He navigates through holes almost always in a downward plane, shifting but always in control. He appears at normal speed until hands start grabbing more air than jersey. This is new look that Arian Foster is giving Dolphin fans that still peak through the rubble of the last two decades. As with all Fin things, nothing in the future is promised except the ability to believe if one chooses.
Thursday’s preseason game against the Falcons gave the believer hope, with the cameo appearance of a reluctant star in Foster. He doesn’t shout his name to the rafters on social media (@feeno) and he doesn’t gyrate when his bread breaks the plane of the goal line, only clasping his hands in quick reflection. He is smooth with purpose. He catches the ball with grace and turns upfield with force, two qualities last year’s starter, former Hurricane Lamar Miller, could not do with any consistency.
Consistency is one of the more admirably traits about the former Tennessee Vol, although his detractors will point his consistent lack of playing time over the recent years. Miller and Foster replace one another at the other’s previous primary residence and there is reason both houses decided to let the other walk. If talent alone was the factor, Arian Foster is still with the Texans. A former rushing champion and core offensive component along with another former Miami Hurricane, Andre Johnson, Foster consistently had to make lightly skilled quarterbacks appear competent in competition. The only time Lamar Miller could make that claim was against the Jets in Rex Ryan’s final game two years ago, and the Dolphins still lost the game.
But the perception of possible skill erosion, injuries, and age make Miller the more valued commodity, outside of the South Florida arena known for Hard Rock, less so hard knocks. Foster will hear the ghosts of Knowshon Moreno and his horse tears until he proves his durability over the 2016/17 season. Two bad Achilles can cancel each other out if Foster carries the previous anemic Dolphin offense.
Arian Foster will be appreciated off the field in South Florida if he stays athletically whole, a curious parallel to Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat. His candor is refreshing and filled with intelligence on a wide variety of subjects. His quotes are not God given nor produced from a machine but from the soul and, when he chooses to enlighten, he is very engaging. With Dwayne Wade creating a star void by leaving for Chicago, Foster could push a shining stake on Biscayne Boulevard, if he chooses.
Only Adam Gase is a more intriguing newcomer to this Dolphin organization than Foster, if only because a talented head coach has been lacking even longer than a decent starting tailback.
Foster will make Gase’s even smarter than his dumb predecessors if his hands cradle the football during competition. Dolphin’s fans can only hope we experience his postgame game 16 times this year.