The Pittsburgh Steelers signed offensive guard Ramon Foster to a three year, $9.6 million dollar contract extension this offseason. Foster has been with the organization since he was an undrafted free agent from the University of Tennessee just trying to make an NFL roster.
In 2009, Pittsburgh picked him up, and should be grateful for what this undrafted product has accomplished.
Today we will analyze some of the reasons why it was necessary for the Steelers to have re-signed Foster this offseason, and what makes him one of the most solid offensive linemen in the National Football League.
Great run blocker, opens lane for RB
The Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12 was a matchup for the ages. It showcased two great offenses battling it out to earn a victory. Even though the Seahawks took home the win, Steeler fans should be proud of what this team accomplished on offense.
Led by franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had a terrific game, the Seahawks had no answer for the high powered passing attack Big Ben orchestrated.
In the redzone Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator Todd Haley looked for veteran running back DeAngelo Williams to carry the football. This play should give fans a better understanding of how great left guard Ramon Foster truly is.
Foster not only opened up a big lane for Williams to go through, he single-handedly gave Pittsburgh a touchdown. This play by Foster just goes to show you how talented and powerful he is.
Always stays with the block
The Baltimore Ravens always had a solid defensive front. In 2015, it struggled after the loss of Terrell Suggs and a poor performance from Elvis Dumervil. The great thing about a Ravens vs. Steelers matchup is everyone plays with heart and passion. Both teams will fight until the whistle is blown and the game is completely over.
This week 4 matchup was incredible. Even though the Ravens only won five football games in 2015, they played their hearts out and did come up with a victory.
The loss of Ben Roethlisberger due to an MCL sprain, made star running back Le'Veon Bell a key player to watch in this ultimate showdown.
In the above play: The Steelers left guard Ramon Foster blocks defensive tackle Brandon Williams and drives him up field to create a lane for Bell. This play shows you a few characteristics of both Foster and Bell.
If you are a fan of football, you know that Le'Veon Bell is a patient running back. He waits for a lane to open up and explodes through it. Without the help of Foster, this solid gain would have been a loss of a few yards.
His consistent ready-to \-work-and-drive-the-opponent-forward attitude is what makes Foster one of the better guards in all of football. He is ready to work each and everyday, and uses his force and power to create lanes for the running back.
Creates time for Roethlisberger; overall solid pass protection
The first two plays were Foster blocking against the run. This play just goes to show you that he can do it all. The pass protection he provided against the Oakland Raiders was incredible.
When an offensive linemen gives quarterback Ben Roethlisberger time to escape the pocket, magic happens. Big Ben has been doing this his entire career and will continue to do so if the offensive linemen keep his jersey clean.
The Raiders drafted a defensive tackle in the second-round of the 2015 NFL draft. Mario Edwards Jr had a spectacular rookie season before going down with a season ending neck injury. He registered 2.0 sacks in 10 starts before he suffered the injury.
Foster had to block the rookie on this play and gave him a little welcome to the NFL surprise. After getting beat at the line, Foster used his power to push Edwards behind Big Ben. This opened up a clean pocket for the franchise QB to do his thing. Roethlisberger threw a complete strike to wide receiver Antonio Brown and continued to move the chains.
The impressive push from Edwards should not go unnoticed, but the solid play to give Roethlisberger time to step up is what makes left guard Ramon Foster an unbelievable athlete.
As you can see, the above plays give you just a glimpse of what Foster has to offer. He is a player that plays with passion and you can see his hard working attitude develop on the football field each week.
Hypothetically speaking: If the Pittsburgh Steelers did not re-sign Foster to a contract extension this offseason two factors could have happened.
1. There is NO reliable backup guard behind Foster.
2. Therefore, the 2016 NFL Draft would have not only been about the defense. The organization would have drafted an offensive guard rather than addressing what is really needed to win a Championship; a solid defense.
This contract extension needed to get completed, and it did. As a fan of football if you want Pittsburgh's running backs to gain chunks of yards, then you should be extremely excited about Ramon Foster coming back for his eighth season.
From an undrafted athlete to one of the better offensive guards in all of football. This is the story of Pittsburgh Steelers guard Ramon Foster; a truly remarkable player that deserved the extension he was provided.