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Ramon Foster, Former Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Lineman

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
September 23, 2022 8:04 pm

Ramon Foster, Former Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Lineman

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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September 23, 2022 8:04 pm

Ramon Foster joined Zach to discuss when the Steelers should start Kenny Pickett and preview Tennessee-Florida. 


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It had a two-foot wingspan. Just search for Something Off Meat in the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. And we're coming to you live from the Rocket Mortgage studios. Whether you're looking to purchase a new home or refinance yours, Rocket Mortgage can help you get there.

For home loan solutions that fit your life, well, Rocket can. Football Friday, week three. Steelers lose to the Browns in Cleveland last night. Got some big college football games this weekend.

One of them is, of course, Tennessee hosting Florida. Now joining us is a former offensive lineman and played his college ball at Tennessee and then did play in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. And that, of course, is Ramon Foster. Ramon, how you been? I'm good. How are you doing?

Well, I'm doing fantastic. Can't complain. So I know after the game last night, and that's always a tough spot for a coach, I'm not expecting Mike Tomlin to say that they're going to make a quarterback change. He said definitively no, though, when asked if there would be a new starting quarterback by week four when the Steelers go up against the Jets. Would that be a mistake if they don't start Kenny Pickett at this point up against New York?

Is it a mistake? No, because I'll say this. Mitch did some good things last night. That was a lot more to it than Mitch last night, to be fair to him. And just the way they're going to go about, you know, the process with Kenny Pickett, I think everybody knows he's the quarterback of the future.

Mitch knows it. Hey, Mason Rudolph found this out, and everybody involved with Pittsburgh Steelers and their fan base know that eventually he will be the guy. I just think they're in a situation right now. They just don't want to rush it. When you've seen young guys out there super fast, they can get shell shocked, especially when they also have their questions, too, as far as how they're going to go about being pros. We've seen, you know, guys get put in bad situation right now. This offensive line for the Steelers is still jelling, still trying to find their niche as far as what their identity is going to be. You look at the wide receivers. Honestly, if you put those type of wide receivers, and I say this in a good way, like guys that are really good that want the ball kind of command the ball, they can really get to a quarterback. Well, who do I throw to, you know, it's one of those types of things of trying to please everybody could probably mess the young kid up as far as handling that situation. I think whatever, whenever they decide to put Kenny Pickett in, it will be a situation where it's like everybody understands that he's the guy that's going to move forward. And as far as maybe trying to force him into throwing you the ball, putting you in a better situation than it means for the team.

I think all of that would be out the window. I'm not sure what the record is going to suggest at the time when that happened. But if he said definitively, no, one, that's what he's supposed to tell us. But two, I do believe it's a not right now type of moment for if they wait three or four weeks, because you're right, this will inevitably happen that Kenny Pickett will start games this year for the Steelers. What really changes in three to four weeks?

His knowledge and understanding. I think one thing a lot of us are seeing right now, unless you have one of those types of teams, as far as like really strong teams, let's say the way Buffalo has kind of jumped out a little bit. Let's go and say like Miami has a whole lot of talent behind them.

Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City has a whole lot of talent behind them. We're seeing a lot of teams right now that kind of struggle out of the gates a little bit. We're watching Green Bay drop games are not supposed to drop. We're seeing the team that's supposed to be pretty strong in Minnesota drop games. They're not supposed to drop simply because of Baltimore or Cleveland dropping games like that. I think us losing that fourth preseason game kind of takes away from that dress rehearsal of putting your group together. Now there's a full acclamation period.

And me being a former player, I like all of those things. It's just that if you're not ready to go from the gates, which a lot of teams are, especially offensively, then you do kind of have that acclamation period or that still ramp up part of being a complete team because the reps are a little bit less now in the preseason. But didn't he look pretty ready to go, Ramon Foster, in the preseason? Well, you got to look at who he was going against. I think Kenny is going to be good.

How good? He's following a future Hall of Famer and Ben Roethlisberger. So that's yet to be seen. But it's a matter of putting him in that right spot and knowing that coaching staff and Kenny Pickett is going to know what that is. Saying that he's going to be a world beater and take him to the Super Bowl. Heck, it was a lot of people that denied how good Kenny Pickett was. But it was people that denied how good Patrick Mahomes was going to be. We got Tula in Miami.

A lot of people are willing to write off. You put the right talent around him. And next thing you know, he's a good player. He's killing it as far as everybody's fantasies. The same can be said about Lamar and Dak and everybody else.

