(EDITORS: This story is embargoed for Web use until 1 a.m. EDT.)By Greg BedardMilwaukee Journal Sentinel(MCT)Everybody knows the name Arian Foster after he rushed for 231 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries in the Houston Texans' victory over the Indianapolis Colts.But who is he and how in the heck did Foster go undrafted in 2008?"He's a kid that basically came from nowhere," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said.The 6-foot-1, 227-pound Foster is just 24 years old. And he's the youngest of three children born in New Mexico to Bernadette Sizemore and Carl Foster, a former receiver at the University of New Mexico, according to the Houston Chronicle.They divorced in 2000 and Sizemore, an administrative assistant at the university, sent Foster and his older brother to live with their father in San Diego because she thought they needed to learn how to be men from their father.Phillip Fulmer's coaching staff at the University of Tennessee stumbled upon Foster while looking at players in the San Diego area, including Reggie Bush. While most teams were scared off by his upright running style, now-Kentucky offensive coordinator Randy Sanders went to the mat for Foster.From there, things got strange with Foster.And it somewhat explains how the man who nearly left school as the Volunteers' all-time leading rusher (2,964 yards; Travis Henry is No. 1 at 3,078) was passed over by 32 NFL teams seven times in the draft.How strange?First off, Foster requested that all interviews before a game during his senior season be conducted in pterodactyl.Yeah, the flying dinosaur.Foster even shrieked, "Veeeek! Veeeek! Veeeek!" at reporters.Needless to say, no interviews were conducted.There also were some off-field issues. Foster was arrested for disorderly conduct and underage drinking in 2006, and suspended a half game. While teammates and coaches spoke highly of him, Foster was a bit of a loose cannon on the field as well with some foolish penalties.Foster also was an injury risk - something that could keep him from being more than a flash in the pan in the NFL. He had surgeries on his right shoulder ('06) to repair his AC joint, and his left knee (torn meniscus) in '08. That left knee also was operated on in '05.The NFL draft advisory committee told Foster after a junior season in which he ran for 1,193 yards and 12 touchdowns that he'd likely be a second-round choice. But his mother urged Foster to stay in school.That was definitely the wrong decision.The Vols suffered through a terrible season after which Fulmer was ousted. Foster played under his third coordinator and third position coach. He also only got 131 carries. Fulmer said it was because Foster was hurt (knee, thigh).But the likely reason Foster didn't see much time as a senior - and probably the biggest reason why Foster had to go looking for an NFL job - was ball security issues, which led to some Vols fans to dub him "Fumbles Foster."He had only five official fumbles in 650 career carries, but each seemed to come at the worst possible times in big games (against Auburn, Florida, UCLA and in the Outback Bowl) and led to some whispers that Foster couldn't handle pressure."(The Tennessee coaches) hate him," an AFC scout told the Journal Sentinel before the 2008 draft. "He had all those fumble problems; half of them were not his fault but they blamed it on him."Things didn't get any better in the lead-up to the draft. Foster pulled a hamstring at the Senior Bowl, which kept him from running at the combine. Foster took part in the pro day at San Diego State - not Tennessee - ran a very slow 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash. As a junior he ran a 4.52.So as NFL teams gathered in their pre-draft meetings to talk about each draftable player, you can almost imagine the mosaic that was painted about Foster: bright, well-liked kid who is kind of flaky (speaks dinosaur, apparently), puts the ball on the ground in pressure situations, takes dumb, emotional penalties, and has a questionable left knee.It's no wonder most passed on drafting him."We didn't do anything with him just because of the (intangibles)," another AFC scout told the Journal Sentinel. "We just kind of backed away."Said another: "This guy can be a starter. Physically, yeah. Speed is his problem. His junior year this guy ate them up. He will block. He did all the tough things. He's a good receiver. Because of all the problems I ended up giving him a third-round grade. He can really catch the ball. Not a criminal. Just (a jerk). Self-centered guy. It's more of a personality deal than a criminal."The latter scout appeared to be right.Foster is now a running back who has some explosion but, more importantly, can stick a foot in the ground