Former Vol Foster likes Steelers' stability, history

Says style of play fits his game

Ramon Foster woke up at 8:30 Sunday morning.

The former Tennessee offensive lineman was stoked to hear his name called during the final day of the NFL draft.

Five rounds came and went; Foster's name wasn't called.

"It's almost as if you're working out because you're heart is beating, beating, beating so fast the entire day," the 6-foot-5, 328-pounder said on the News Sentinel's radio show, The Sports Page.

The nervousness turned into all-out anticipation when teams interested in signing Foster as a free agent started calling late in the fifth round.

Approximately 13 teams called, including the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, St. Louis Rams and Carolina Panthers. One team, however, stood out.

Foster signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers just as the final pick of the draft was being made. Foster sees opportunity on Pittsburgh's offensive line.

"They have some older guys on their roster right now and they also have like four or five guys that are in the last year of their contract," Foster said. "It's a great opportunity for me to go there and get on the roster, potentially play and start there."

Foster said he also appreciates the Steelers' stability and history of cultivating young players into starters.

"That's another thing that swayed me toward them," Foster said. "Last year they had 16 free agents. Two or three played in the Super Bowl. They're a very free-agent friendly team."

Foster was won over when Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin called him on Sunday.

"He was very excited to have me," Foster said. "He said he didn't think he would get me in this situation or get me at all because he thought I was a pretty good player.

"I'm the style of offensive lineman that their offensive line is, the bigger type of lineman - that's a brawler. They stick to the run game and that's one of my high points."

Foster said he sees plenty of similarities between his old team and the new, particularly the passionate fans.

Foster said UT fans should be happy with the recent changes to the Vols.

"I definitely see them going up," Foster said. "Just seeing the spring game and some of their practices, I think the coaching staff and the players have a good head start on this upcoming season."

Foster said he's not sure if he'll play guard or tackle for Pittsburgh, but likely will begin his pro career at tackle. Foster played both positions for UT. That versatility could help him land an all-important roster spot in the NFL.

Whatever Foster plays, he just hopes he's not asked to flip sides on the offensive line as he did under former offensive coordinator Dave Clawson last season.

"As far as that strong/weakside stuff," Foster said, "I wouldn't venture that I would ever see that again."

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Comments » 48

utvolz#637682 writes:

Good luck Ramon!

kjneel#238751 writes:

nice dig on Clawson. That OL design was a clear debacle that crushed run game and ruined Crompton's confidence by giving him NO time.

gnm53108 writes:

"As far as that strong/weakside stuff," Foster said, "I wouldn't venture that I would ever see that again."

Me too Ramon,Me too.

gnm53108 writes:

Oh by the way...3rd!

Do I get something for a top 5?

Need_2_Know writes:

Good for you, Ramon. When UT snagged you out of West Tennessee (Ripley? or Henning?), I thought you had the physique and smarts to become a terrific lineman. You didn't do bad, but the jostling of coaches, coordinators, and schemes during your time on The Hill didn't help you or any of your contemporaries.

You should fit nicely with the Steelers, and it's understandable that so many teams should be calling you; I think your best days as a player are still ahead of you.

Best of luck.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Good luck.

MillisaAnn writes:

Good Luck Ramon and Nice digs on what you said about Clawson lol

cjraney writes:

Congrats and good luck.

LifetimeVolFan98 writes:

in response to HankHill:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Shut-up. I'd like to see u tell Ramon that to his face you pathetic excuse for a fan.

PaulTheVol writes:

Strong side, weak side can kiss my backside.

It wasn't hard to figure out what we ran last year - virtually everything to the strong side. All but 3 running plays against Alabama went strong side. I'm thinking that it didn't take Saban too long to spot that on film in preparation for the game. Our offense never had a chance last year.

graphpro#231211 writes:

Foster couldn't carry a sandwich from Nixon's Time Out Deli without dropping the pickles. Hope he lives long and prosperous in his teridactile community.

What a basket case. I hope the new staff can recruit the Jamal Lewis, Manning, and the others. Get the talent back up.

VolJoe writes:

in response to graphpro#231211:

Foster couldn't carry a sandwich from Nixon's Time Out Deli without dropping the pickles. Hope he lives long and prosperous in his teridactile community.

What a basket case. I hope the new staff can recruit the Jamal Lewis, Manning, and the others. Get the talent back up.