I think it's a growth type of thing, not just for, you know, Kenny Pickett. But I also think it's for the Pittsburgh Steelers also, as far as like, look, you got to have a great support system around him. I'll say first and foremost, that is finding what works right for that offensive line up front because if they can't block him and give him the time to have him be comfortable in the pocket, what good is tossing them out there? I think we saw a little bit of that from Justin Fields and the way Chicago bears have kind of handled him a little bit.

Ramon Foster here with us. Do you have any optimism with this Steelers team after one and two start? One thing you do is never just count them out, simply because the underlying goals of Pittsburgh are they're always there. They always have good components in place to really kind of help move them along. I know a lot of people are always going to bring up, you know, the coach Tomlin hadn't had a losing season.

And he's the only one I think in the league without that for as long as he's been in. I'm not on board yet to say it's going to be a losing season, but I'll just say this. They got a tough road ahead of them.

I will. I know this also after watching last night, the absence of TJ Watt does mean a lot. We talk about teams and, you know, all types of mystique that they have with their history. But if you don't have the Jimmy and Joes in place to actually make plays for you like a TJ Watt on defense, man, it makes a hard day at the office.

You know the standard in Pittsburgh. It is Super Bowl or bust, and it feels like it hasn't been that way in quite a few years where we've just been saying, oh, go make the playoffs and then we'll see what happens from there. You know, Apex is just being like a wild card team. Maybe you win the North, things like that. Are you disappointed with the state of the franchise right now? Man, depending on swings on everybody, it just simply does. We're watching the team in New England right now kind of go through that a little bit to where are they as an organization? Eventually, you've got to get to a point where you don't want a hard reset. You want to, you know, kind of watch your offense and defensive line. What is your defense consistently looking like?

And then you build from that point on out. Pittsburgh as a fan base, I know you understand this too. They've been spoiled for a very long time.

You got to say to yourself, it's been 20 plus years of fame. You're going to be that steady. When change happens and you don't have that type of franchise guy behind center, then a lot of people do throw that fear, that expectation out.

I'm not disappointed. I think it's just one of those things I kind of knew or saw it coming, but I still think it'll be a level of consistency or they'll end up winning games. You say, man, they're probably out of it and they find ways to kind of pull it back together. Ramon Foster here with us. When we get to the Browns, the team the Steelers lost to last night, they are two and one after three weeks. They should be three and no after the disaster last week up against the Jets, but they blew that game. After this week, they play the Falcons next week, but then after that, the schedule does pick up in intensity. Watson doesn't come back until week 13.

Do you think this team can weather the storm and keep the ship from sinking until Watson gets back? Well, the Wager-Covey reset play last night, if Coach Difanski can put that plan together in some type of fashion against everybody else, what they did was one, I will say, I think they have one of the, Cleveland has one of the best offensive lines in the league, you know, with, uh, with Conklin being back out there and they just got a bunch of studs up front. They devised a game plan last night on Thursday night football that said, get the ball out quick, let Amari Cooper get busy. Then they started going over the middle to David and Joko. And then of course that one, two punches they have with Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb says to me that if they don't Cleveland Brown themselves, and you know what I mean by that, they can be a really good team. And they did that last night without the Davian Clowney.

And I'll be honest with you. Cleveland is just one of those organizations where they always do play hard. They have, uh, you know, a very good fan base, but it's a matter of them getting out of their own way. I know a lot of people side out of the Sean Watson signing and everything else, but when you're starving for wins in a championship and a fan base that's rabbit to be relevant to everybody, um, that's why you go get a guy like him.

And I think there'll be, I think there'll be fair, man, their team to really watch if they get out of their own way and just let those guys with all of that talent on the field make plays for them. The team that you cover now, the Tennessee Titans doing radio in Nashville, they're off to an 0-2 start. The only saving grace is the AFC South sucks right now, Ramon Foster, but how concerned you? I thought they were going to regress this year, but they still have a chance because this division is just brutal.

Yeah, and that's, you know, as good as the Titans have been, as far as being competitive, number one overall seat last year, right? The one knock that they have on themselves is being in the AFC South. Now I'll say this, it looks like Jacksonville is getting their stuff together. It seemed like Houston plays a brand of defense. It's going to make it hard for teams to beat them with Davis Mills at quarterback who can make plays occasionally. They went toe to toe with Denver up to a certain point. I don't know if that's a good thing though, these days to go toe to toe with Denver. Denver's not good right now, especially with that coach, man.

