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Gary Kubiak: Arian Foster can handle 400 or more carries

Arian Foster, Karlos Dansby AP

Texans running back Arian Foster leads the league in carries, with 103 through four games. And Texans coach Gary Kubiak sees no reason to lighten Foster’s workload.

Asked today whether there’s a risk associated with Foster taking that much of a pounding, Kubiak said he wouldn’t give Foster the ball so much if Foster couldn’t manage it.

He can handle it,” Kubiak said. “I know that.”

But even if Foster can handle the workload of 26, 28, 25 and 24 games, wouldn’t it be wise to rest him once the game is out of reach? Not according to Kubiak, who kept feeding Foster the ball even in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s blowout of the Titans. Instead, Kubiak says, Foster will get his rest during the week.

“We’re giving Arian some breaks during the course of practice during the week,” Kubiak said. “He looks fine to me. He’s holding up fine. He hasn’t missed any time other than the time we’ve given him. . . . He makes us go so I’m not too concerned with that at this point.”

Foster is on pace for 412 carries this season, which would be the second-most in one season in NFL history. To handle that and still be healthy for the playoffs is a tall order, but Kubiak doesn’t have any doubts that Foster is up to the task.

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32 Responses to “Gary Kubiak: Arian Foster can handle 400 or more carries”
  1. mikealstott says: Oct 1, 2012 7:01 PM

    Sure…. Why not 500? I can see this guy will last a looooong time as a starting NFL running back…. Anyone remember James Wilder?

  2. bennyb82 says: Oct 1, 2012 7:03 PM

    The Texans have solid backup rbs so that is why Kubiak isnt that concerned. If the dropoff in talent was too extreme, Foster would probably be out of the game earlier.

  3. 4thquartermagic says: Oct 1, 2012 7:04 PM

    These type of articles are always followed by the player getting injured in garbage time the following Sunday.

    Here’s hoping that don’t happen.

  4. green41563 says: Oct 1, 2012 7:06 PM

    Yeah, that’s a pretty good way to ensure he’ll be washed up in two years.

  5. steviemo says: Oct 1, 2012 7:10 PM

    That works until it doesn’t.

  6. stealersfannot says: Oct 1, 2012 7:11 PM

    I can’t stand the Texans or Foster, but MAN are these guys good!

    I fear the the rest of the AFC will be envying Texans fans for a while.

  7. dhnguyen66 says: Oct 1, 2012 7:17 PM

    Pay one of the best running backs in the game $20.75 million guaranteed.

    Proceed to run him into the ground as if his name was Larry Johnson.

    Doing this while one of the best back up runners in the league – a man who averaged 5.4 yards a carry on his way to 942 yards on the ground – sits on the bench, collecting dust, and planning his Michael Turner-esque free agency escape.

  8. wizahdry says: Oct 1, 2012 7:18 PM

    Kubiak is showing he can’t coach. It is ridiculous to be working Foster so hard. You have a very good # 2 Ben Tate. Why not give him more work.

    You just gave Foster a fat contract so it would make sense to preserve him to the end of the deal. Tate will definitely be leaving come his free agency to start somewhere else (a la Michael Turner). It is crazy to pound your long term back to the ground and preserve your short term back up/rental back. Unless they are worried Tate won’t be fresh for his next team.

  9. threatlevelbob says: Oct 1, 2012 7:20 PM

    This is why running backs like MJD demand a pay raise half way through their current contract. If they are going to be run into the dirt they want to get paid for their lost seasons.

  10. raiderapologist says: Oct 1, 2012 7:31 PM

    Jamal Anderson, anyone? These guys need to look out for themselves, because their coaches are not.

  11. jh4prez says: Oct 1, 2012 7:32 PM

    Sounds like another willie parker waiting to happen.smdh :(

  12. randallflagg52 says: Oct 1, 2012 7:33 PM

    Well it doesn’t matter if he’s washed up in 2 years, with that plug and play zone blocking system they run any RB can be considered great. I’m not saying Foster is not talented, but he was undrafted and plays in the same system that made guys like Travis Henry, Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, Reuben Droughns, Selvin Young and Mike Bell look good.

    Personally I can’t wait to see what Ben Tate does if given the keys, either in Houston or somewhere else (dude is the next Michael Turner). We played against him in high school in Maryland and he was a beast.

  13. trefkennedy says: Oct 1, 2012 7:39 PM

    He’s my favorite rb cause he’s humble

  14. berniemadoffsides says: Oct 1, 2012 7:41 PM

    He runs unlike any other RB in this league – he gallops moreso than he runs, actually. Plus, for someone with his stride, speed and quickness, he’s insanely powerful, too.

    Makes you wonder how people missed the mark on this guy. What an absolute steal for Houston.

  15. blazertop says: Oct 1, 2012 7:42 PM

    Unfortunately, the Oilers didn’t have a passing game and had to run Earl Campbell 30+ times a game ….. And look at him now. No reason for Kubiak to keep Foster in there with the game out of reach

  16. bcfalcon says: Oct 1, 2012 7:47 PM

    As much as i love watching foster play why not just split the carries between him, tate and forsett or let schaub actually play to his full potential like in ’09!

  17. 13fitzj says: Oct 1, 2012 8:17 PM

    Why would he have to? Yes, Foster is awesome but Tate would also start on most teams in the NFL.

