just have my style I guess. That's just the way I run.

Q: Despite the fact that you've been used infrequently here, do you still consider yourself a starting running back in the NFL?
Foster:
Oh, yeah.

Q: Has the way you've been used this season frustrating for you then?
Foster:
It's not frustrating. I'm behind a good guy. He's a good running back. So whenever my number's called, I just try to be ready and just be prepared and just be able to go.

Q: Why come here knowing that you'd be sitting behind a back like Gore, who would be getting most of the carries?
Foster:
(laughs). I follow the team, it's a good team. I'm from California, I wanted to come back on the West Coast. And I just thought it would be a good opportunity for me. And it has been. Because I'm healthy right now and it's my first time being in this kind of offense, so I'm learning a new offense. I'm just happy, basically.

Q: You're averaging just 2.1 yards per carry. What are your feelings about that?
Foster:
That's not really me. It's just the kind of situation that I've been at as far as in games and stuff.

Q: Are you feeling pretty fresh at this point of the season considering how much you've been used?
Foster:
Yeah, I feel real fresh. I haven't been helmeted at all this year. I'm just looking forward to this game and going from there.

Q: Have you been able to stay patient knowing that this time would eventually come for you this season?
Foster:
I mean, nobody's wishing for somebody to go down to an injury. Nothing like that. But you just always got to be prepared. Everybody's one play away from being in there and playing. So I just want to always make sure I'm ready to go.

Q: Growing up in Southern California, were you a Rams fan or a 49ers fan?
Foster:
I loved the Rams. (The 49ers) are a good team too, but the Rams are right there in Anaheim.

Q: Are you feeling at all like a rookie this week? Foster: I'm not going to say rookie, but you're just excited. You kind of just know your going to get the opportunity, my number is going to get called a couple of times and I'm going to be ready to go.

Q: With the team on a roll, do you feel like this is a good time for you to step in?
Foster:
It's just a good situation for me basically and I'm just looking forward to it. The team's on a pretty good roll right now were going out there and playing a good defense.

Q: In that regard, what kind of responsibility do you feel to carry the load?
Foster:
These are big shoes you've got to fill. I'm just going to take it as a challenge. Any time you get out there and play you don't want to let down your team. So I'm going to try to get out there and respond.

Q: Have you perhaps tried to do too much when you've been in there this season?
Foster:
Yeah, you don't know if that's your last carry or not. You're just trying to make it happen. Going into this game I know I'm going to compete so I want to take the game into the end zone and play football.

Q: Have you had to change your approach at all this season, sitting behind Frank?
Foster:
It's not basically changing my approach, you just have a different role. I'm a team player, I knew coming in Frank is a good back and he might get most of the load, so I wasn't completely blind to this. Whatever I can do to help the team, when you get on special teams helping the team, that's what my role was and that's what I take pride in. I have an opportunity this week, so hopefully I can show them.

Q: Your demeanor suggests you don't get too excited. Is that accurate?
Foster:
I'm just a low-key guy. There's no reason for me to be rah-rah today. Sunday I will be. Game day I'm a different guy. This week I'm carrying the load, and I'm just ready.


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