I know they have one of those guys. They got Russell Wilson at quarterback, man. He's not looking good so far. Hey, he's a great quarterback, but he's not looking good right now, man. I know, but Josh, but the tight situation though, man, if they have a situation on their hand where they have made themselves a run heavy team and as of late, and I say this with a lot of respect and a lot of, a lot of people say, well, there's disrespect coming behind that, but the way teams have been approaching them with that running game, meaning if they can get Derrick Henry at the line of scrimmage, then they know they got them because the way, you know, they have been kind of, they lost Taylor Lawon and you saw how the New York Giants attacked them. And then the following week you have another team that comes in and does the exact same thing, man, to where it's just like, well, I'm not saying that they don't fear what the Titans have going on, but in this league, and you guys know it to be true too, if you can't spin the ball through the air and make teams fear you over the back end of the defense, then that makes for a very long day. And I know Buffalo is really good, but they have DB stacked at the line of scrimmage, eight, nine guys at the line of scrimmage, because until they start going to the young rookie Tralen Burks or devising a plan to get Nick Westbrook or Keena down the field to make them be honest, they're going to attack that line of scrimmage, man. And that makes a very long day at the offense for that offensive line and for Derek Harris.

And it makes their offense very stagnant. So I'm waiting to see when they're going to get Ryan Tannehill the keys to the car. And they say to him, Hey, it's on you now, run those tech with needs at the line of scrimmage, because if they are waiting 20 plus reps to get Derek to a hundred yards or get Derek to 70 yards where they've kind of been holding them 70, 80 yards a game, then I mean, that's a tough way to operating.

I feel like, you know, that too. Yeah, but you know this, when you ask Tannehill to throw the football more, eventually he's going to make a mistake. That dude's not a great quarterback. Well, as of late, these first two games, he hasn't been the reason they lost. I know the Buffalo game was one thing. He threw some picks as of late, but we talked Buffalo's just good. They are to get up to the quarterback. Von Miller's out here doing ghost rushes against tackle, not even touching them a second, the quarterback. So up until late, he hasn't been the reason I think it's a, a lesson of, you know, what have you done for me lately? And from that playoff game last year against Cincinnati, I just don't know.

Yeah. And I don't know if Todd Downey has kind of, you know, himself let that go because you, if you can't spin it through the airman, name me one team that's, that's operating like that right now, even Cleveland last night, they put the ball in Jacoba Brissett's hand. Is Malik Willis, do you think he could be a player for them? I know he's so raw and he fell to the third round. No one expected that, but, but what's kind of your read on Malik Willis?

He got the right team to go to, um, simply because Tannehill is the guy, no matter if he's throwing the ball or not. And if you see Malik and watch him in preseason, he did some good things, but he did those things against guys that got cut on the final cut day in the NFL. He's got to grow. He's got to understand that, look, these guys are a whole lot faster.

Um, your reads are a whole lot quicker. Um, we saw him in his past game, kind of run the ball and, and have a fumble in that game. And he got popped by a linebacker.

I think it was, uh, Molina that ended up popping him in a game. Like you can't do what you did in college and the anticipation of passes and being able to, to see downfield and make plays. He just needs more time, but I'll say this, if they are in a position with Malik and he's probably not the starter by year two, it's not many guys that sit back in this league that are drafted to be the successor.

And they don't start in year two. If that's not the case, and they'll probably be looking for another guy. That's my personal opinion.

And, um, I don't, I don't know many guys. This is like Jordan love right now. Are they really going to make him the franchise guy? I just don't see it happening right now. Well, let's be real.

The biggest mistake they did was give Tannehill that four year extension variable with his relationship, but Brady should have got Brady to Tennessee. Oh man. You know what? Everything is like that in hindsight, They were FaceTiming at that Syracuse game with Edelman. If you remember.

Yeah, I do, man. And I don't know what it was. There was also rumors that he was here in, uh, Brentwood, Tennessee looking at schools and you know, where there's smoke, there's fire sometime, but, um, it didn't happen and they kind of held onto the run first ideas and it works until that fear kind of goes away. And, um, they got a tough outfit this weekend against the Raiders to kind of, uh, you know, write this shit.

