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mesaSteeler
11-26-2009, 10:32 PM
Foster gets call for Steelers
11/26/2009 3:31 AM
http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/localsports/11-26-2009-Steelers-Ramon-Foster-starting

PITTSBURGH - Three months ago, Ramon Foster was just one of nine rookie free agents with a long-shot's chance at earning a spot on the roster of the defending Super Bowl champions.

In Baltimore Sunday, Foster will make his first NFL start when the Steelers face the Ravens in a rematch of last season's AFC Championship.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu is out, thrusting the 6-6, 325-pound Foster into the lineup.

With the Steelers (6-4) and Ravens (5-5) fighting for their playoff lives, the game figures to be as pressure-filled as any either team has played this season.

For Foster, who spent every day in the offseason workouts and training camp wondering if he would be cut the next day, pressure is relative.

"I think every game we play in has pressure," said Foster, a three-year starter at right tackle at Tennessee. "Coach Tomlin always says there are two kinds of people, people who apply it and people who feel it. We're going to be the team that applies pressure."

Foster entered last Sunday's 27-24 overtime loss to Kansas City after Kemoeatu suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament two plays into the second half and acquitted himself well enough for Tomlin to stick with him against the Ravens. Tomlin chose to play Foster over second-year lineman Doug Legursky.

"If you look at the number of snaps that he played this past Sunday, for a young man he represented himself relatively well," said Tomlin. "We can proceed with even more optimism this week in terms of his readiness because he will be getting more physical reps with the first group in practice this week. Under the circumstances, I thought he performed well."

For Foster, it was another building block on what has already been a big six months for him.

"I thought (Kemoeatu) was going out for a play and then going back in," said Foster. "Just being in this position to work hard and start to see some success from it, it's definitely been an accomplishment in my book. It's not over with yet."

Not with a game against Pittsburgh's biggest rival looming.

Foster won't be the first Steelers' offensive lineman to make his debut in the starting lineup against the Ravens. Right guard Trai Essex and right tackle Willie Colon also made their first NFL starts against Baltimore. The Steelers lost both of those games.

"Ramon is fine," said left tackle Max Starks. "I played with him in the preseason and he's done a great job. That's why he got the backup role immediately from Week 1. He shows a lot of promise and he knows what he's doing out there. It's a good test for him."

It's a test that Foster hopes having played in a high-profile program in college will have helped prepare him for.

"Just the crowd, being around all that noise and having the support system when you're going into another hostile environment and the fans taking it personally, whether you win or lose, it's the same in Pittsburgh and in Baltimore," Foster said.

Odds and end zones

The NFL made two official scoring changes in the Steelers' loss to Kansas City, taking away a five-yard punt return from Stefan Logan in the second quarter that was negated by a penalty. Logan is now credited with no yards on the return. The second change came on the play in which quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was hit in the head by Kansas City linebacker Derrick Johnson's knee. The play was initially ruled a sack. But the Steelers were penalized for a hold on the play so it does not count. ... Roethlisberger practiced Wednesday, but second-string quarterback Dennis Dixon took more snaps. ... In addition to Kemoeatu, safety Troy Polamalu (knee), wide receivers Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes (foot), and linebacker James Farrior did not practice Wednesday.

Copyright Observer Publishing Co.

markymarc
11-27-2009, 01:31 PM
I think Ramon Foster will play well on Sunday night against the Rats. It's nice to know that our FO found another UDFA gem!