You are thinking of the wrong Foster. Guess you didn't read the article.

ktemaque1 writes:

in response to graphpro#231211:

Foster couldn't carry a sandwich from Nixon's Time Out Deli without dropping the pickles. Hope he lives long and prosperous in his teridactile community.

What a basket case. I hope the new staff can recruit the Jamal Lewis, Manning, and the others. Get the talent back up.

Apparently you don't know the difference between a lineman who worked hard with a terrible scheme and a running back with the same last name. This article was about RAMON Foster, not Arian.

paradisetaxi writes:

Tyler is top shelve !...but not nba this year for the money...i actually hate to say it......he needs to stay at UT////now the $$$$$ will flow...just very interseted...just an opinion.. Berry for Heisman starts HERE !!!!!!! he doesnt think so ...such a gentleman..thats the first thing i thought when i met EB #14 Go Vols !!! I asked EB to draw a stickman heisman ...he said ....to many better...Monte has him as #1 ...enough said !

gnm53108 writes:

in response to ktemaque1:

Apparently you don't know the difference between a lineman who worked hard with a terrible scheme and a running back with the same last name. This article was about RAMON Foster, not Arian.

Terrible scheme?

I think you are being too kind.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks RR.

That was a very cool story.

I didnt think it was legal in TN to fish w/o a beer.

Hope they dont get in trouble.

hueypilot writes:

in response to VolJoe:

You are thinking of the wrong Foster. Guess you didn't read the article.

I've wondered for quite awhile if there aren't a lot of people on this thread who can't read.

volhallathunder writes:

Everybody wants to b_tch and complain about the strong-side weak-side stuff with Clawson just remember these guys were too slow to to get to the outside on pulls and kick out blocks along with McNeil getting plowed under on every ohter play. So thank good old Johnny Long for that or better yet thank the man who coached these guys Greg Adkins or even more better yet thank the King Jackazz who hired all these guys Fulmer. Foster might turn into a player now that he has some coaching.

give_him_6 writes:

Way to go Ramon. You may end up actually in a better situation than if you were drafted by bad team. Go get'em big guy!!!!!!

DC_Vol writes:

Wow,

You can tell by Ramone Foster how he feels about the flipping offensive line scheme and of course how he feels about Clawson. I even read an article, where Fulmer all but came out and blamed his firing on the hiring of Clawson. He tried to pass the buck by saying he hired Clawson to try something new on offense only to be blamed when Clawson's offense didn't work out. Note to Phil, you are the head coach and you hired him so don't act surprised that you both were fired.

How Clawson obtained a head coaching job, while Phil received no offers is also another amazing part of this whole story. Clawson produces the worst UT offensive statistics in 50 years ie.(115 out 119 NCAA schools) and Baylor offers him a head coaching job. He must be a great interview. LOL Go Vols and Go Kiffin!!!!

TommyJack writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Rich, are you having an identity problem? lol

JohnnyU writes:

Hey, wasn't the offensive line scheme last year strong side/QUICK side (not weak side)? Guess he wants to forget it, or maybe he never learned it. It sure sounds like he never bought into it. Anyway, glad he signed with my Steelers. I think this will be an interesting guy to follow since he seems to have some talent and he really does have a chance to make that team. They would love to get some new O line guys.

VolGraduate writes:

in response to HankHill:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He played early in his career and was a beastt

leedsvol2007 writes:

I don't know if Ramone Foster will make it in the NFL but I knew right away what Clawson was doing with the offensive line was dead wrong.

In talking with people who know about line play the footwork is different depending on whether you play on the right or left.

In general offensive linemen play on that side of the ball because they are not as fast or agile as those playing on defense. What advantage they generally have is their size and the advantage of knowing the snap count.

It stands to reason when an offensive lineman has to think about his footwork he looses that split second advantage.

How many times last year did we need a yard to sustain a drive and got stopped flat with no line surge?

Foster was good enough to be a pre-season all SEC candidate and now sign a free agent contract. If he makes their roster it will be further repudiation of Clawson's offensive line theory.

jasonn1970 writes:

How one of the worst offensive coordinators in the country got a head coaching job is a mystery to me. He must have Obama-like charisma in his interviews.

volroadwarrior writes:

in response to jasonn1970:

How one of the worst offensive coordinators in the country got a head coaching job is a mystery to me. He must have Obama-like charisma in his interviews.

Be careful what you say about the Messiah. The IRS, FBI, CIA, etal will be down on you like a ton of bricks.