Let's be real. Was Tannehill the mother bleeper, or was it Derek Carr? Or was it someone else? When, when you get into that Brady conversation, this could be the mother game, man, this could be as one of the other, right.

It's one of the other, I couldn't tell you, man, Brady's so calculated and, uh, I'm glad we're getting a chance to see him beat him, but gosh, I'd hate to be whoever that was. Do you have any concern about Derek Henry right now? Um, no, not really. Um, I was talking to a good friend of mine who's a very respected guy that talks on TV. And I was like, you know, is it fear? Is that fear gone? Like, is it, you know, that lack of respect for what Derek does gone? And he was like, you gotta be careful when you say fear.

And I was like, okay. And I think it's just a matter of the way they've schemed up stuff for him and how he has to have that blocking at the beginning of the line of scrimmage. I think teams were saying, if we get at his legs before he gets going, then we got a good opportunity to stop.

And that doesn't mean that they don't respect or fear him. It's just that the execution of what others have done other teams seems to be following suit with getting him at the line of scrimmage as quick as they can. And the play action that the Titans do is really good. They can burn you over the top, but they haven't, you know, the loss of AJ Brown was huge. They got a rookie in that position right now. And when you don't have that threat, it makes a hard day for a guy like Derek Harry to get back to 2000 yards. Now I'll say this, he'll go for 240 yards this weekend. Yeah, I guess that Raiders defense, he should probably maybe get 400. The thing that I hate Ramon Foster was, and you just said it, that they got rid of AJ Brown. I thought for a team that's been good the last few years, that sends a bad message to the locker room. I also wonder, Henry only has one more year on the contract after the season. Maybe he gets fed up and tries to force away out of Tennessee and tries to make a little trade request. Man, that may end up in a case.

I'm not sure if they're in a reset right now. You know, I have this morning show here in Nashville, where we talk about the Titans daily and a bunch of other football topics. I'll say this, what Derek has done in the past, he deserved that pay increase. He plays that position.

That's very hard. And when they're done with joining his league, they're absolutely done. If they decide to make a move like that, then they got a nice young guy, Hassan Haskins out of Michigan, if I'm not mistaken, that runs the ball pretty good. He has good breakaway speed enough to get to the open field and get you those explosive plays.

It'll just be another era. And it doesn't also help too, that you kind of missed on a couple of offensive line, but you remember the Isaiah Wilson draft and how that went down. And then they get the young kid out of North Dakota state Dylan ratings last year. And he's not in the starting rotation, but Taylor Lewan goes down right now. I think he's inactive this week, but they got a rookie at right tackle. You see what I'm saying?

Like it's a combination of a lot of things. Any guy that has tread left on his tires would think that, but from my understanding, Derek is a very loyal type of guy. And it may be a team decision before it's an actual Derek Henry decision. Let's get to your volunteers Tennessee this weekend with a big game up against Florida. We all know how good of a quarterback Hendon Hooker is, but I still feel like he doesn't get that respect nationally. I feel like this is one of those put some respect on my name type of game if he goes gets a victory with the way that he's been playing. Yeah, he's a solid man.

And the system in which he's playing, he's kind of thrived in. The thing about this series though is Florida always gets up for the UT Florida game. They're coming into Knoxville. I'll actually be there tomorrow, man.

It's going to be chaotic. Anybody that's almost ever played at the university of Tennessee is going to be there. One of my former teammates guys, I came in with area foster. He's back at university of Tennessee for the first time since he left. And you know, there was a whole lot of conversation around him when he left.

And he recently posted a picture. This is a huge one and Hendon's got a lot on his shoulders as far as, you know, making those plays. If he comes into that game and he starts fast, and that's the one thing I've been concerned about as of late with him is, you know, pick game kind of high balls, low balls. And even in some of the Akron and Ball State games, he was, you know, not as steady as he should be.

I'm hoping those games will warm up. So what SEC play is, man, the kids got out. He's a six year senior right now. And he's taking full advantage of Josh Hypel's offense right now that he's making himself some corn as far as the NFL goes with the ability to kind of spin the ball through the air when he's hot.

Give me the state of the Tennessee Union. Are you guys buying into you drinking the Josh Hypel Kool Aid through two years so far? Man, we got something called BVS, battered ball syndrome.

