Tag:Arian Foster
Posted on: July 13, 2011 8:34 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 10:32 am

Stafford, Arian Foster join CBS Football Podcast

Posted by Will Brinson

We've got a star-studded podcast on this heavy-with-news Wednesday, as Matthew Stafford of the Lions and Arian Foster of the Texans -- along with Gatorade Player of the Year nominee and Tennessee-commit Justin Worley -- join me to talk some football.

I chat with Stafford about Pete Prisco naming him a breakout player ("he's a smart guy"), the hype that the Lions are getting, wanting cornerbacks in free agency and whether he liked the pick of Nick Fairley (versus an offensive lineman).

Foster talks about his success last season, what his expectations are for next year, whether he's worried about his number of carries in 2010 (he calls the 300-theory "a myth"), and how often people come up to him and tell him about their fantasy football leagues and how he saved them ("every single day").

He also discusses the Subway charity work he's doing right now -- for a limited time, anyone who can donate $10 to the West Alabama Food Bank by texting "FOOD" to 27722, and Subway will match each donation between now and the end of July. So go do that, please.

Just hit the play button and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download.

Posted on: June 9, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 4:57 pm

Michael Turner's best days could be behind him

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Running backs are fungible. We've been beating that drum for years now, and basically the theory goes something like this: Don't draft a running back with a top 15 pick unless you're certain he's the next Barry Sanders or Jim Brown.

There are exceptions, but the thinking is that teams can find productive backs in later rounds (and often among the undrafted), which frees them up to use early picks on positions that are tougher to fill -- like left tackle and cornerback. This applies to free agency, too. An example that immediately comes to mind: the Seahawks re-signing Shaun Alexander to an eight-year, $62 million deal in 2006, six years into his career. At the time, it was the largest contract ever signed by a running back.

Alexander, who had 370 carries for 1,880 yards (27 TDs) in '05, managed just 896 yards on 252 carries (7 TDs) in '06. He gained 716 yards a year later, and by 2008 he was out of the league

Meanwhile, success stories on the cheap are everywhere. Willie Parker and
Arian Foster were undrafted free agents. So were Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas. And if they should get hurt or become ineffective, there are other low-priced alternatives.

We bring this up because Michael Turner was originally just that: a low-priced alternative -- the former Chargers fifth-round pick who spent most of his career in San Diego behind LaDanian Tomlinson. Having seen glimpses of his potential, teams around the league were intrigued by Turner once he hit free agency. In 2008, the Falcons signed him to a six-year, $34.5 million contract with $15 million guaranteed.

Early on it looked like a good investment. Atlanta had then-rookie quarterback
Matt Ryan, and the offense relied heavily on the running game to make his job easier. Turner finished 2008 with 376 carries for 1,699 yards (17 TDs). And according to Football Outsiders, Turner ranked third in total RB value behind Thomas Jones and DeAngelo Williams.

But the productivity was short-lived. In '09, Turner played in just 11 games and had 871 yards on 178 carries (10 TDs). His Football Outsiders total value ranking fell to 16th, sandwiched between the likes of Ronnie Brown and Willis McGahee. Turner appeared to rebound last season (334 carries, 1,371 yards, 12 TDs), but his total value was still 16th.

Which brings us to Scout Inc.'s Matt Williamson,
who writes on ESPN.com that Turner's "best days might already be behind him and (he is) someone who will never be an asset in the passing game."

Williamson thinks that
Gartrell Johnson, a former fourth-rounder (coincidentally drafted by the Chargers), could step in for Turner if given the opportunity. "Johnson very well could end up not making this roster, but if he were to stick and be thrust into a prominent role, this hard-nosed power back might surprise."

The bottom line: the Falcons invested a lot of money in Turner, money that could have been better allocated. There's no denying that Turner was great during the '08 season, but he's been something less than that in the two years since. The NFL is full of running backs who are, on average, as productive as Turner but at a fraction of the cost.

