View Full Version : Larry Foote Signs With Detroit

05-06-2009, 02:02 PM
Coming Home
LB Larry Foote Signs with the Lions, Getting the Opportunity to Play in his Hometown
By Chrissie Wywrot | Detroitlions.com | May 6, 2009

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- There is something to be said for playing for your home team in the town you grew up in.

That is what drove veteran linebacker Larry Foote, who has spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, to sign with the Detroit Lions. Foote is a Detroit native who went to Pershing High School and played college ball at the University of Michigan.

He has played at Ford Field – hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on its surface when he was part of ‘winning one for the thumb’ in 2006 – but he has never worn the Honolulu Blue and silver.

“It’s my home,” he said. “So that was always going to be in the back of my mind – what it would be like playing at home. With the way things were going in Pittsburgh, I saw the Lions get a new coaching staff and thought, ‘What a great opportunity to come home.’”

Foote joins a defense that has continued to evolve since general manager Martin Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand permanently took over in late December.

The Lions have brought in new veteran players at every defensive position; Grady Jackson on the defensive line, Julian Peterson at linebacker and Phillip Buchanon, Anthony Henry and Eric King in the secondary.

Detroit’s defense is also evolving from a scheme standpoint. Head Coach Jim Schwartz and Defensive Coordinator Gunther Cunningham have changed the philosophy on that side of the ball; wanting to bulk up on the line and become a physical team when it comes to stopping the run.

Foote sees himself playing an integral role in that objective.

“You want to be big on the lines, you don’t want to be small – I understand that,” he said. “But linebackers and DBs – it’s a mentality. Size is a little overrated in those positions. You want to tackle or you don’t want to tackle. You can be 250 or 220. If you want to bring a guy down, you’ll bring him down.”

Foote actually sees more of an opportunity to play that kind of physical football in the Lions’ 4-3 defense compared with Pittsburgh’s 3-4.

The role of the middle linebacker changes from one system to the other; in a 3-4, the scheme is geared toward the outside linebackers. In a 4-3, however, the middle linebacker has a more prominent role.

“You can run a little more and make more plays,” said Foote. “I played it in college, so being in the middle is natural. I’m looking forward to the change.”

Foote says his favorite aspect of being a middle linebacker is the fact that he has to be the toughest.

“They’ve got to be able to run with the small guys and hit with the big guys,” he said.

The Lions will add Foote to their growing linebacker group; Detroit currently has 13 linebackers on their roster, but eight of those players have experience of two years or less. Prior to Foote’s arrival, Peterson, Cody Spencer, Alex Lewis and Ernie Sims made up the group of vets.

Foote brings an added dimension as a veteran but, at the same time, will experience a first when it comes to getting to know his new teammates. Having spent all of his seven NFL seasons in Pittsburgh, he has never started over.

“I just want to get better mentally,” said Foote of tomorrow’s organized team activity (OTA). “I’m just trying to learn the terminology. You’ve got to break the ice with guys – that’s a process, but you’ve got to start somewhere. I’m a little nervous. Going back to putting my name on my helmet – ‘Foote’ on there – I want to prove myself and show what I’m worth.”

So far, Foote has felt at home with the Detroit Lions.

He met with Schwartz and other coaches on the staff yesterday and sat in on his first position meeting Wednesday afternoon.

“Schwartz is a fun guy – I like him,” said Foote. “He’s a down-to-earth guy. He knows his football. I talked to him yesterday for about an hour and he’s just sharing his thoughts and personality – I felt comfortable here yesterday.

“Last night I was telling my agent, ‘Just get it done.’ The whole place made me feel comfortable and I can smell the fresh start and I’m honored to be a part of it.”


05-06-2009, 04:22 PM
He was a good soldier. :drink:

05-06-2009, 05:02 PM
You served us well in your days at Pittsburgh. Thanks for helping us get the two rings. I'll miss him, but im just as excited about the Timmons Era. To be honest, Ernie Sims, Larry Foote, and Julian Peterson at linebacker is actually pretty good. I actually think Foote would make a good 4-3 linebacker. I dont think the addition of Foote will give the Lions some kind of turnaround like the fins did, but heck, maybe they'll finish 8-8. That linebacker corp isnt looking too bad. Good luck in Detroit, except when we play you this year :tt:

05-06-2009, 05:08 PM
No way Detroit gets to 8-8 with a rookie QB and our 5th best LB in a 4-3 defense. He will not make them that much better if the rest of the defense is as bad as it was last year. Sorry, Larry. The only thing you get out of this is playing in your hometown. Who the heck would go to Detroit on purpose? We will miss you but we won't miss a beat just like when Porter left. No, not quite. You are nowhere near the player Porter is.

