The calendar has now flipped over to July and that means the Pittsburgh Steelers annual training camp will be getting underway in Latrobe later this month. As usual, we have several series planned to get you ready for this year’s training camp and mine will center around preview profiles of 50 players over the course of the next 25 days. Most of these profiles will be on players who were under contract with the team in 2016.
Up eleventh in this series is a 2017 preview profile of guard Ramon Foster.
Intro: Foster put together another solid season in 2016 as the former undrafted free agent out of Tennessee didn’t even allow a sack, according to Pro Football Focus, and he was just one of four guards to pull off that feat. Additionally, Foster showed a few times last season that he could pull effectively to the right side. Foster, however, did miss two games during the 2016 regular season with a chest injury.
Current Strengths: Foster’s main strength perhaps is the fact that he’s such a consistent and reliable player as both a run blocker and a pass protector as he very rarely gets beat cleanly in either of those two phases of the game. He’s a very physical player and very experienced when it comes to reading the bubble and getting off double-team blocks to pick up assigned second-level players. He’s constantly depended on to communicate with the center and left tackle and does it well. He’s also long been in charge of letting the center know when to snap the football. He’s a team leader on the offensive side of the football and the elder statesman on the offensive line. It also should be noted that Foster is very rarely penalized and he was flagged just once last year during the regular season.
Current Weaknesses: While Foster showed at times last season that he can indeed function as a puller and out in space, his overall athleticism in that area of his game is perhaps still his biggest weakness and that’s related to his size and age. He’s best served moving north as a run blocker. Nitpicking a bit more, he will occasionally be late picking up a stunting defensive lineman, but with that said, the fact that he allows so few pressures shows that it doesn’t happen a ton.
2017 Outlook: Foster enters his ninth season with the Steelers as perhaps the most underrated left guard in the league and there’s no reason to think his play will drop off in 2017. He might, however, miss a few more games in 2017 with minor injuries as he’s only played in 16 games just once over the course of the last four seasons. When he is on the field, however, expect to see his consistency shine through again. In short, expect another 900-plus quality snaps in 2017.
2017 Base Salary: $2,675,000
2017 Salary Cap Charge: $3,591,666
2017 Health Status: Minor knee surgery during offseason program
2016 Health Status: Missed two regular season games with a chest injury
2016 Regular Season Snaps Played: 906 of 1,083
2016 Stat That Matters: Didn’t allow a sack last season, per PFF
|Ben Roethlisberger||Cameron Heyward||Jesse James||James Harrison||Antonio Brown|
|Ryan Shazier||Le’Veon Bell||Mike Mitchell||Sammie Coates||Ross Cockrell|