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Thursday, September 12, 2013
Arian Foster: RBs 'chess pieces'

By Tania Ganguli
ESPN.com

HOUSTON -- Arian Foster conceded Wednesday that he was frustrated with his playing time in the Texans' season opener.

As he, his coaches and his teammates see it, that's a good thing.

"They had a game plan going in about how much they wanted me to play and they were trying to ease me back into it, but my competitive nature, of course you want to be in," Foster said.

Arian Foster
Running back Arian Foster was frustrated after getting only 18 carries and sharing time with Ben Tate in the Texans' opening win at San Diego. "It's getting to crunch time, it's the fourth quarter and you want to be out there," Foster said.

"It's getting to crunch time, it's the fourth quarter and you want to be out there. But this is kind of how it played out. In my opinion, you would be concerned with a player that's happy he's not in there in the last minutes of the game when the game is on the line."

Foster rushed 18 times for 57 yards in the Texans' Monday night win at San Diego. To make the biggest comeback in franchise history and win 31-28, the Texans had to turn to their passing game at a higher volume than they usually do. They threw the ball to Foster six times, with him catching four of the passes.

Foster shared plenty of playing time with backup Ben Tate, who ran nine times for 55 yards. Tate also caught both passes he was thrown.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Tuesday and Wednesday that for now he wanted to keep their carries similar. He had hoped they would be more even in the opener. He added that he plans to watch the running backs closely.

"That has to be OK with me," Foster said. "Like I said, we're chess pieces. Coach makes the final ruling. But as a competitor, I've been in this league, I felt that I've played well throughout my tenure here. You want to be out there. You feel like you've earned that right to be out there. That's just where the frustration comes from."

As a backup, Tate, who Foster called one of his best friends on the team, understands that frustration. He wants to be the starter and he lets Foster know.

"I tell him every day, I come for his spot every day," Tate said.

How does Foster react?

"He just laughs," Tate said.