Rookie Foster gets shot to help Houston's run game

BY foxsports • December 17, 2009

Houston has struggled in the run game all season and starter Steve Slaton being placed on the injured reserve last week sure didn't help.

The team ranks 29th in the league in yards rushing a game with 88.7.

Now the Texans will try turning things around with rookie Arian Foster. The undrafted free agent spent most of the season on the practice squad and made his offensive debut last week. He is expected to play a much bigger role Sunday against St. Louis and could start, but first he has to improve his work in practice.

``He's got a long way to go,'' coach Gary Kubiak said. ``He did some good things the other day, but he needs to practice better than he did (Thursday). He's a ... little inconsistent, but he's got a lot of talent and he's getting an opportunity here and he needs to understand how important this opportunity he is getting is.''

Foster knew Kubiak was unhappy with him on Thursday and is working to improve.

``I had a couple of mental errors so I have to overcome that,'' he said.

Foster had 13 carries for 34 yards and four receptions for 54 yards against the Seahawks in Houston's first game since Slaton's season ended because of a nerve issue in his neck. Foster was in 20 plays in that game, but Kubiak plans to beef up his workload this week.

``He's getting an opportunity because of the misfortune of Steve being out and us searching for some back to step up and take it upon his shoulders,'' Kubiak said. ``So we'll see how he does. He better protect No. 8 (quarterback Matt Schaub) if he's going to play.''

Foster, who played in college at Tennessee, knows the importance of his blocking duties.

``They pay their quarterbacks a lot of money and you don't want to be the guy that gets him hurt,'' Foster said. ``It's your job so you've got to go out there and get it done.''

The Texans want to take a good look at Foster in these last three games after Chris Brown and Ryan Moats have failed to get the running game going while Slaton suffered through fumbling problems before his injury.

Foster will likely get the majority of the carries on Sunday, but Kubiak plans to use Brown and Moats as well.

Moats had a big game against the Bills earlier this season when Slaton was benched for fumbling, but Kubiak was upset after he lost a fumble against the Seahawks.

Foster is looking forward to getting back on the field after his first chance last week.

``This is what you work for,'' he said. ``This is what you dream for as a little kid, so I'm going to try to go out there and make things happen. It was good to get that first game out of the way and the little first game jitters. Hopefully next game I'll be a little more comfortable and make a few more plays.''

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