Eric Foster is, to say the least, undersized for his position.
At 265 pounds, he’s only 41 pounds heavier than the lightest member of the Indianapolis Colts’ linebacking corps. He weighs less than Dwight Freeney, the Pro Bowl defensive end who lines up next to him from time to time.
And yet, the second-year man out of Rutgers recorded 34 tackles in just 14 games last year, good for second among Colts defensive tackles.
The going looks tough for Foster, with Fili Moala and Terrance Taylor added to this year’s roster to add size along the interior of the defensive line.
Were I to be allowed to sit down with Foster for Bleacher Report, what follows are the 10 questions I would ask him, not counting questions begotten of his responses.
- In all seriousness, you’re 265 pounds. Most NFL defensive tackles are told they have to be 30 pounds heavier than that just to hope for a spot on a scout team roster. How do you level the playing field against offensive linemen who have 30 or more pounds on you?
- You were all-county as a linebacker out of Homestead High School in Miami. How did you make what had to be a strange position change, and what skills, if any, eased that transition or transferred over?
- Analysts talk all the time about players coming from successful college programs and the winning mentality they bring: how success fosters success, essentially. You took a different path, helping Greg Schiano build a program at Rutgers that really wasn’t much when you got there. In what ways, if any, does that change how you look at what kind of contributor you can be, both on and off the field for Indianapolis?
- It clearly doesn’t bother you that you’re a smaller defensive tackle—you rose from a non-drafted free agent to a starter in less than a season. With two new rookies in the fold this year, how do you act as a teacher for them but also stay one step ahead of the curve on the depth chart?
- Considering you were a linebacker in high school, then a defensive end before moving to defensive tackle, do you think you’ll continue bulking up?
- Obvious question: Do you think that a move to defensive end could be in your future, or perhaps that you could be used in both roles alternatively?
- Off-topic here: You were something of an unexpected find for the Colts last year, starting 11 games. Who do you see, early in the post-draft offseason, who could be the same kind of surprise next year?
- You’re now in your second year in the NFL, obviously, and last year was a fight to break into the rotation. What did you learn from last year about succeeding on a personal level in the NFL that’s helped guide your offseason work ethic and schedule?
- Every player has one coach from somewhere in their past who affected or inspired them more than any other. Who was that for you, and why?
- Last question: What goals do you set for yourself, generally, as a player from season to season? Where/how did you learn to set those kinds of goals, and why do you think that approach works for you?