Snapshot: Ramon Foster

Deep into the offseason, continues its coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers with a look at another newcomer. Here's an inside peek at undrafted free agent Ramon Foster.

Every year in the summer – before NFL training camps start, before the NBA season kicks off and before the overseas basketball leagues get underway – Ron Hollins' four boys make a point of it to get together and spend some quality time with each other.

Quality time for this family means some quality trash talking with a lot of it being directed at the only non-professional athlete left of the four oldest brothers in Steelers undrafted rookie free agent tackle out of Tennessee Ramon Foster.

"Yeah, you can say there is a little trash talking that goes on between us," Foster said.

That's what happens when one brother is an offensive lineman for the St. Louis Rams, one plays professional basketball in Puerto Rico and the other is a star on the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves.

Foster's three brothers – Renardo Foster of the Rams, Ron Slay of Leones de Ponce of the Puerta Rican Basketball League and Rodney Carney of the Timberwolves – all get paid to play a game.

"It is a great bloodline I guess you can say," Foster said. "They put a lot of pressure on me but that's fine."

Foster (6-foot-5, 325-pounds) hopes to be the next to be paid to play as he heads into training camp with the Steelers at the end of the month with hopes of doing just that.

"We are trying to go 4-for-4," Foster said. "I am not complaining about the pressure. They helped me mature and helped me into this great situation."

Especially Renardo, the brother he grew up with in Ripley , Tenn. Ramon didn't meet his other two brothers until he was 10.

Renardo Foster went to Louisville then took the same rout as Ramon as an undrafted rookie free agent into the NFL two years ago.

Renardo played in seven games for the Falcons before being released last month. He was picked up by the Rams almost immediately.

"He was in the same situation I am in being a free agent," Foster said. "He went against the odds and proved them wrong. He has helped me a whole lot through this situation."

Ramon has leaned on his brother Renardo a lot during the past couple of months of what to expect from the draft process all the way to the opening of training camp.

"He always tells me to keep my head up and that there is nothing I can't do," Foster said. "It is an even playing field out here now. It is going to be a fight."

That great situation for Foster is being in a real position to earn a roster spot on the defending Super Bowl champions.

Foster, a massive man who the Steelers plan on playing at both guard and tackle, wasn't selected in April's draft, but had plenty of choices afterwards in which he selected the Steelers.

"Everybody wants to be drafted," Foster said. "It was a big deal but you have to brush it off. I use it as motivation to prove them wrong. They sign a lot of free agents here and a lot of free agents play here. If I would've gotten drafted it might have been a handicap because it could've been a situation that wasn't best for me. This was the best opportunity. Also the history of this franchise. They are winners. You don't want to go into a bad situation."

The Steelers have four veteran tackles on their roster in starters Max Starks and Willie Colon with second-year guy Tony Hills and Jason Capizzi. Neither Hills nor Capizzi have ever played a down in the league.

Also, the Steelers carried five tackles last season and did not select one in the draft or sign one as a free agent which gives him a legitimate shot to make the team as a tackle.

But Foster may find a home at guard.

Late during OTA's, the Steelers moved Foster from tackle to guard.

"Right now guard is going pretty well for me," Foster said. "Either one or the other is good for me. If I play guard I know what the tackle is doing and if I play tackle I know what the guard is doing."

Foster initial goal is to make the team, but has high hopes from him after that.

"I am not looking too far forward but I do have goals," Foster said.

It is safe to say that pretty high up on that list is being able to trash talk right along with his brothers at the next gathering.

"They talk a lot of crap now especially Renardo," Foster said. "He is at it all the time. It is fun and friendly, but a ton of trash talking."

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