After Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans failed to live up to his 6-year, $56 million contract in 2011, the Houston Texans went ahead and showed Arian Foster the money. But if you didn’t see Arian Foster’s press conference, you wouldn’t know that his motivation for 2012 isn’t going to be lost in his new 5-year, $43.5 million contract.
Arian Foster was an undrafted free agent from Tennessee, where he started as a member of the Texans practice squad. Foster spoke about his small goals, starting with just trying to make the special teams squad and then trying to be the best special teams player. With his goal of getting better every day, Arian lead the NFL in rushing yards for 2010 and had another monster year in 2011, playing at the league minimum of $525,000. Once Foster proved to everyone that he was an elite running back, the Texans offered a long term contact to Foster that he could only have dreamed of. But because of Chris Johnson’s 2011 season, everyone wonders, will Foster still be motivated after his big pay day?
During Foster’s sincere press conference, he said “That’s why I always tried not to play for a payday. I always tried to play for the logo on my helmet, the name on the back of my jersey, my teammates. I always try to play for the right reasons and I’ll continue to play for the right reasons because if you’re driven by just money, you’re robbing yourself of your full potential.” This insightful running back seems like a man of his word and as fellow Texans fan, Foster is going to meet or exceed his contact as he is motivated for all the right reasons. In response for preparing for the 2012 season, he said, “My biggest thing is don’t approach the offseason any different. Just try and get better at everything you do, just like you’ve been doing. I think I have a huge obligation to this organization and these fans to be the best me that I can be for a long time. That’s how I’m going to approach it.” If Arian Foster has room to get even better, and the Texans keep their offensive line intact, then I expect to see Foster challenge Chris Johnson’s yards from scrimmage record next year. YEA, I SAID IT! While CJ2K had 2,509 yards from scrimmage in 2009, Arian Foster’s first year as the Texans #1 RB had 2,220 yards from scrimmage and his skills were not yet utilized for the Texans system. For all you Fantasy Football buffs reading this, that means I will be drafting Arian Foster with the #1 overall pick.
But for me, what really made me fall in love with this running back and believe in his motivation was his sad story of a wedding ring and the running joke of a fruit basket. When Foster addressed a question about the lowest point in his life and how he overcame it, he began to cry. Foster said “I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was when I saw my mother pawn her wedding ring to give us some food that night. I just told myself that I wanted to do something with my life.” All I can say is congratulations Arian, you have absolutely done something with your life and you have an entire organization and fan base behind you to do even more! From this sad moment, Foster turned the room into laughs when he spoke about a moment where he told his family everything he was going to buy after his first payday. “But one day I was joking, I was a real playful kid, I was telling my family everything I was going to buy. I was like seven years old. I was going to buy a house. I was going to buy a car. And my brother, ‘What are you going to get me?’ ‘I was going to get you this.’ I told my sister and I told my dad and I left my mom out. And she said, ‘What are you going to get me?’ I said, ‘I’ll get you a fruit basket.’ She was like ‘A fruit basket?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll get you a fruit basket.’ So it was kind of like a running joke through my family throughout my whole career. It was like, ‘When are you going to get mom her fruit basket?’ So today, I think it should be getting there now. I did. I sent her a fruit basket to her job.” My belief is that Foster will be motivated throughout his contract on his way to being the greatest Houston Texans player in franchise history.
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