Look no further than the guy on the cover of Madden 12 for proof.

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Posted on: May 12, 2011 5:31 pm

Hot Routes 5.12.11: Chris Harris is just awesome

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Chris Harris of the Chicago Bears is a pretty chill dude, from what I know about him on Twitter. (Also, he was a Panther for a few years, so I was always a fan.) He seems to "get it" when it comes to online interaction, and if you hit him up on Twitter, he'll usually hit you back. Anyway, what he did for a Alex of Cheesehead.TV's father is pretty ridiculous. As you might guess, Alex is not a Bears fan. But his dad is, and via Twitter, page/GB">Packers+Lounge)">Alex was able to get Harris to ring up his dad on the old man's birthday.
Posted on: April 11, 2011 1:07 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2011 12:37 pm

Offseason Checkup: Houston Texans

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups . Also, check out our checkup podcast:

When the Texans beat the Colts 34-24 in the 2010 season-opener, Houston was well on its way to winning the AFC South and the first-ever playoff appearance for the club. Matt Schaub was going to continue emerging as one of the top QBs in the game, Andre Johnson was going to cement his place as the top receiver in the NFL, RB Arian Foster was going to build on his first-game performance (231 yards and four total TDs on 33 carries) and Houston’s secondary was going to be just fine without Dunta Robinson.

That’s what we thought anyway.

Then, the Texans, sitting at 4-2, lost eight of their next nine games to kill their season. Foster still went on to win the rushing title, and Schaub had a pretty good season. But Johnson didn’t have one of his better years (though to be fair, he WAS dealing with a painful ankle injury that he played through), and the secondary, to be kind, was absolutely horrid. Overall, in fact, the defense was terrible. Yet, coach Gary Kubiak has been retained for another season, and the Texans continue to be slightly worse than mediocre.

But something must change …

New defensive system

That something might be new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. While Phillips’ reign as Cowboys head coach ended in disaster in the middle of last season, he’s still well-respected as a defensive coordinator. In 2011, though, he’s got a big job in front of him.

1. Um, the secondary
Yes, the Texans will need to rethink their entire defensive back roster, because it repeatedly got torched last season. After saying goodbye to Robinson, who went on to a so-so season with the Falcons, the secondary (Kareem Jackson, Glover Quin, Bernard Pollard and Eugene Wilson) were just tremendously bad. If the Texans can’t get this fixed, it doesn’t matter who’s coordinating the defense, because Houston simply won’t win.

2. Nose Tackle
Houston hasn’t had to worry much about this position in the past because of the 4-3 scheme it used to play, but now that the Texans will go to the 3-4, they need to find a massive NT to eat up blockers and allow his linebackers behind him to make plays. Maybe Shaun Cody is that guy, but he might not be good enough and he certainly hasn’t been an impact player thus far in his career.

3. Second Wide Receiver
It looked for a time like Kevin Walter might be that guy, but he was little more than solid last year. Jacoby Jones is fine on kickoff returns, but he drops the ball too much as a receiver. Though the Texans obviously have much bigger problems, it wouldn’t be a huge shock if the Texans went after Julio Jones in the first round of the draft.

It’s hard to be confident that a Kubiak-led team will ever make the playoffs, but the Texans better accomplish that this year if they want to keep him around. Defense, like we’ve pounded in your head over and over in this checkup, is the true test, and there is plenty of talent in the front seven on that side of the ball. If Phillips can help get that unit in gear, the AFC South is ripe for the taking.

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Posted on: February 23, 2011 10:17 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 10:19 pm

Foster: I was actually injured in preseason

Foster Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We told you earlier today that Texans RB Arian Foster recently had minor arthroscopic surgery on his knee after an injury supposedly suffered in the Pro Bowl.

According to Foster himself, that’s not exactly true.

This evening on his Twitter feed, Foster wrote the following (bolding is my emphasis): “I did not get injured in the probowl, I did it in our first preseason game and played thru it. Thank you all for your good wishes!”

