When the Houston Texans fell from their division winning form, they fell fast and hard. In 2012, they went 12-4 and easily won the division. In 2013, they had the worst record in football. The difference?
In 2012, the Texans were lead by Arian Foster and his league-leading 17 total touchdowns. In 2013, Foster played only 8 games, most of which were limited by injury.
Now in 2014, if he can avoid further health issues, Foster stands primed to lead the Houston offense once more. He’ll be aided by a first year coach and a new staff that brings with them a scheme that should play more to Arian Foster’s strengths.
With his new responsibilities, Foster is looking forward to a renewed role in the passing game.
“So far, I really like it,” Foster said, via the Houston Chronicle. “It’s very versatile. Coach O’Brien has expressed to me how he wants to use me out of the backfield. That’s one of my strengths.”
Indeed it is.
Foster’s reception numbers have diminished in each year since his breakout 2010 season, when he had 66 receptions and over 2,200 all-purpose yards. Bill O’Brien always loved to use Kevin Faulk and other crafty running backs when he worked with the New England Patriots.
Now, he’ll have a chance to try screens, draws and other fun plays with a bonafide stud at running back.
However, the Houston Texans will still likely suffer as an offense.
Their quarterback situation is murky at best with their best prospect right now likely being Ryan Fitzpatrick. Still, Fitzpatrick’s lack of deep ball arm strength shouldn’t hinder his ability to dump the ball to Foster, who will be more than happy to run with it.
If Foster can find some daylight and drive the Texans offense as he did when Houston ruled the AFC South, then it might not matter who throws the ball.