05-06-2009, 05:37 PM
No way Detroit gets to 8-8 with a rookie QB and our 5th best LB in a 4-3 defense. He will not make them that much better if the rest of the defense is as bad as it was last year. Sorry, Larry. The only thing you get out of this is playing in your hometown. Who the heck would go to Detroit on purpose? We will miss you but we won't miss a beat just like when Porter left. No, not quite. You are nowhere near the player Porter is.

Dude their LB core is pretty solid as far as I am concerned. The O- is tight other than QB and maybe they'll convert to a 3-4 before too long! Good luck Larry Foote, you served Steeler Nation well.... :thumbsup:

05-06-2009, 05:59 PM
Thanks for your service Larry. Good Luck with the Lions.

Fire Haley
05-06-2009, 06:06 PM
Obviously, if the Steelers defense isn't #1 next year it will because Timmons is a bust.

Does Vegas take these kinds of bets?

05-06-2009, 06:17 PM
It's funny...there are some Lions fans who are bashing the Lions for this. Below is my conversation with one of the idiots.

... wait... so we don't draft Ray Ray because he is a two down LB, so instead to fill the gap, we get an older two down LB?

I am not really bashing the signing, more just bashing our logic of not drafting a far superior athlete to play the position. Foote is good, but he has never played in a 4-3 system in the pros and normally, Pittsburgh releases players at the right time.

You are forgetting about the all might dollar bro. Rey Rey would have been looking for decent money...and he's unproven in the NFL. Foote is a heady player...which is one of the big knocks on Rey Malgalgalgaouluagluagluaga.

I don't know what the DT situation looks like in Detroit...they're too low on my "Give A Crap" meter....but if they're pretty decent, the Foote will do wonders for your team. He can mentor your young linebackers...something Rey Malgluagluagluaglua will need as opposed to be able to provide.

Mr n00b responds with:
Dollars shouldn't mean shit to a team who cannot sell out their stadium. They need the best possible players.

Foote is unproven in the 4-3 in the pros. As for mentoring... ask Foote how well he mentored Simmons last year. He was pissed about having to come off the field for him and pushed to leave the team the first chance he got.

05-06-2009, 06:35 PM
Hopefully he will find the type of success he is looking for. A big fish in a small pond maybe?

05-06-2009, 06:47 PM
He wanted to be a starter all the time and not share anytime with anyone...he got his wish.

05-06-2009, 06:49 PM
He's hoisted the Lombardi trophy twice. Now he wants to play for his childhood team. If he's happy with the choice then I'm happy for him.

So long Larry.

05-07-2009, 06:18 AM
Good Luck Larry (except on Oct 11)!

You were a helluva a player for us and I'm thankful for your service and dedication to the team!

Now take your two rings into the Lions lockerroom and show them the bling-bling!

05-07-2009, 10:03 AM
Yup, good for him. He gets to start again.

C-ya Foote! Good role player, disciplined, played within the system...you'll be missed!

05-07-2009, 10:32 AM
Good luck, Foote. Glad 2 hear the Detroit signing went as U hoped. V'll miss U.

05-07-2009, 10:40 AM
at least foote don't have big shoes to fill !!! :toofunny: .....get it ? foote....shoe.....:toofunny: ....i crack me up...:laughing:

05-07-2009, 10:41 AM
Can't be mad at him for wanting to start for his hometown team. Its not like he left here for a boatload of $, not that you could fault him even if he did. I didn't hear the details of his new contract, but I'm guessing that it's less than he was going to make here this year.

I think its was the right move for both parties. The Steelers probably would have kept him around this year out of loyalty, but 3 mill is too much for a backup.

05-07-2009, 11:29 AM
Good Luck Larry, I hope Hines breaks your jaw this year!!!

05-07-2009, 11:37 AM
Foote will be a good mentor to Dizon who will probably be prepared to start by next season. I wish Larry the best of luck, he was a good Steeler.

Dino 6 Rings
05-07-2009, 11:54 AM
This is a good thing for both parties, Detroit gets a solid veteran linebacker and Foote goes to a team where he can be the starter and a leader and be the stand out guy in the linebacker position.

Look forward to playing against him this year.