Houston Texans Arian Foster on Breaking Thresholds, Mentalities and Self Governing

This past week Houston Texans Arian Foster was a guest on the SiriusXM Blitz radio show with Adam Schein and Rich Gannon. The Texans rarely have the opportunity to receive national attention so for the 2010 NFL rushing leader to be heard by a nation wide audience is a definite plus for the Texans organization, Arian Foster & the Texans fan base.

This is only meant to inform readers about the actual interview. This is not an original write-up but a link to the actual full length interview can’t be located. This is a seven minute segment from the telephone interview conducted by Adam Schein & Rich Gannon.

Arian Foster first starts off by commenting when asked about what went through his head when the Houston Texans drafted running back Ben Tate in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Foster begins by saying, “my mind set going into training camp last year was they obviously have a guy that they (Texans management) are high on and that’s fine. But what I can control is that he (Ben Tate) can’t out work me. I don’t feel like any man on this earth can out work me. I feel that as a man, and if he can then I’m willing to go that mile with him. That’s all we can control as men and so I just try to live in that world. What can I control? I can’t worry about who is behind me or who’s ahead of me. All I can control is what I can so that’s just how I live my life.”

Adam Schein of the Blitz follows Arian Foster’s take on the things only he himself can control by asking, “Now you burst on the scene, you had this unbelievable season last year. How do you duplicate it in 2011? How do you become even better this season?”

Arian Foster replies, “That’s a great question. I think you become better by practicing and working hard at it. There is only so much you can reach as a professional athlete, there’s a peak and I feel I haven’t peaked yet as an athlete and I’m always working toward that. I want to be the best athlete I can for as long as I can be.” Foster goes on to say, “As far as duplicating the season. I don’t want to duplicate any season. All I want to do is take a step forward rather than taking a step back. That’s my mentality so it may not convey that on the stat sheet or in fantasy football but if I feel like I’m a better football player this year than I was last year then that’s my goal. That’s me, cause I can look at myself in the mirror. Stats are awesome but we didn’t make the playoffs last year. I’m not really a stat guy. If you have them that’s great and you get a lot of individual accolades and that’s fine but I’d much rather be in the playoffs and playing for a ring. That’s just me. As far as being a better player next year. I’m going to be a better player than I was last year because I’m going to limit my mistakes. I’m going to limit my turnovers. I’m going to limit anything that was a negative on my resume last year. I’m going to limit that and I’m going to make sure of that by working hard every day. I’ve been working and I’m working on it everyday in practice until the last whistle blows.”

Rich Gannon follows Adam Schein’s question with one of his own by asking, “What was the feedback you got from the coaching staff? I know Gary (Kubiak) likes to visit with players before they take off at the end of the season. Rick Dennison, your offensive coordinator is very involved with the running game and of course, Chick Harris your running backs coach. What was some of the feedback, Arian, that they gave you heading into the offseason? That they may have said ‘These are some areas, these are some specific areas where you can do better’. For example the passing game. I know that’s an area a lot of young backs want to continue to improve upon whether it’s protection, whether it’s route running or getting to the right depths so a guy like Matt Schaub knows exactly where your going to be. What are some of those things they talked to you about before you left at the end of the season.

Arian Foster’s response was as follows, “We didn’t go to much over negatives. I’m a pretty complete back. I like to think of myself as a pretty complete back. I think I’m one of the if not the best back in the league as far as pass blocking is concerned. I take pride in that and I’m an every down back. I can stay on the field all three downs or all four downs because I play at a high level at each aspect of the game. I take pride in that and so when I left the meetings this year they let me know that they were really proud of me. Because coming from where I came from you don’t see that a lot in this league. They were really proud of me and encouraging me especially Coach Kub. He said to me, ‘You know the question is can you do it again? Only you have the answer to that and you know I’m behind you.” Foster continues on by saying, “So you see Coach Kub has always had a lot of love for me. A lot of it’s been tough love but he has a lot of love for me. That was very encouraging of the coaching staff and I enjoyed it.”

“Arian How do you guys in Houston get over that hump and make the playoffs this season?”, Adam Schein questions.

Arian responds in his usual feng shui manner by saying, “I think we have to develop. We haven’t had a lot of time in the offseason to spend together as a team but I think the mentality of your team develops in the OTA’s and in your training camps. I think the leaders of our team have to step up and demand that the little things don’t go unnoticed, stay on top of each other, and we have to be self governed rather than having coaches yell at us all the time. I’m not saying we haven’t been doing that but as a leader you have to start demanding high expectations and high praise at a high level. I think you have to and sometimes you have to be the bad guy and I think we need more bad guys on the team. We need people to step up and just take us to the next level, whoever it may be.” Arian finishes his statement by adding, “I’ll lead if I need to lead and I’ll follow when I need to follow but I think it’s a mentality that we have to finish. We were in a lot of games last year we didn’t finish and I think that mentality is developed in training camp.”

Adam Schein’s next question segued in from Arian’s answer to the last question Foster was asked. Schein asks, “Arian, you take a look at that mentality and you mention you could be a guy who steps up. Who else do you rely upon in this offense on this team for leadership? Is it Matt Schaub? Is it Andre Johnson by example? Is it DeMeco Ryans, his team on defense? Who needs to help increase that mentality to finish?”

“Well I don’t think we need to look toward one player and say, ‘Lead us.'” Foster answers and goes on to add, “At least that’s not my mentality. My mentality is that I’m going out and I’m showing people how to play at a high level. I think once people do that, winning is contagious, success is contagious, if your around it all the time your going to want to be that. That’s just the truth of the matter. We have guys who lead by example and then we have our vocal leaders but collectively as a group we need to figure it out and as a unit we need to be cohesive about coming together. Everybody coming along, I think that is how you win in this league and just in life in general. It’s surrounding yourself with people that want to be great, want to do good things, want to win and want to do whatever it takes to win. I think once we break that mold and break through that threshold and figure out that we can then we will. We know we can play with anybody in this league it’s just about proving it on a week in and week out basis.”

Rich Gannon’s last question to Arian Foster, “Arian, How about your quarterback Matt Schaub? I think he’s become one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Certainly maybe not at the elite level just yet but I think he’s got the potential to be that guy someday when he starts winning the big games. Where could he be better? What have you seen out of of him in your short time in Houston?”

Arian wraps it up by saying, “I think he (Schaub) is absolutely among the leagues best. Back to back four thousand yard seasons, he’s very accurate as a quarterback, and he commands the offense very well in the system. He is definitely what this team needs. We all follow him and I love him as a quarterback. I’ve played with him for two years now and I wouldn’t want to have anybody else. That’s just the way I am if you have the same logo on your helmet as I do.”

The interview was very insightful into the mentality of Arian Foster. Foster happens to be a philosophy major and has always struck us as a deep thinker. Foster is right on point about a much needed culture change in Houston. A culture that has known nothing but losing and not being able to win the big game seems to be on it’s way out the door in order to allow the new winning culture and mind set to move in and it starts with successful disciplined players like the Fosters, Johnsons, Schaubs and Ryans of the Sport.

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Tags: Andre Johnson Arian Foster Demeco Ryans Gary Kubiak Matt Schaub Texans

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