This offseason, when Brandon Brooks looked at his teammate Miles Sanders, coming off an impressive rookie season, he couldn’t help but to think about one of his former teammates. A guy who was once one of the best running backs in the NFL.
A lightbulb went off.
“Miles is really coming into his own,” Brooks said to NBC Sports Philadelphia earlier this offseason. “The one thing I did with Miles this offseason was I actually hooked him up with Arian. He reminds me of Arian Foster the way he runs and the way he can catch out of the backfield. He can really do it all. I think y’all remember, when Arian was on top of his game, he couldn’t be touched by any running back.”
That meeting hasn’t happened yet, but Sanders hopes it does.
Sanders, on Sunday, said he’s been trying to get in touch with Foster but the former All-Pro has a pretty busy schedule. Eventually, though, Sanders is hoping to get that chance.
I’m definitely trying to get that going and really just pick his brain,” Sanders said. “That’s all I want to do is listen and learn from him.
Sanders, 23, is entering his second NFL season after an impressive rookie campaign. He rushed for 818 yards and added 509 receiving, setting an Eagles rookie record for scrimmage yards. In his prime, Foster was one of the best dual threats in the NFL.
In fact, from 2010-12, Foster led the entire NFL in yards from scrimmage with over 200 more yards than the next closest player.
In 2010, Foster became just the third player in NFL history — joining LaDainian Tomlinson and Priest Holmes — to have 1,600+ rushing yards and 600+ receiving yards in a single season.
Sanders has that type of unique potential, so if Foster can help him realize it, that would be a worthwhile connection.
Foster, 33, hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016. But when Brooks was a Texans rookie in 2012, Foster was still in his prime. In 2012, Foster made his third straight Pro Bowl and topped 1,200 yards rushing for the third straight season.
Perhaps Foster got overlooked playing for the Texans, but Brooks is right. Foster was absolutely one of the best running backs in the NFL in his prime.
And Sanders could definitely learn a thing or two from him.
If you’re wondering, Sanders “absolutely” sees some similarities between their games.
He’s really smooth,” Sanders said. “I can say he’s one of the running backs I really watched when he was in the league. He’s great at that stretch play. He’s good at catching balls out of the backfield. But he’s a really smooth runner. He reminds me a little bit of Le’Veon (Bell), how Le’Veon is now. But I like his game and I’m just looking forward to picking his brain.
Yeah, smooth is a good word to describe Foster. He was super smooth and super patient. He was a really fun player to watch and it’s no surprise that Sanders liked to watch him as he came up in the game.
The Eagles are expecting Sanders to carry the load for them in 2020. If he ends up having a peak like Foster, everyone would be thrilled.
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