Every time I watch Arian Foster, (excluding that awful Baltimore performance) I am reminded of another great running back. Barry Sanders. The one word I would use to describe Foster is simple: Evasive. He always seems to know just how to fall in between two defenders to close a play, or to dive right under a 250 lb. linebacker so he can avoid taking the BIG hit. It's not that I think Foster is scared of the big hit; it's that he's SMART enough to know how to avoid them, and still pick up an extra 2 yards.
Anyone who remembers watching Barry Sanders can tell you the similarities are there. Both of them seem to run low to the ground; both of them represent the epitome of elusiveness; they each seem to be able to cutback and change directions in a flash. Perhaps the biggest similarity that all of us cannot see is the intelligence this pair of running backs demonstrates. Foster may be very goofy at times, but most of that is him just trying to flip things around on the media. I would bet money that Foster would score insanely high on an IQ test, which, let's face it, most sports reporters and other athletes would struggle with. I think perhaps more than anything, he is misunderstood.
When asked why God gave him so much talent, Foster responded with, "Who? Oh yeah genetics". This tells me that Foster is most likely an atheist, and is smart enough not to step into a theological discussion with some conservative home town broadcaster. However, he's assertive enough to let anyone who cares to listen know, "I'm not thanking God for my talents, I'm thanking genetics, hard work and dedication." Whether you are a believer or not, you have to admit that most atheists tend to be sound logic based thinkers, and typically way ahead of the average intelligence.
Combine this self-proclaimed freak of genetics with an incredibly high intelligence, and you end up with a very smart, well rounded running back that is destined to have a tremendous career in this league. It's not just insane athletics that makes hall of famers. It's the players who are smart enough to evade, re-route, go high, lean low and break it down at just the right moment to make that big play.
In 15 years we could be looking back at the next couple of seasons as Texans fans and be thinking about how we let the greatest running back in the game go because we didn't want to pay, (and make no mistake folks, if Barry Sanders hadn't retired when he did, there would be little arguing against him having the best stats of any running back to play the game). I think this is a pivotal moment in the Texans franchise where we have to PAY THIS MAN and make him a Texan for life, (or at least a majority of his career, so when he goes into the Hall, he and Andre Johnson both will be wearing Texans jerseys).