Question: How do you feel? Were you 100 percent out there today?
Foster: I’m just out here trying to be the best teammate I can be and I’m gonna work hard at doing that.
Q: Physically, you’re good to go?
F: I’m just trying to be the best teammate I can be, man.
Q: Arian, can you tell us exactly what kept you out, what was going on?
F: Yeah, man. I’m just trying to be the best teammate I can be, you know. I’m gonna work hard at doing that.
Q: What was physically wrong with you?
F: Yeah, I’m just out here, working hard every single day, trying to be the best teammate I can be.
Q: What did it mean to be able to get back out here and start working, Arian? And get back with your teammates?
F: You know, being with your teammates and being the best teammate you can be is what you strive to do. So that’s what I’m out here for.
Q: Your teammates talk about how they want to see you out here. They know what you mean to this ballclub. What does all that stuff mean to you, Arian?
F: Yeah, man. I’m just (trying) to be the best teammate you can be, man. Just work hard at doing that every single day. That’s what we’re out here trying to do.
Q: Is your body starting to break down?
F: Yeah, man. I’m just out here trying to be the best teammate I can be. And I’m gonna work hard at doing that.
Q: How’s that coming, Arian, your progress with being a better teammate?
F: Yeah, you know, I’m just, every single day, just trying to be a better teammate, man.
Q: What do you think about these fans going crazy for you guys?
F: Yeah, man. I’m just out here trying to be the best teammate I can be. And I’m going to continue doing that.
Q: Is there any difference in the way you felt physically, feel stronger?
F: Yeah, man. I’m just out here trying to be the best teammate I can be. And I’m just going to continue to do that.
Q: What was the offseason like, working at your brother’s facility, different than other previous seasons?
F: Yeah, just every single day, man, just working hard, trying to be the best teammate I can be.
Reporter: You got that down.
Foster: Thank you.
Reporter: You’re welcome.
Foster: Y’all take care.
When I read this, I had a nice, long chuckle. Especially at Dave Zangaro's supreme annoyance about it:
Foster, 27, spoke to media at the Texans facility for the first time all spring or summer and essentially and effectively wasted the time of everyone involved. He spoke for about one minute and thirty seconds and probably would have spoken longer but it was in the best interest of everyone involved to part ways as early as possible.
A common theme of the Bill O’Brien Era has been the refrain of trying to be a better teammate. That’s how Foster answered all 11 questions thrown his way on the field after Wednesday’s practice. If it was a joke, it fell flat.
Some of you have been speculating what exactly Foster might be trying to accomplish with his stonewall answers (other than clearly annoy the media), but I think I know because I can somewhat relate to his current situation.
Back when I worked in an office, we had this boss, that one kind of boss that so many people have suffered through. Like Michael Scott from The Office, except not funny. He used the dumbest catchphrases to try and motivate us. and we all hated it. They de-motivated us, if anything.
One of the only things I can draw with any accuracy is Homer Simpson's face. So I would draw it... everywhere. Post-It notes on the fridge, company memos, whiteboards. And I would draw dialogue boxes and fill them with the silly things the boss said. Everyone knew I did it and they loved me for it. It was our way of passively venting some frustration and sharing a laugh at the expense of the boss. I don't know if he knew it was me or if he didn't care. I just made sure that I always got my work done and did extra just in case he did find out and confronted me about it. I wanted to be extra hard to fire.
Now, I'm not drawing direct parallels here. Bill O'Brien is not the oaf of a boss that I described above. Far from it. But he does come from the Bill Belichick coaching tree, who came from the Bill Parcells coaching tree. That translates into strong authoritative policies -- like no Segways to practice, strict media relations, running laps after a fumble, etc. In response to this, I think this is a good-humored but sarcastic jab at O'Brien's policies and constant "team first" message. If true, you can bet his teammates are loving it, just like my coworkers did all those years ago. O'Brien seems to possess a sense of humor, so I think it'll go over fine with him as long as stuff like this is infrequent and not over-the-top.
I could be wrong, and this might clearly be a right cross/left uppercut combo at the media, but guys like Foster can't help but express their dissent in the face of authority; following him on Twitter has made that very clear. He just better make sure to make himself as un-fireable as possible. What say you?