HOUSTON – Arian Foster has been participating in organized team activities this off-season and his work, especially catching passes out of the backfield, has caught the eye of his new head coach.
“He’s got really good hand-eye coordination. He’s got good hands. He’s an instinctive player,” O’Brien said on Tuesday. “He enjoys being involved in the passing game, both in protection bases and obviously on routes. He’s had a good OTA period for us.”
Foster is coming back from season-ending back surgery in 2013 and O’Brien envisions using the Pro Bowl running back in several ways with his offense.
“What we do is if we have a back for instance that is a three-down back like Arian (Foster) is, a guy that can play on first, second and third down, then your finding ways to incorporate him into the passing game and the running game and it really works out well for your offense,” O’Brien said. “In the past we’ve had guys like Kevin Faulk and Danny Woodhead in this offense that have filled those types of roles. Now it looks like definitely Arian will be able to do that and more.”
Foster is the veteran in a group of running backs that O’Brien expects will be very active throughout the off-season as competition to make the roster will intensify.
“You have Andre Brown, who’s had a good offseason for us. He’s a first and second down back, a big back, conscientious guy and a hard worker. You’ve got Alfred Blue, that we drafted out of LSU, that looks like a guy who is a good learner,” O’Brien said. “You’ve got J.J. (Jonathan) Grimes, who has come in here and had a good offseason. Dennis Johnson has done some good things lately in practice. We’ve got a good, competitive position there.”
The Texans wrapped up Day 5 of OTAs on Tuesday. They have the day off on Wednesday and will return to the practice field on Thursday.