Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson
Ric, I was watching the entire first part of the season and saw Foote not engaging the blockers in the run game, but rather waiting until the OG came to him. He got a few sacks on blitzes and made tackles 5 yards + downfield.....so he had some stats and the majority of Steeler fans were pimping his greatness.
THEN, I decided to tape and break down his play in each of the Giants, Chiefs, Ravens, Browns, Ravens games, to see if my at a glance evaluation was correct. I saw exactly what I was seeing the first few games and it confirmed that FOOTE WAS AWEFUL.
The 2nd Ravens game he really had a good game, but for the majority of the year he played like a guy that didnt want to get hurt, rather than a guy that wanted to make the tackle for loss or meet the RB in the hole.
It's difficult to see how a guy who was awful, avoiding contact and taking bad angles could lead the league's #1 defense in tackles. I'm not saying he was an All-Pro, but you have to think in terms of expectations. Be honest: despite being an inside linebacker in a 3-4, I don't think any of us, before the season started, would have picked Foote to lead the team in tackles. No one. We would have picked Timmons, either safety, maybe Harrison or even an abused Keenan Lewis for that honor. And
Foote was third on the team in tackles for loss, after Timmons and Harrison, so clearly he was getting some penetration while taking all of those bad angles.
Words are our friends and should be treated accordingly. To call Larry Foote "awful" this past season is an abuse of that poor word. "Fair"? OK. "Mediocre"? Absolutely. "Sub-par"? Why not? And don't forget that clearly he was the best of limited and limiting options for Tomlin and Lebeau.