Let’s all say it together: SAY WHAT?!?!?!?

So, that’s pretty impressive, eh? You might recall that Foster, with 1,616 yards, came out of nowhere to lead the league in rushing while scoring a league-high 16 touchdowns. And apparently he did it while injured and needing surgery.

That, my friend, is awfully impressive. And it makes you wonder how good Foster will be when he's, um, completely healthy.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: February 23, 2011 3:25 pm

Arian Foster had minor surgery on right knee

Posted by Will Brinson

There are many reasons why the Pro Bowl is annoying, but "injuries to players" usually isn't one of them. Except for today, as it appears that NFL-leading rusher Arian Foster might have gotten hurt while playing in Hawaii to celebrate his great 2010 season.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that Foster just recently underwent "minor arthroscopic surgery" on his right knee because of an injury he suffered at the Pro Bowl.

McClain notes that "if this were the regular season," then the Texans running back could return to the field in three weeks. He apparently thought rest following his trip to Hawaii would help, but it didn't, and he opted for the surgery.

Obviously this injury is something of concern for the Texans, because they don't want their newly-studded running back to roll into 2011 with a pile of injury concerns lingering over his head. But the good news is that the surgery was minor, Foster is theoretically going to be fine and there are bigger issues surrounding the NFL that need to be solved before we can even see Foster try to run.

The lesson here, as always, though: the Pro Bowl is evil.

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Posted on: December 30, 2010 5:31 pm

Race for the rushing title

J. Charles (US Presswire)Posted by Andy Benoit

Rushing titles have always been a big deal in the NFL – a bigger deal than any other statistical category, in fact. Why do teams and players care more about a rushing title than other statistical achievements? The guess here is because a rushing title honors seven players: the running back (of course), his fullback/tight end and his five offensive linemen.

As we roll into Week 17, there are three players vying for the top rushing mark: Houston’s Arian Foster (1,436 yards), Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles (1,380 yards) and Tennessee’s Chris Johnson (1,325 yards).

All three have a known desire to finish No. 1. Gary Kubiak told the media this week that Foster’s rushing title is important to the team. Charles said he wants to play in the Chiefs’ meaningless game against the Raiders because the team is trying to win…and he’s “still trying to get the rushing title”. And we’ll assume that Chris Johnson wants to defend his title because, well, everything Chris Johnson has said the past 12 months seems to indicate that he cares very much about his resume. (Can’t blame him – he’s still looking for that mega contract.)

Charles’ situation is the most interesting of the bunch. If he does get the title, it’s a safe guess he’d be the first player in NFL history to do so as a backup (he’s started six games this season). If he doesn’t play at all, he preserves his 6.4 yards per carry average on the season, which ties Jim Brown’s all-time record.

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Posted on: December 19, 2010 12:27 pm

Cowher could be looking at a trio of teams

Bill Cowher apparently is looking at three teams (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If former Steelers coach Bill Cowher wants to return to the sidelines, the Giants, the Dolphins and the Texans are the clubs he’d like to take over.

That’s according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, via Pro Football Talk.

Two of those clubs raise an interesting quandary. New York is still in the playoff hunt, so it seems rather silly to think that Tom Coughlin would be in danger of getting fired. Miami hasn’t had a fabulous season, but Tony Sparano has only been on board for three seasons, and he hadn’t appeared to be on any hot-seat list (yet, you have to wonder if the prospect of getting Cowher would inch Sparano toward the unemployment line).

The Texans move would actually make sense. If the Texans don’t make the postseason – and they most likely won’t – coach Gary Kubiak probably should be relieved of his job.

With plenty of firepower on offense (QB Matt Schaub, WR Andre Johnson and RB Arian Foster) and with Cowher’s background as a tenacious defensive coach, the hiring of Cowher seemingly would be a very good move for an organization that still has never made the playoffs.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com