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Oviedo
07-22-2009, 01:20 PM
Got to like this guy's chances. Maybe he is another one of those UDFAs that we always seem to hit a home run on every year.


Snapshot: Ramon Foster


By Mark Kaboly
SteelCityInsider.com
Posted Jul 21, 2009


Deep into the offseason, SteelCityInsider.com continues its coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers with a look at another newcomer. Here's an inside peek at undrafted free agent Ramon Foster.

Every year in the summer – before NFL training camps start, before the NBA season kicks off and before the overseas basketball leagues get underway – Ron Hollins’ four boys make a point of it to get together and spend some quality time with each other.
Quality time for this family means some quality trash talking with a lot of it being directed at the only non-professional athlete left of the four oldest brothers in Steelers undrafted rookie free agent tackle out of Tennessee Ramon Foster.

“Yeah, you can say there is a little trash talking that goes on between us,” Foster said.

That’s what happens when one brother is an offensive lineman for the St. Louis Rams, one plays professional basketball in Puerto Rico and the other is a star on the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

Foster’s three brothers – Renardo Foster of the Rams, Ron Slay of Leones de Ponce of the Puerta Rican Basketball League and Rodney Carney of the Timberwolves – all get paid to play a game.

“It is a great bloodline I guess you can say,” Foster said. “They put a lot of pressure on me but that’s fine.”

Foster (6-foot-5, 325-pounds) hopes to be the next to be paid to play as he heads into training camp with the Steelers at the end of the month with hopes of doing just that.

“We are trying to go 4-for-4,” Foster said. “I am not complaining about the pressure. They helped me mature and helped me into this great situation.”

Especially Renardo, the brother he grew up with in Ripley , Tenn. Ramon didn’t meet his other two brothers until he was 10.

Renardo Foster went to Louisville then took the same rout as Ramon as an undrafted rookie free agent into the NFL two years ago.

Renardo played in seven games for the Falcons before being released last month. He was picked up by the Rams almost immediately.

“He was in the same situation I am in being a free agent,” Foster said. “He went against the odds and proved them wrong. He has helped me a whole lot through this situation.”

Ramon has leaned on his brother Renardo a lot during the past couple of months of what to expect from the draft process all the way to the opening of training camp.

“He always tells me to keep my head up and that there is nothing I can’t do,” Foster said. “It is an even playing field out here now. It is going to be a fight.”

That great situation for Foster is being in a real position to earn a roster spot on the defending Super Bowl champions.

Foster, a massive man who the Steelers plan on playing at both guard and tackle, wasn’t selected in April’s draft, but had plenty of choices afterwards in which he selected the Steelers.

“Everybody wants to be drafted,” Foster said. “It was a big deal but you have to brush it off. I use it as motivation to prove them wrong. They sign a lot of free agents here and a lot of free agents play here. If I would’ve gotten drafted it might have been a handicap because it could’ve been a situation that wasn’t best for me. This was the best opportunity. Also the history of this franchise. They are winners. You don’t want to go into a bad situation.”

The Steelers have four veteran tackles on their roster in starters Max Starks and Willie Colon with second-year guy Tony Hills and Jason Capizzi. Neither Hills nor Capizzi have ever played a down in the league.

Also, the Steelers carried five tackles last season and did not select one in the draft or sign one as a free agent which gives him a legitimate shot to make the team as a tackle.

But Foster may find a home at guard.

Late during OTA’s, the Steelers moved Foster from tackle to guard.

“Right now guard is going pretty well for me,” Foster said. “Either one or the other is good for me. If I play guard I know what the tackle is doing and if I play tackle I know what the guard is doing.”

Foster initial goal is to make the team, but has high hopes from him after that.

“I am not looking too far forward but I do have goals,” Foster said.

It is safe to say that pretty high up on that list is being able to trash talk right along with his brothers at the next gathering.

“They talk a lot of crap now especially Renardo,” Foster said. “He is at it all the time. It is fun and friendly, but a ton of trash talking.”

RuthlessBurgher
07-22-2009, 01:26 PM
When they announced the UDFA signings, this was the one name that stuck out who had a real shot at making the team (since at least one seems to every year). They could groom him to be another flexible utility o-lineman like Trai Essex who could back-up several positions. I think he could make it over the likes of Capizzi and Parquet.

Eddie Spaghetti
07-22-2009, 01:36 PM
He played very well at Tennessee until fulmer brought in some stooge named dave clawson to run the offense in Ramons final year.

he moved everyone on the OL to different positions and it blew up in his face.

Ramon was on the line that allowed an NCAA low 4 sacks the last year erik ainge was here.

i hope he can make it.

phillyesq
07-23-2009, 10:19 AM
I remember reading somewhere that he was among the "priority" UDFAs for the Steelers. It would be great if they Foster develops into a reliable backup and eventual starter.

pfelix73
07-23-2009, 10:41 AM
Maybe he will make the PS. Gotta have a good camp. I'll check him out at camp when I go. No ECU players this year on the team, so probably won't get to go down on the field. I'll be up under the trees, I guess.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
07-23-2009, 10:50 AM
I think with Kemo & Starks deals, the Steelers may be looking from within to replace Colon after this season. I don't think the Steelers can afford another "Kemo Deal" on the OL and that is probably in the neighborhood of Colon's asking price. With that being said, Foster has a good chance of pushing Capizzi and Parquet off the 53 with a strong camp & preseason. They might be able to hide him on the PS for one year. I did like Capizzi's progression before his foot injury. He has pretty good feet for a big guy and his pass blocking is good enough right now at this level. The thing holding him back was he needed to get his pad level down in run blocking and work on some knee bend. It was tough getting to the corner around him because he would allow the defender under his pads and he would give up ground. Man...There is nothing sweeter than a big guy who learns to bend his knees and get in under a defenders pads on a run block. The next thing you see is the OL extending his block and the pancakes are served!!! The reverse is a tall guy who can't get low and ends up being blown up into the backfield and run over. That's the guy who ends up in construction or as an insurance salesman after 2 or 3 years. Capizzi has come to that fork in the road this year and he has guys like Hills, Parquet, and now Foster on his bumper.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
07-23-2009, 11:47 AM
The Steelers have four veteran tackles on their roster in starters Max Starks and Willie Colon with second-year guy Tony Hills and Jason Capizzi.

Are they not even considering Essex a tackle anymore or is this just an oversight by the writer? Essex is a weird situation because he has never progressed but he has always shown okay when brought in. For awhile it could always be said that he was behind Marvel who was our top lineman, but as Marvel suffered injuries and his play declined, Essex was never there to step in. I wonder if he is just destined to be a career backup.