and make a great cut. That's makes him perfect for a zone-blocking team like the Texans.And now he needs 102 yards against the Washington Redskins on Sunday to break Jonathan Stewart's record for most rushing yards in a player's first three career starts (451) since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 (Foster had one start last season).But it's not like the Texans knew Foster would turn out to be this good. Kubiak said Foster went through some struggles with dealing how to be a pro. But it set the stage for what was seen last Sunday."He's had some struggles and he sat around one place and figured out there is only one way to do it in this league to be successful," Kubiak said. "Somehow the light went on about week 15 or 16 (last season when he started on the practice squad), and he's taken advantage of a great opportunity."Guys change; players change. He's really changed the way he goes about being a player and a pro. I'm very proud of him."Role reversalBrothers Eli and Peyton Manning will face each other for the second time in their careers (Indianapolis Colts beat the New York Giants, 26-21) on Sunday night.An interesting side note is that their father, Archie Manning, told Newsday that he thinks the personality roles for his sons have switched. Eli has gone from being shy and unassertive to being the most comfortable in his own skin. Peyton is no longer the Type A big brother."What I've seen with Peyton in his veteran years in the NFL is that he's withdrawn some," the former New Orleans Saints quarterback told the paper. "He doesn't go as many places or do as many things."Uh, has Father Manning turned on television lately? Hard to miss Peyton in any number of commercials."I know some people accuse him of doing too many commercials, but I assure you he turns down a ton of stuff," Archie said. "He's pulled out of some things that he's had, and he's not really into being in front of a bunch of cameras all day. I think he's just trying to keep doing it and stay productive."Peyton agreed with his father, saying that at age 34 he's pulled back a bit."I think certainly when you get into your 13th year, your time becomes football," Manning said. "Physically, there are certain things you have to do to get ready to play and get ready to train. I've tried to keep my time available to concentrate more on football. I've always had football as the top priority. I feel like in the past couple years, I have cut back on some of the other stuff."And Eli has really evolved from the quiet baby brother behind Peyton and Cooper ?"Eli's a guy who's much more comfortable with himself," Archie said. "I think Eli's had some shyness, and I'm not sure he liked it, but that's just the way he was. And pro football is such a transition for a young quarterback. You ask, 'When's the time for me to take charge?' People might say right off the bat, but that's not always easy. But I see him as so much more in charge now, and so much more comfortable."Right course for Chiefs?It's only one week, but it's hard to discount that the Kansas City Chiefs injected some much-needed talent into their roster in the most recent draft.If the 21-14 win over the San Diego Chargers in the season-opener was any indication, this could come close to matching the Chiefs' 1996 draft when the first four picks all became starters.First-round pick Eric Berry started at strong safety against the Chargers, was credited with six tackles and helped shut down tight end Antonio Gates in the red zone in the final minute.Second-round pick Dexter McCluster gave the Chiefs a 21-7 lead with a 94-yard punt return, the longest in Chiefs history.Second-round pick Javier Arenas played nickel back and had punt returns of 36 and 24 yards to help field position in the rain.And third-round pick Tony Moeaki, a tight end, had three catches for 21 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown.The touchdowns by McCluster and Moeaki marked the first time two rookies scored touchdowns in a Chiefs season opener since Paul Palmer (on a kickoff return) and running back Christian Okoye did so in 1987, also against San Diego at Arrowhead.Come early, pleaseThe Atlanta Falcons have resorted to giving their notoriously late-arriving fans handouts to get them in their seats by kickoff.The team will have early food and merchandise discounts for fans that enter the Georgia Dome between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Eastern time.Over the last two seasons, the Falcons are 13-3 at home, but a large portion of the crowd is missing at kickoff."We would love to come out of the locker room and see that place packed," said coach Mike Smith. "Our fans do a super job during the game, but it would be nice to get the juices flowing even before the kickoff."Meet again, for the first timeMinnesota Vikings receiver Greg Camarillo and Miami Dolphins cornerback Benny Sapp could play across from each other at the Metrodome on Sunday.The two players were traded for each other three weeks ago.Said Camarillo on facing his former team: "What more could you ask for? From the minute I got traded, I've been thinking about this. It's Week 2. It's so early, it's great. Last week, how the whole team felt about the Saints and wanting to get their second swing at them; that's how I feel about the Dolphins. It's all my friends. No ill will toward the team, but I want to come out there and kick their tail."