Yesterday in New York City, Texans running back Arian Foster was among the athletes on hand for an Under Armour “Holiday” to launch Armour39, the latest in Under Armour innovation, giving athletes a quantitative way to measure a workout in “WILLpower.” Foster called Armour39 a good “reality check” to ensure that maximum effort is being put forth in every practice and workout. “Sometimes you do go through the motions, and you feel it as an athlete or you see it as a trainer. If you’re at practice, you can see guys going through the motions,” he said on stage.
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank describes UA “Holidays” as times when the UA brand voice is louder and stronger than at any other point in the year. In 2013, there will be three UA Holidays—one right now, centered around Valentine’s Day, one for back-to-school, and one near the end of the calendar year. On Saturday, UA will be launching the Under Amour Brand House in Baltimore, a tricked-out flagship store on the Inner Harbor. Plank and his team also previewed “Cold Gear Infrared” technology and briefly (literally, a few seconds) previewed what’s coming in footwear—”clothe your feet.”
And as Plank described the brand as closing Chapter 1 and opening Chapter 2, so too is Arian Foster, who finally led the Texans to their first postseason victory in franchise history this year. As an individual, Foster had another monster year, racking up 1,600+ total yards and 17 touchdowns. Unfortunately, that’s not enough for Foster and his Houston teammates. They want more. With that in mind, we chatted with Foster about his assessment of 2012, his goals for 2013, and more—including his network TV acting debut scheduled for Monday (seriously).
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Arian Foster: It’s an honor to work with Under Armour, a company that has a background like me, that started from the ground up. Not a lot of people gave them a chance, but look what they’ve become. I’m just excited to be a part of all this.
TD: You’re an outside-the-box kind of guy, Under Armour is an outside-the-box kind of company, it seems like a great fit.
AF: I appreciate that. I try to just follow my own mode and my own path and that’s what Under Armour tries to do also. It’s a great marriage, because they want to set the bar as far as sports apparel is concerned and they have a mountain to climb. I wanted to be in the NFL, and that’s a huge mountain to climb, too, and that’s why I think we make good partners.
TD: Now that you’ve had some time to digest everything, how do you assess your 2012 season?
AF: I think we’re taking positive steps in the right direction as far as our organization is concerned. We’ve just got to win when it counts and we’ve got to take accountability as players. We plan on doing that this offseason—it starts this offseason. It was a good season, but we want more.
TD: What did it feel like watching the Ravens, a team you guys beat pretty handily, go on to win the Super Bowl?
AF: I had mixed feelings. Because I feel like we’re a better team than what we showed our last outing—I know we’re a better team. But watching those guys, I know a lot of guys on that team, I got a lot of brothers on that team, like Jacoby Jones, Vonta Leach. Ray Rice is a real good friend of mine, so I was happy that they got a ring.
TD: What’s it like making the playoffs and getting close, but now having to gear all the way back up again?
AF: All you can do as an individual is make yourself better as an individual. I’m going to get my game the best I can. I want to come into this next season being in the best shape, being the best me I can be. And then hopefully that will trickle down to the rest of my teammates. But I know we’ve got guys that work just as hard as me, so that’s not going to be a problem. As far as little things, as a team, realizing that we have a good shot here because there’s so much talent on the team. I think once we all start to click at the same time, it’s going to be dangerous.
TD: Adrian Peterson is talking about rushing for 2,500 yards in 2013. Do you have any personal numbers or goals you’d like to achieve next season?
AF: Yeah, I gotta lot of goals, but I keep my goals to myself, because when you fall short, people are quick to tell you, ‘I told you so.’ So I keep them to myself. But I have a lot of respect for Adrian Peterson. If that man sets his mind to it, he can do it. He’s a hell of a talent.
TD: People always talk about the modern day NFL being a “passing league,” but then there’s guys like Peterson and yourself who are real workhorse backs. What’s it like being an elite running back in a “passing league?”
AF: I mean that “passing league” gets taken out of context and people just kind of ran with it. But if you look at the Super Bowl winners of the last couple of years and how they got there, they ran the ball. Look at this past season—those are two traditionally running teams. I think it’s a marriage, you have to do both well. You look at the year that Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl, [Indianapolis] ran the ball well in the playoffs. Matter fact, I think Dominic Rhodes had 100 yards in that game. (Rhodes finished with 113 rushing yards and a TD in the Colts’ SB XLI victory —Ed.) I think that’s one of those things that just gained steam, and quarterbacks are the face of the NFL, so people ran with it. But it takes a team to win and running the ball is an important part of it.
TD: Last thing—is it true you have a cameo on Hawaii Five-0 this week?
AF: Yeah, man, I do. My acting debut, you know. Check me out, see how I do, give me a critique. I’m taking all criticism.
TD: Can we expect to see you pursuing more non-football opportunities like that?
AF: We’ll see—I’ve got Steven Spielberg on the horn. After that, Hype Williams wants to talk to me, so we’ll see where it goes after this (laughs).
Abe Schwadron is the Online Editor of TDdaily.com. Follow him on Twitter @abe_squad.