Foster Remembers His Costly StartAugust 7th, 2013
Two years ago, then-rookie Mason Foster had only earned a few nickels in the NFL when he was smacked with a $20,000 fine by Roger Goodell after an August hit on Chad Ochocinco during his preseason debut in Tampa.
The fallout from the hit didn’t mess up his head, Foster told Joe yesterday. However, it was a wake-up call, something new Bucs rookies can learn a lesson from before tomorrow’s preseason opener.
“I didn’t realize how big it was until later on. And then you realize when you’re fined a bunch of money,” Foster said. “But it really didn’t affect me at the time. You learn things. Welcome to the NFL. You gotta play smarter. All the way around you can learn from stuff like that. I thought, ‘Oh, it’s my second game. I’m a rookie. They’re not really going to fine me that much money. I haven’t even gotten that kind of money yet.’ They don’t care. You learn that quick.
“I still play football the only way I know how to play, that’s fast and hard. At the same time you don’t want to get anyone hurt, but you can’t change the way you play. It’s a fine line.”
At he time, Ochocinco went public saying he would reimburse Foster personally because he disagreed with the fine. Geno Hayes also told Joe that he and other Bucs would help Foster pay the fine as a show of support. But that financial assistance never made its way to Foster.
“No. Nobody helped me out with that,” Foster told Joe yesterday.
Joe replied to Foster, “that wasn’t cool.” And Foster replied, “Exactly.”
A tackling machine in college and the leading NFL rookie tackler in 2011, Foster said New Schiano Order tackling teachings have helped him improve and potentially avoid fines.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot about tackling since Coach Schiano came in here, pressing the hip, you know, taking better angles and what tackles to use in different in situations, ” Foster said. “So it’s made me a better tackler. And we work on it every day.”