DeShaun Foster started every game last year for the Carolina Panthers but he comes to San Francisco understanding that his role with the 49ers offense will be as a backup to starter Frank Gore.
"It's a different role, but I'm a team player," said Foster. "I'm going to get in here and try to help the team in any way that I can. In this league you are going to need two backs. He's a good back, actually he's a great back, so I'm just going to get in there and try to help the team in any way I can."
Foster split time early in his career with Stephen Davis before becoming the Panthers primary workhouse in the backfield. He racked up 3,336 career yards to stand as the Panthers career-leading rusher, but was spelled often late in the year by the Panthers 2006 first-round pick in DeAngelo Williams. With Carolina looking to revamp their offense, Foster became a casualty about a week before the start of free agency.
"I was down there for six years," said of Williams of his time in Carolina. "They drafted me and it was a great organization. Getting released was kind of disappointing, but it is the nature of the game. I am excited to get a fresh start in San Fran and I am just going to go from there."
Foster met briefly with new offensive coordinator Mike Martz, and although the two didn't discuss scheme, the free agent acquisition said he's excited about the reputation that Martz has in the NFL.
"I just know his plan is to get his players involved," said Foster. "I think it will be an exciting year for us. We just have to get out there and play hard and execute. They've got a lot of young players on this offense with some veterans at receiver and I'm sure these guys are hungry. I think you just have to start clicking. It's like a machine, once everyone is on the same page, things tend to run smoothly."
Foster plans to get on the same page with his new team by returning for the off-season program, which kicks off on March 17.
"I'll be here working with the team right away because it's my first chance to meet my new teammates and start building that camaraderie," said Foster.
It'll be an easy relocation for the southern California native who currently lives in Los Angeles, where he attended school at UCLA.
"Being on the east coast with the Panthers was kind of tough because I spent most of my life in California," said Foster. "I'm just glad to be back out here playing in front of my friends and family. It was something I was kind of hoping for."