Good luck to Ramone. I hope he surprises all of the Negative Nellies and trolls on this blog.

springtx_vol writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

There are so many ways to respond to this ignorant post. First, MANY undrafted players make rosters every year. With only 7 rounds in the draft, that means a team, on average will have 70 selections in a decade. to avoid undrafted free agents, that means a team will only suffer 16 personnel changes very 10 years. Yeh, right, with the average career being 4-5 years.

Second, what does this list of players have in common? James Harrison, Jason Peters, Kurt Warner, Jeff Reed, Bart Scott, Willie Parker, Antonio Gates. Let see, they represent the NFL defensive player of the year, an offensive tackle who would become the highest paid at his position, a record-breaking Super Bowl quarterback, one of the better kickers in the NFL, a Pro Bowl linebacker, a two-time Pro Bowl running back, and a All-Pro tight end. Yes, you are right, they were all undrafted coming out of college!

So, you must be right, an undraftd player will have no future in the NFL, they might as well not even try.

springtx_vol writes:

in response to jasonn1970:

How one of the worst offensive coordinators in the country got a head coaching job is a mystery to me. He must have Obama-like charisma in his interviews.

Let's see, one of the worst offensive coordinators in the country. This is the same coach that had one of the top three offenses in Div 1-A (still can't say FCS). So, the players he had at Richmond were obviously able to play his scheme. So, what does that say about his experience with UT? Several options:

1. His scheme takes more than one year to figure out.
2. His scheme requires players that buy into it and want to run it.
3. His scheme requires smarter players that can figure it out.
4. His scheme will only work when the offense is physically overpowering the defense.
5. His scheme requires a head coach that buys into it and demands the players buy into it.

Which one (or combination of more than one) is correct here? I don't know. But the one thing that I am positive about is that Clawson is NOT the worst offensive coordinator in the country.

However, the real proof in the pudding will be what happens at Bowling Green in the next two or three years. If he turns them into an offensive juggernaut similar to Richmond, then we will know that it is not the offensive coordinator. My suspicions are that Bowling Green is in for a good three or four years until Clawson becomes a head coach at a Div 1 school that will give him 4 or 5 years to settle in.

Volunatic writes:

It will take me a while before I begin to forget how badly Ramon Foster and Anthony Parker "phoned it in" against Wyoming. Even with Clawson's Clawful Clawfense, there is no excuse for Wyoming DT's owning UT's O-line like that. It almost seemed like the Vol O-linemen were trying to get revenge on the fans for Fulmer being fired. Mission accomplished.
Oh well.
Best of luck to you in the pros, Ramon. If you make the team, please "phone it in" Wyoming-style whenever you play the Bengals, but I hope you play great against everyone else.

aoneil66 writes:

Welcome to my Steelers, Ramon.

Don't listen to all the fools talking bad about the greatest franchise in sports. We have 6 and they don't, end of story.

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

WTF? The Clawfense flip flop wasn't successful? I am in shock...

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to Need_2_Know:

Good for you, Ramon. When UT snagged you out of West Tennessee (Ripley? or Henning?), I thought you had the physique and smarts to become a terrific lineman. You didn't do bad, but the jostling of coaches, coordinators, and schemes during your time on The Hill didn't help you or any of your contemporaries.

You should fit nicely with the Steelers, and it's understandable that so many teams should be calling you; I think your best days as a player are still ahead of you.

Best of luck.

Well said!!

Moaninglikeheck writes:

in response to rcr12:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Does anyone here actually READ the articles?????

GaytorHater writes:

in response to BobbeaVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Idiot gator fan

jimr07 writes:

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says undrafted free agent running back Arian Foster has the size the Texans coaches want.

jimr07 writes:

in response to BobbeaVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you need to find out which foster the article refers to.

DC_Vol writes:

in response to springtx_vol:

Let's see, one of the worst offensive coordinators in the country. This is the same coach that had one of the top three offenses in Div 1-A (still can't say FCS). So, the players he had at Richmond were obviously able to play his scheme. So, what does that say about his experience with UT? Several options:

1. His scheme takes more than one year to figure out.
2. His scheme requires players that buy into it and want to run it.
3. His scheme requires smarter players that can figure it out.
4. His scheme will only work when the offense is physically overpowering the defense.
5. His scheme requires a head coach that buys into it and demands the players buy into it.

Which one (or combination of more than one) is correct here? I don't know. But the one thing that I am positive about is that Clawson is NOT the worst offensive coordinator in the country.

