Arian Foster expects to catch more passes in new offense

Reuters

The Texans have a new coaching staff and, in turn, a new offense.  Their old (figuratively, but literally in running back years) tailback approves.

So far I really love it,” Arian Foster said, via Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston.  “It’s very versatile.  Coach O’Brien has expressed many times how he wants to use me a lot out of the backfield.  That’s one of my strengths as a running back.  So I’m excited about it.”

Foster, who had back surgery last season, participated in a voluntary minicamp and will attend OTAs, which start next week.

“They have a lot of zone schemes, runs, every offense does,” Foster said.  “The way they want to use me out of the backfield as far as different alignments and matchups they want to have against linebackers and things like that.”

It all sounds good, but the biggest issue looming with Foster is his health.  After averaging 318 rushing attempts per year from 2010 through 2012, he showed signs of breaking down in 2013 before the back injury shelved him for the season.  With a $5.75 million salary and an $8.25 million cap number for 2014, it’s hard not to wonder how much longer he’ll be part of the team, especially since coach Bill O’Brien learned the NFL game on a Patriots team that doesn’t subscribe to the star system at running back.

The other options currently include Andrew Brown and sixth-round rookie Alfred Blue.  The fact that Blue was drafted at all gives him a greater pedigree coming through the door that Foster, who fell out of all seven rounds in 2009.