Why Reuben Foster can become Washington Football’s Jaylon Smith
Why Reuben Foster can become Washington’s Jaylon Smith
There’s no denying the immense amount of talent that Reuben Foster carries. His play on the field is evidence that he can be a core piece for a franchise at linebacker.
As Ron Rivera said, the explosiveness Reuben Foster plays with can be game-changing. The IQ in coverage and the superb outings in run support have been on display through the 16 games Rueben has played in his career.
You see here in this video, Foster does an excellent job in the screen game and filling the gaps, sticking to his assignment in run support and pass coverage.
Foster’s on-field ability isn’t the biggest question here. While he isn’t your perfect Inside linebacker (He primarily played ILB in SF, but will play OLB for the Washington Football Team), he has shown consistent progression when he’s on the field. While Rivera looks at the insane bounce-back from Smith as a comparison, to ask Foster to become a Pro Bowl talent to the eye is a huge ask.
But, in that same breath, Foster has shown he can be a Pro Bowl talent. With 16 games to his name, he’s posted over 100 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and seven QB hits. That’s on a similar track to Jaylon Smith’s first two seasons in the NFL, with Foster having him beat in the TFL category.
The talent here is undeniable. The biggest issue with Foster is his ability to stay on the field in a multitude of ways. But, the signs in Washington have been beyond encouraging that Foster has finally put the days of old behind him.
Health-wise, in a tweet from Rhiannon Walker, this was said: “Ron Rivera said the last three or four days Reuben Foster has steadily improved. They put him in different situations to see how he’d respond, and they felt comfortable moving him up.”
As far as his preparation and drive to get on the field goes, a tweet from J.P. Finlay quotes Rivera: “Ron Rivera on Reuben Foster: He was prepared and ready to go and we’re pretty excited for Reuben”.
Since the news broke about his 2018 arrests, Foster has stayed out of the spotlight for the wrong reasons, and has only been showcased trying to return to the game he loves. He’s been a model citizen in Washington, with Coach Rivera stating he’s “benefited from a change of scenery“.
Foster also has support from his fellow Washington Football players, like captain Landon Collins, who said the following on Foster:
“When all that stuff was going down, I’m on the phone talking to him, making sure his head is on right. Even at the Giants while he’s in San Fran, I’m on the phone talking to him, making sure he’s good, seeing what’s really going on because, you know, people throw all kinds of stories. I’m trying to figure out — that’s not Reuben, because the Reuben I played with from ‘Bama for two years, and then now I get the opportunity to play with him again with (Washington), and just being around him and seeing he’s all about having fun. Living life, loving life, and playing ball, that’s all he wants to do.”
As long as Reuben Foster stays healthy, his upside can be what we see Jaylon Smith doing on Sundays. I wouldn’t expect Foster to become Smith in his first season coming off of injury, but there’s no denying a healthy Reuben Foster has Jaylon Smith potential.
The best ability is availability, and if Reuben Foster can manage to stay available, Washington will be in a good spot for Sundays on end.