2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Steelers guard Foster's turn has come

By CHRIS ADAMSKI - Associated Press
    2013-08-26 13:52

PITTSBURGH (AP) - After years of figuratively working behind the scenes on the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line, Ramon Foster - at last - is under the metaphorical bright lights.

Cameras from NFL Films shot Foster during training camp at Saint Vincent College earlier this month. Foster, a fifth-year guard, and rookie lineman Mike Golic, Jr., are starring in a series of webisodes sponsored by a deodorant company.

In the past, Foster was merely out to make a name for himself by working to impress enough to secure a roster spot or playing time. It's fitting that as he enters his fifth season assured of a starting job for the first time, Foster's star turn has arrived.

``That guy's a celebrity, man,'' affable Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey quipped, before turning serious. ``He deserves it. That guy's been working his butt off for years before and he didn't get any (publicity) for it. Now he's getting all of it.

``He deserves it all.''

Over the first four years of his career, Foster was used as little more than a spare part by the Steelers. Judging by the organization's personnel decisions, Foster wasn't just viewed as replaceable - worse, he was indeed replaced. Repeatedly.

But Foster kept rising to the top - of the depth chart - anyway. He's started 42 of the 64 regular-season games Pittsburgh's played since signing him as an undrafted free agent from Tennessee during the spring of 2009 and has finished the season in the starting lineup each of the last four years. Foster was in the lineup at right guard for each of the four postseason games the Steelers have played since he joined the team, including the Super Bowl.

All that playing time hardly guaranteed Foster job security. Foster went into the ensuing season's training camp as anything more than penciled in as a backup. Until now.

``You like to see a great story like that, somebody who came up from being an undrafted free agent and busts his tail,'' Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert said. ``He was a guy that (the organization) didn't have much faith in, but I think that they've grown on Ramon. They can count on him and they know he's one of the valuable guys on the team. And durable.''

Foster has avoided injury throughout his career, and his tenure has benefited via the injuries of others. During his rookie season, he stepped in for Chris Kemoeatu when the latter was injured. The following year, the Steelers turned to Foster twice - when Chris Kemoeatu and, later, Trai Essex went down.

In 2011, Foster started an early season game at left guard in place of an injured Kemoeatu and was in the lineup for the final 15 games (including playoffs) at right guard when Doug Legursky was out.

Last season, Foster likely wasn't going to start until rookie first-round pick David DeCastro sustained a knee injury during a preseason game. By the time DeCastro was active again, veteran Willie Colon was out, so Foster stayed in.

Finally, after four years of being a reliable starter even when not officially a starter, Foster was rewarded in March when the Steelers signed him to a three-year, $6 million contract and, by extension, handed him the starting gig at left guard.

``It's good that they trust me, but it goes along with the hard work I've put in also over the years,'' Foster said. ``So I don't take it for granted whatsoever and I've got to continue to work each and every day at practice and in the games.''

That's never been an issue for Foster, who was a three-year starter at Tennessee. But he mostly played tackle there, partially the reason he slipped through the cracks at the 2009 NFL draft.

Although he has filled in occasionally at tackle in Pittsburgh, Foster, at 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, has clearly found a home at guard. And at 27, he's the senior member of a projected starting offensive line that also includes Pouncey (24), Gilbert (25), DeCastro (23) and tackle Mike Adams (23).

Foster is a jovial, outgoing type, so his vocal leadership comes naturally. Teammates say his work ethic provides a solid example for younger players, too. He insists that part of his persona won't leave - even now that he's finally earned the respect of the organization in the form of a guaranteed spot in the lineup.

``Still got the chip on my shoulder, man,'' he said. ``That's not going to leave. That's just been my mentality and it's been that way for the last four years. Going into this year, it hasn't been much different.

``Just trying to stay consistent in that department.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is listed as probable for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's appeal hearing is scheduled to occur Dec. 2, and commissioner Roger Goodell will not be in charge of the hearing. Former NFL employee Harold [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Friday, Nov. 21. Fitzgerald was working on the side during that part of practice.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 02:22p

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) has passed his concussion test and is good to go in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giovani BernardNov 21 02:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12.

Julius ThomasNov 21 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins after putting in a limited practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 02:02p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) practiced in full Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach John Fox.

Julius ThomasNov 21 01:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle), who appeared limited during practice Friday, Nov. 21, figures to be a game-time decision against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Thomas said [ More ]

Dwayne AllenNov 21 01:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jonas GrayNov 21 01:22p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray (undisclosed) was a no-show at practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Jordan ReedNov 21 01:12p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed his third straight day of practice Friday, Nov. 21, and head coach Jay Gruden said Reed has been ruled out for Week [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is participating in practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 11:02a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he'll gladly return this season if he wins the appeal of his indefinite suspension. If he loses his appeal and has to sit [ More ]

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group