Okay. Me being like the Jets, you know, somebody like as soon as you get something good, it snatches away from you. I like what he's done so far. He's been a guy that's been one of those types of coaches, Andy Reid type, you know, Coach Tomlin type, a Belichick type to where they don't give us and the media or the fans everything that they have. But behind closed doors, he finds a way to get his guys to buy into him. He finds a way to kind of get the most out of his guys to get them believe, you know, and the last coach ended up leaving. It really put him in a bad spot, only playing with 61 scholarship players and still pull out, I think, seven wins last year. So as of right now, Zach, I'll tell you this. I like the steps that he's made, and he's not making it about himself, which a lot of the coaches we have had in the past, and I think you know a few of them, they've really made it about them. How can I be a big rock star in this University of Tennessee outfit? And I was a little bit surprised he didn't go to Oklahoma this offseason.

You see what I'm saying? But when you look at where he come from, and I think, you know, he's a guy that played in the era and watched Tennessee be good, and you see him and you hear his press conference and kind of say, I know what this place is, and the athletic director that we have in Danny White, I think they're trying to build something here that they can just be guys. There are a lot of time coaches are looking for that other job, and we saw another guy, Scott Frost, go back to his alma mater and say he was going to do this and do those things, and that pressure is immense when you have one of those historic universities that's won a whole lot less than the early or late 90s, early 2000s, and then you find yourself fired.

And they also could have waited to fire you, but instead of saying here, take the $7 million, and we just want to get rid of you. Going back to your alma mater, man, is a big, big, yeah, it's rough and expectations, I think, is twice as high. Well, here's the good news. I know you guys are off to a kick-ass start. If it goes poorly, the former UCF athletic director could just start claiming national championships again for your Tennessee volunteers. No, see, we don't live that life anymore, Zach. We're done with that, man, I promise you.

This is what we got to do. We just got to, one at a time, not believe what Nick Saban said, that snake venom. We can't subscribe to that.

Rat poison, yeah, that's what that is. We can't have any of that. Well, Ramon Foster, always great to catch up with you. Hey, one last one, just going back to the Steelers' conversation. If you were still in that locker room, if you had to give me an honest answer right now, would you be ready to go to Kenny Pickett if you were a player? You say, okay, I've seen enough of Mitch. You know, I had to give you my PC answer because I'm on this side of it, but yeah, I probably would, just simply because they got a bye right now, a mini-bye. They got 10 days before the next game. If I saw stuff in practice that said he could get us going, this is the other part of it.

No two is, you'd have to let everybody involved know, look, we got to protect them. They're going to come at him a little bit harder. They're going to make things crazy for him. He doesn't know the way NFL defenses operate, and it's got to be, at least offensively, it's got to be a collective goal to say, we're going to make him look good because if he's good, then everybody's eating. We saw what he did at Pitt, and we see where Pitt is now as far as quarterback play since he's left. Clovis is good, but you have a guy that has a really good year that's played in that environment too. I know a lot of people talk about his hands and stuff, but he's conditioned for that type of play, man. Me personally, as a player, I'd probably be ready for it.

Tomlin may give you a call then because they could use your protection up front. You know what? Everybody misses you when you're gone, man. I like this side a whole lot better. Ramon Foster, appreciate the time as always. You're the best. Thanks so much. No doubt.

No doubt. Fantasy football leagues are one on the waiver wire, and with trades, and with savvy starter sit decisions. The Fantasy Football Today podcast will help you along the way with the best advice on how to manage your team and dominate your league. With eight episodes per week, Fantasy Football Today is the only resource you'll need. Start sit. Grade the trade. Fantasy cops to settle your league disputes and so much more. Check out Fantasy Football Today anywhere podcasts are found. How's your mental health?

I'm listening with Alanis Morissette. When it first started, I would have my nightly panic attacks, but then I started getting really curious about all the sensations. Like I just really started looking at, okay, so chest is, you know, I got really kind of granular and observing the details of what was really going on with the breath. It's just survival strategy.

It's cortisol cooking nonstop, you know, chronic stress is trauma. More at Talk saves lives. You know those headlines that make you stop scrolling and actually read an article?

I'm Mike Rogers. Those are the kinds of stories I'm diving into on my podcast, Something Off Meat, like the caterpillar infestation in Maine that had us rethinking our relationship with insects. We were talking about a time 300 million years ago, if you can imagine, there was a dragonfly.

It had a two foot wingspan. Just search for Something Off Meat in the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-09 11:14:01 / 2023-01-09 11:26:07 / 12

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