___This week in NFLNew England Patriots (1-0) at New York Jets (0-1)If you watched HBO's "Hard Knocks" featuring the Jets, you might remember when coach Rex Ryan told general manager Mike Tannenbaum that if the Jets could navigate the tough early portion of their schedule, they rest of the league would say, "Oh, (expletive)." After watching quarterback Mark Sanchez struggle to complete 10 of 21 passes for a rating of 56.4 in the opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens, opponents are saying, "Come to papa." Next up is Bill Belichick and his revamped defense. Did we mention Tom Brady put up a 120.9 rating in the Patriots' opening win?Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams, the No. 4 pick in the draft, was not manhandled by Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware in the opener, although Ware did have one sack and two pressures. "I thought for Trent's first game in the National Football League, he did a great job. . . . You can see his athleticism," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "I thought Trent did a very good job. To go against DeMarcus Ware for most of the game was quite impressive." It doesn't get any easier this week for the rookie against Houston Texans elite pass rusher Mario Williams.With Matthew Stafford hurt again, the Detroit Lions will have to start backup quarterback Shaun Hill for the first time. The Lions haven't had much success with backup QBs in their first start. Only twice since the start of the 2000 season has a backup won his first start. The immortal Stoney Case was in for Charlie Batch in 2000 and the Lions won at New Orleans without scoring an offensive touchdown. In 2005, Jeff Garcia won at Cleveland after bumping Joey Harrington. The backups who were losers in their first Lions start: Ty Detmer, Mike McMahon, Joey Harrington, Daunte Culpepper, Dan Orlovsky and Drew Stanton.Don't expect the Kansas City Chiefs' coaching staff to be tripped up by any of the game-week deception put on by Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini . All of the Chiefs' big guns are former Mangini associates and know his mind games well - general manager Scott Pioli, coach Todd Haley and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. Haley is also one of the few people in the NFL that has first-hand experience against Browns backup quarterback Seneca Wallace, who will likely start as Jake Delhomme deals with a sprained ankle. As a former assistant coach with the Arizona Cardinals, Haley played Seattle several times and on a couple occasions Wallace started for injured Matt Hasselbeck. "He's definitely a player I've seen as much tape as anybody on," Haley said. "If he's in there playing, I know he's somebody that can definitely hurt you in a number of ways."1 - Fumble for Dallas Cowboys running back Tashard Choice in 199 career scrimmage touches. But it was a big one Sunday as Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall picked up the loose ball and ran 32 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first half. It was the only Redskins touchdown in their 13-7 victory.2 - Career-high marks New England receiver Wes Welker set the last time he faced the New York Jets. Welker had 15 catches for 192 yards in the Patriots' 31-14 win Nov. 22, 2009.29 - Consecutive games Philadelphia linebacker Ernie Sims has been on the losing side. Traded to the Eagles from Detroit in the off-season, he lost 28 straight games with Lions. While the Lions were 2-14 last season, Sims was hurt and didn't play in either of their two victories. The Packers, Sims' old NFC North foe, delivered the latest loss Sunday.33 - Receiving yards for Houston receiver Andre Johnson last Sunday against Indianapolis. Johnson is trying to become the first receiver in history to reach 1,500 yards in three consecutive seasons.___(c) 2010, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.Visit JSOnline, the Journal Sentinel's World Wide Web site, at http://www.jsonline.com/.Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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