O'Brien: Foster ready for spring; RB philosophy

O'Brien: Foster ready for spring; RB philosophy
March 25, 2014, 4:00 pm
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A little over a week ago, Texans running back Arian Foster tweeted that he had been medically cleared.

On Tuesday, at NFL meetings in Orlando, head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster will be ready when the team gets together this spring.

“He’s good. He’s going to participate in the spring," O'Brien said, via the transcript from the team. "I’ve had like three conversations with Arian, good conversations. Good guy. Really good player. Really excited about working with him and I believe he’ll be ready to go in the mini-camps.”

Foster, 27, had back surgery that ended his 2013 season early after rushing for 542 yards in eight games. His injury problems started on the first day of OTAs in 2013, when he suffered a calf injury. Then he hurt his back and missed all of training camp.

The Texans, because they have a new head coach, will be able to start their offseason workout programs on April 7. But OTAs and mini-camp should begin in late May.

Foster has been a workhorse back with the Texans. Before last year, he had at least 278 carries in each of the three previous seasons. Will he continue to get the majority of the carries?

“A lot of that will be up to Arian when he comes back for training camp and how he feels and type of shape he’s in and all that and I’m sure he’ll be in great shape," O'Brien said. "He’ll be ready to go. He’s shown to be one of the better backs in this league and he’s carried the load in the past. Our philosophy is we have three-down backs, which is Arian. Arian is a three-down back because he can catch the football. He’s a talented guy."

With Ben Tate's leaving in free agency, the running backs behind Foster on the roster are Dennis Johnson, Ray Graham, Jonathan Grimes, Toben Opurum and Chad Spann.

O'Brien went on to describe the other two types of running backs: a first- and second-down running back (he used New England's LeGarrette Blount as an example) and a third-down running back.

"Sometimes we’ve had all three of those types of backs on our team, sometimes we haven’t," O'Brien said. "But Arian’s going to be the guy that we’re looking to lean on, no question about it.”

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