However, the real proof in the pudding will be what happens at Bowling Green in the next two or three years. If he turns them into an offensive juggernaut similar to Richmond, then we will know that it is not the offensive coordinator. My suspicions are that Bowling Green is in for a good three or four years until Clawson becomes a head coach at a Div 1 school that will give him 4 or 5 years to settle in.

Yes,

He is not the worst offensive coordinator in America just 115th worst coordinator out of 119 Division one schools. Or the fifth worst offensive coordinator in NCAA football for 2008. The defenses are much different in the SEC than the defenses faced by Richmond. The defenses are way to fast, for hesitating offensive lineman in Clawson's scheme. Otherwise, you would see the flipping offensive line in the NFL or at more Division one schools. No offense, but clearly his offense was bad and doesn't work at the SEC level.

murrayvol writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Have you read Hershel Walker's book?

murrayvol writes:

in response to hueypilot:

I've wondered for quite awhile if there aren't a lot of people on this thread who can't read.

Could be. There's more than a few functional illiterates out there and they like sports boards too.

I think lots of folks glance at a headline, scan the article, and post with impunity.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Volunatic:

It will take me a while before I begin to forget how badly Ramon Foster and Anthony Parker "phoned it in" against Wyoming. Even with Clawson's Clawful Clawfense, there is no excuse for Wyoming DT's owning UT's O-line like that. It almost seemed like the Vol O-linemen were trying to get revenge on the fans for Fulmer being fired. Mission accomplished.
Oh well.
Best of luck to you in the pros, Ramon. If you make the team, please "phone it in" Wyoming-style whenever you play the Bengals, but I hope you play great against everyone else.

I'll be waiting for your post that says "I've finally forgotten Wyoming". I don't expect to get there.....ever.

easymoney writes:

in response to graphpro#231211:

Foster couldn't carry a sandwich from Nixon's Time Out Deli without dropping the pickles. Hope he lives long and prosperous in his teridactile community.

What a basket case. I hope the new staff can recruit the Jamal Lewis, Manning, and the others. Get the talent back up.

I think you got the wrong Foster, did you not read this article?

easymoney writes:

in response to jcvet:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

A lineman runs like a running back....wow, why is he a lineman.....I guess we have another one who cannot read.

springtx_vol writes:

in response to DC_Vol:

Yes,

He is not the worst offensive coordinator in America just 115th worst coordinator out of 119 Division one schools. Or the fifth worst offensive coordinator in NCAA football for 2008. The defenses are much different in the SEC than the defenses faced by Richmond. The defenses are way to fast, for hesitating offensive lineman in Clawson's scheme. Otherwise, you would see the flipping offensive line in the NFL or at more Division one schools. No offense, but clearly his offense was bad and doesn't work at the SEC level.

Sorry, don't buy your arguement. Just because the UT offense was 115th in Div 1 last year does not mean the Clawson was the 115th best offensive coordinator. Just like Richmond being in the top 3 doesn't make Clawson one of the top 3 offensive minds in Div 1A.

I don't know if anyone outside of the players and coaches on last years offense know the entire story. I have read a lot of stuff from some players; it is not encouraging. I think I saw something from Clawson that he was disappointed in the way his offense was picked up by the team.

You may very well be right that his offense will not work in Div 1. I don't think last year was a good indicator to judge it by. I am certainly not going to trash Clawson as an offensive mind based on last year, primarily for the reason outlined in my first post.

Very few things in life can be boiled down to ONE specific cause of things. I don't think UT's offensive output last year can be boiled down to Clawson's scheme. They used to say that the west coast offense would not work in the NFL until the 49ers won several Super Bowls. Does it fit every team? No. Are there other offenses that will win the Super Bowl? Just ask Baltimore.

KnoxSteelersFan writes:

Good luck Ramon and GO STEELERS!!!!

ncvol17 writes:

in response to Book1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

this sounds like the mutants who wait on the post game call in show for over an hour to contribute: GO VOLS. " Umm, I just want to say - Go Vols" .. thanks for the memories and the chuckle.. I miss waiting on traffic in the parking lot and listening to East Tn fans call in..

VAvolfanRON writes:

in response to grvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i agreed at your post until you said idiots........who are you to call idiots?

maybe you are an idiot.....these guys at least played as you sat on your arse.......

VAvolfanRON writes:

or coached!!

xvolx writes:

in response to rcr12:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

if you were talking about a running back, you wouldn't be talking about arian foster.

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