With Tate leaving, who backs up Foster?


Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

I keep hearing people saying that the Texans have no one behind Arian Foster now that Ben Tate will leave in free agency. I have even heard these words coming from John “The General” McClain. Well, I truly hope Bill O’Brien is not listening to these guys.

Though the sampling for Jonathan Grimes is small, it was impressive. To walk into a single game at the end of the season after being signed last minute to fill a gap, the guy averaged 3.5 yards a carry and 12.7 yard receiving, which is something you would expect from your starting RB.

It would seem that Grimes would be a great replacement for Ben Tate as he moves on to a bigger pay day somewhere else. Grimes’ personality and team oriented mindset would make a wonderful addition to the Texans organization. It eludes me how so many analysts simply overlook Grimes when talking about what the Texans have to work with before the draft.

Many liked Dennis Johnson and I can easily understand why. Johnson was fairly productive but, in this writer’s opinion, lacked power needed in what will more than likely change in the O’Brien era; moving away from the zone blocking scheme.

Having watched both Grimes and D. Johnson, I see a lot of talent. Both have explosive speed and can ‘wiggle’ through tight spots. However, when it comes to what many believe to be a change in offensive line scheme under the new coaching staff, Grimes will have the advantage over D. Johnson in the power category.

With the old zone blocking scheme one didn’t need to be powerful, just quick and nibble; the blocking scheme would open holes to zip through. I’m not saying D. Johnson has no place on the Texans team; he did produce under the previous system. It just seems apparent to me that Grimes would do better backing up and eventually replacing Foster as the number one guy.

The life of a running back in the NFL tends to be a short one, with few exceptions. Foster has done, and will continue to do, a great job. Reality, though, dictates that any given team needs to have an equal, or close to it, back up to remain affective for the running game. The sampling I have gotten tells me that the Texans have that guy in Jonathan Grimes.