I'll say it right now: Arian Foster will have a similarly great season in 2011. Forget about the return of injured rookie Ben Tate or head coach Gary Kubiak not using him nearly as much as he should in certain games, *ahem*secondIndianapolisgame*ahem* Foster will put up big numbers in 2011.
I don't say that because his physical skills - patience, vision, a quick cut, hard runner, and long strides - are so stellar, but I say it because of his attitude about his season. Let's throw in a jump before we get some quotes.
(on his league-leading five statistics, numerous franchise records, and breaking Priest Holmes' single-season record for most rushing yards by an undrafted player)
"I set out goals at the beginning of the season, but I wanted 1,700 [rushing] yards and 15 touchdowns."
(in reference to his doubters)
"They'll find a way — 'Oh, he's just a one-season wonder,' " Foster said. "And that's what you've got to love about people -they sit in their comfortable little chair and judge. But that's OK - just keep blowing on the fire; they ain't putting it out."
Great players are never satisfied. They may be happy with their performance any given night or season, but they are breaking down film or training as soon as they get the chance. When I hear Arian Foster say he's somewhat disappointed with his own season, along to hear his comments on it being a bit bittersweet when combined with the Texans' 6-10 season, I get the feeling that Houston fans are in for something special in 2011 and beyond.
It's also that kind of humble, driven attitude that makes it easy to say: Pay him, Rick. The life span of NFL running backs are short, and Foster, who is an exclusive rights free agent, has earned his pay and should be a cornerstone for this franchise over the next decade. Add in some Ben Tate and Houston should be an elite rushing team for years to come.