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Foster: 'You can’t just be a talker'

Posted May 23, 2014

Ramon Foster proves you don't have to be a team captain to be a leader.

He isn’t a loud, vocal guy, whose voice is always heard booming in the locker room. Actually it’s quite the opposite as he is one of the more soft-spoken players on the team.

He isn’t a team captain, but that doesn’t mean for a minute that Ramon Foster isn’t considered a leader by his teammates, looked upon as one of the most respected players on the team.

“When you look at the locker room, Ramon is like the father figure,” said linebacker Jarvis Jones. “I am a rookie, so I don’t know how the older guys look at it. But for me he is. He is well respected. One of the best personalities you can have. He is willing to do anything for you, from helping you with any situation, to talking.

“When I first got here he was one of the first people to take me in and show me the city, places to eat. He told me how I need to go about my day as far as preparation, how to take care of my body, all of those things.”

Foster also has lent a hand to younger teammates with on-field tips, including defensive end Brian Arnfelt who credited Foster with helping with his adjustment to the NFL.

“He talks with me, tells me that wasn’t a good rep or that was a good one,” said Arnfelt. “That’s huge to know what he sees from an offensive line perspective, what I can improve on, what he thinks I can do well. He has been a source of support for me.”

And of course, his fellow offensive linemen look at Foster as a leader, especially after center Maurkice Pouncey, a team captain, was lost for the year in 2013. Foster helped rally the line, making sure everyone stayed upbeat and moved forward.

“It was a big step for me as far as being a leader,” said Foster. “I had Maurkice go down, we were co-leaders in the room but now I had to be the sole guy in the room to take over, to show the guys and lead the guys in the way we wanted to be.     

“You can’t just be a talker. If you are going to be a leader you have to do exactly as you are instructing the guys to do. That is one of my biggest things. I don’t just want to talk about it; I want to show them so they can follow my lead. The guys respect me and I respect them back. I think that is the biggest opponent for being a leader, having the respect of the guys that are around you that you are leading. It was a big step for me. People said I was a great leader, but that is just what I do. I am always trying to encourage guys, show them how it should be done and what is expected. I want to set the bar. Maybe what I am doing here, me and Pouncey are doing, is setting things up for offensive lines down the years.”

* * *

Foster weighed in on a few other things, from Maurkice Pouncey’s injury, to the offensive line improvement and more.  

On Pouncey’s injury in the opener: “It was shocking. This is a guy that nothing major had ever happened to. To see him go down and it was visible it was a serious injury kind of set you back a little bit. We rallied around him and told him he was going to be all right and now he is doing pretty good as far as his rehab.”

On the offensive line progressing during the season: “I think we have a very firm foundation, especially with the offensive line in that room right now.  Guys understand what it takes to win, what it is to finish in this league. I think there were more positives out of this season than negatives and those are things championship teams are built on and I think we have the makings for that.”

On Kelvin Beachum and his expanded role:  “He made the positions he played his priority. If he was playing tight end I thought he was really good at that. When he went to center in the Tennessee game he did a really good job. For him to come in and take over the left tackle position and play the way he did, I am proud of him. I am not surprised. Since he has come into this league he has been a worker. He has sought wisdom from older guys. He is always a sponge. He has worked his way into this and I am happy to play beside him.”

On being anxious for the 2014 season: “I am. Had we made the playoffs I think we could have been a special unit. We would have definitely left a mark. I think we did the latter part of the season. All of that is null and void if we don’t come out and show improvement next season. But guys get it.” 

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