With Foster out, Blue prepared to step up for Texans
Aug. 11, 2015
HOUSTON (AP) — Alfred Blue isn't daunted at the prospect of filling in for Arian Foster.
The second-year player is calm and cool about stepping up for the Houston Texans with Foster out indefinitely after groin surgery.
He believes the key to success is simple.
"You've just got to act like you've been there before and just own it," Blue said on Tuesday after practice.
Blue has been there before, starting three games as a rookie last season when Foster missed time with minor injuries. This time, it's a bit different because Foster will miss a good part of the season.
The Texans also have Jonathan Grimes, Chris Polk and rookie Kenny Hilliard. They could also add another player to beef up the position, but for now it seems that Blue is the front runner to take Foster's place.
The 6-foot-2, 222-pound Blue did well in his limited chances last year, rushing 36 times for 156 yards in a win over Cleveland. He appeared in every game in 2014 and finished with 528 yards rushing and two touchdowns. He also had 113 yards receiving and a TD.
"It's a great opportunity to come in and start," Blue said. "Last year I got my feet wet a little bit, started a couple of games. So I feel real confident going into this season."
What helped most last season was learning from Foster. Blue said getting the chance to watch the way the four-time Pro Bowler did things every day was invaluable.
"Just sitting behind him and watching him play, getting the experience from a vet that's done it for years in the league ...." Blue said. "Just learning from him and him critiquing me last year and this year. So that does help a lot by sitting back and watching an older guy that did it before you rather than just jumping straight into it as a young guy."
Foster remains in contact with Blue. Not long after Foster was hurt last week, he sent Blue an encouraging text.
"I'm here for you bro. Make the best of your opportunity and if you need anything just hit me up," Blue said Foster texted him.
Quarterback Ryan Mallett, who is competing with Brian Hoyer for the starting job, is a big Blue fan. Mallett, who played at Arkansas, joked about learning to like him despite Blue having played at Southeastern Conference rival LSU.
"I love Alfred even though he went to LSU," Mallett said. "He's a great player, a downhill runner, he's a one-cut guy so he's got to keep doing what he's doing."
The Texans open the preseason on Saturday against San Francisco.
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