Steelers Film Room: Underrated Steelers: Ramon Foster
By Nick Kelly
Aug. 25, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws the ball while offensive guard Ramon Foster (73) blocks Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Spencer Johnson (91) at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
With all the turmoil on the Steelers roster this past offseason, they made several moves that could be seen as positive. What was their best move this offseason you might ask? Well it’s not the drafting of Jarvis Jones, or Le’Veon Bell. It isn’t bringing back Larry Foote, Plaxico Burress or Matt Spaeth. The best and most underrated move the Steelers made this past offseason was the resigning of Ramon Foster to a three-year deal back in early March. The Steelers knew that they couldn’t keep both Ramon Foster and Willie Colon, so they cut the more expensive one of the two. Even though Willie Colon had the potential to possibly be a pro bowl guard, his inability to stay healthy is what got him cut from the Steelers.
By the Steelers cutting Colon, this is the first time that the Steelers finally said “we want you to be our starter,” even though Foster ended up starting 2010-2012. Ramon Foster never once has had the started job handed to him. He originally came to the Steelers in 2009 as an undrafted free agent tackle out of Tennessee. He was seen as more of a camp body until he beat out the teams third round pick, Kraig Urbik, for the top back up guard spot. The next offseason, Trai Essex was seen as the starter until Foster eventually replaced him as well. In 2011, the Steelers AGAIN tried to replace Foster at the right guard spot with Tony Hills and Chris Scott, as well as Doug Legursky. Doug Legursky got the job, but he lost it quickly to Foster. Then in 2012, call it what you will, but even with moving Willie Colon to guard and the drafting of David DeCastro, Foster still ended up in the starting lineup after DeCastro went down. One might call it fate that Foster always seemed to end up in that starting spot in some fashion.
One of the main reasons the Steelers chose Foster over Colon was from a health standpoint. Colon missed so many games to the point where you crossed your fingers every play that he wouldn’t get hurt. Foster on the other hand, started every game last season, only missing a few snaps due to a very minor injury against the Broncos. Foster still showed up to play the next week against the Jets.
As worried as some people were about missing DeCastro, Foster was actually the Steelers best lineman, statistically, last season. Ramon Foster only gave up 2 sacks, compared to DeCastro who gave two up in one game. I know you will say ” But DeCastro was not 100%.” Considering it was an undrafted free agent compared to a first round pick, I would still say Ramon did a fantastic job last season.
The Steelers realized that they needed to keep a guy who has been a constant on their offensive line for the past couple years. You may not have realized just how good Foster is, so what better way to get to know a player then through his film, because as they say “the eye in the sky will never lie.”