  18. j0esixpack says: Oct 1, 2012 9:13 PM

    Even beyond the wear and tear, 103 carries for 3.7 yards a carry isn’t all that impressive.

    And as more defenses know to expect such a high number of plays going his way they will key on him even more, possibly making his good YPC number dip to mediocre.

    The Patriots and other teams are evolving to a multiple back system that keeps defenses more off balance and can result in some very high YPC, resulting in multiple RBs having big days together, while ensuring that, when a team absolutely NEEDS a yard, they get a yard, because defenses don’t always know what to expect.

    It’s not rocket science.

  19. dj121191 says: Oct 1, 2012 9:26 PM

    The last time foster was rested in a blowout, tate fumbled and peyton almost led a comeback. So this article should please both texan fans and foster fantasy owners

  20. beerbudsnbevo says: Oct 1, 2012 9:45 PM

    And the Texans will mature as the season goes….

    They look like they are gonna go deep

  21. sabatimus says: Oct 1, 2012 10:28 PM

    We’ll see if he runs into Football Outsiders’ rule about running backs:

    “A running back with 370 or more carries during the regular season will usually suffer either a major injury or a loss of effectiveness the following year, unless he is named Eric Dickerson.”

  22. jeffrey19 says: Oct 1, 2012 11:49 PM

    That’s a big no no use Ben Tate when you guys have the lead. They got the best runningback duo in the nfl right now.

  23. spellingcops says: Oct 1, 2012 11:51 PM

    randallflagg52
    Oct 1, 2012, 5:33 PM MDT
    Well it doesn’t matter if he’s washed up in 2 years, with that plug and play zone blocking system they run any RB can be considered great. I’m not saying Foster is not talented, but he was undrafted and plays in the same system that made guys like Travis Henry, Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, Reuben Droughns, Selvin Young and Mike Bell look good.
    ————————–
    But it made TD into a superstar. I believe Foster could be to Houston what TD was to Denver.

  24. aljack88 says: Oct 2, 2012 12:26 AM

    spellingcops says:
    Oct 1, 2012 11:51 PM
    randallflagg52
    Oct 1, 2012, 5:33 PM MDT
    Well it doesn’t matter if he’s washed up in 2 years, with that plug and play zone blocking system they run any RB can be considered great. I’m not saying Foster is not talented, but he was undrafted and plays in the same system that made guys like Travis Henry, Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary, Reuben Droughns, Selvin Young and Mike Bell look good.
    ————————–
    But it made TD into a superstar. I believe Foster could be to Houston what TD was to Denver.
    ——————————————————

    A bright flame that went out quick. He played for 6 seasons; only playing in 9 games total his last 2 years.

  25. txtuff says: Oct 2, 2012 12:28 AM

    Tate hasn’t been the same running so far this year as he was last year. Well neither are getting the same yards per carry but that is on the OL. This past Sunday Tate hurt his toe and that is why Foster stayed in. But Kubes will tell anybody that listens, he does not like pulling his starters out. Why? I don’t know?

  26. badintent says: Oct 2, 2012 1:52 AM

    Look what happen to Walter Payton ? The dude played every down for 173 starts and became a full blown pain killer junkie and even after he stop playing, he was swallowing pills like M & Ms. Which scared his liver bile ducts and killed him. If your coach wants to kill a back, this is the biz plan.

  27. cobibones13 says: Oct 2, 2012 3:35 AM

    He’s getting 3.7 ypc so far and 24 or more carries every game. Out of 4 games he’s only had 4.0 ypc or better once this season.

    Seems like he could already be washed up, and they want to get the most out him before he’s completely useless.

  28. maximus929 says: Oct 2, 2012 3:36 AM

    Foster can handle 400 carries like every other back who’s done it in the past has.

    The history of backs being used like that is clear… you’ll see an immediate decline in his production in the coming years.

  29. drizzo311 says: Oct 2, 2012 8:31 AM

    “But it made TD into a superstar. I believe Foster could be to Houston what TD was to Denver.”
    ———————
    Easy for us to call him a superstar, but he’s not even sniffing the Hall of Fame, despite having been one of the best backs in history over three years.

    I am a die hard Steelers fan, but I seem to remember a young Mike Tomlin stating “we’re gonna run him till the wheels fall off,” referencing Willie Parker…right before the wheels fell off after a 400+ touch season. Foster is much better than Parker ever was, but it just speaks to the mentality of a coach and organization on a RB vs. that of a QB or Pitcher (ala Strasburg).

    With the high salaries and pool of talent in certain positions, I understand when an organization naturally looks to exploit a guy’s talent before the expiration date hits. That being said, I completely understand when a guy looks to protect himself or his financial security by sitting or holding out. In fact, it’s really the responsible thing. It’s one thing to be a ‘team’ guy and push yourself back after injuries. It’s a whole other thing to realize that there’s no such thing as a ‘players’ organization when it comes to valuable commodities.

  30. mrbigass says: Oct 2, 2012 9:15 AM

    Really think he should rotate Tate in more often and maybe even Forsett. No sense ridin’ a horse into the ground. It’s a long season…..

  31. nyjad says: Oct 2, 2012 9:22 AM

    C’mon now, yes the jets are awful vs the run but 400 carries in 1 game is too much. :)

  32. hollcass says: Oct 3, 2012 4:21 PM

    Kubiak is just setting up GB, NE, and Baltimore and will let Schaub throw the ball 50 times against them for 350+ yards.

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