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Old 01-15-2008, 03:25 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' Foote poised to defend job

Steelers' Foote poised to defend job
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Veteran inside linebacker Larry Foote predicts the Steelers defense will have a different look in 2008.
"Every year, there are going to be changes. You see changes coming this year," Foote said. "Some of the changes could even be with me. The way I see it, in the next month or so we'll know what direction the coaches are trying to go in."

Asked to elaborate, Foote, who finished third on the team with 89 tackles, said the Steelers drafted linebacker Lawrence Timmons with the intention of playing him. A seldom-used first-round draft pick, Timmons was moved from outside linebacker to "mack" linebacker behind Foote and recorded only two tackles in his first pro season.

"I don't even know if I'm going to be here," Foote said. "That's just the nature of the game. (Timmons) played behind me. I know the team is going to be anxious to play him. As soon as he starts showing some signs he's going to be a player in the league, it's just a matter of when they're going to throw him out there."

Foote, who has two years remaining on his contract, doesn't appear to be in danger of losing his job. He recently completed his fourth season as a starter and doesn't turn 28 until June.
Foote also is considerably younger than fellow starting inside linebacker James Farrior, who turned 33 the day after the Steelers' playoff loss to Jacksonville. Farrior, who has one year left on his contract, topped all Steelers defenders with 111 tackles in 2007.

Foote believes none of that will make a difference in 2008. He said the economics of football dictate that Timmons will receive more playing time next season.

"I'm just looking at the nature of the game," Foote said. "He's a first-rounder. I know he's going to have to be on the field. That's why they drafted him so high.

"The young boys every year want to come in and take your job, so the offseason is definitely important that you stay in shape and get ready to prove yourself. When minicamp starts, I've got to come in showing I'm ready to fly around and take more of a leadership role."

Foote said he still feels the sting of the playoff loss. He disagrees with the criticism of the Steelers' defensive performance against the Jaguars.
"We did some good things in that game," Foote said. "They threw for 140 yards, ran for another 135. We wanted to stop the run. To give our team the best chance to win, we had to stop their running backs. We did that for the most part. We gave up some big plays that we shouldn't give up. The one long pass (43-yard touchdown pass from David Garrard to Maurice Jones-Drew) and of course that long (32-yard) quarterback sneak at the end of the game. They ran the kickoff back (setting up a 1-yard touchdown run) and one interception (returned for a touchdown). We (defense) gave up the rest of the points."

The Steelers' top-rated defense actually did a better job against Jacksonville than New England's defense did. However, the Steelers defense couldn't overcome four turnovers and poor special teams play.

"Overall, our defense, we're solid," Foote said. "It wasn't really what teams were doing to us. It was what we were doing to ourselves. Mentally, we weren't executing, and that caused us to have some bad games."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stacking up
Here's a look at the 2007 performances of the inside linebackers the Steelers have under contract for 2008.

James Farrior: 111 tackles, six sacks, one interception

Larry Foote: 89 tackles, three sacks, one interception

Lawrence Timmons: Two tackles, one fumble recovery (plus 12 tackles and one fumble recovery on special teams)

Clint Kriewaldt: One tackle (plus six tackles on special teams)


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Old 01-15-2008, 03:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Foote poised to defend job

It sounds as if Larry Foote is suffering from a temporary case of paranoia . As far as I'm concerned, Foote and Ben Roethlisberger have about the same chance of losing their starting positions .
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Foote poised to defend job

I'd say it depends on how much timmons shows in trainning camp if he come in playing hard then we might see alot less of foote.
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Foote poised to defend job

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It sounds as if Larry Foote is suffering from a temporary case of paranoia . As far as I'm concerned, Foote and Ben Roethlisberger have about the same chance of losing their starting positions .

i hope foote is replaced. i grow tired of watching get mowed down and pushed around. he always needs help tackling. he is weak at the point of attack and is often out of position.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' Foote poised to defend job

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i hope foote is replaced. i grow tired of watching get mowed down and pushed around. he always needs help tackling. he is weak at the point of attack and is often out of position.
While it is almost a lock that Timmons will replace Foote at some point, I think Foote's stats alone show that he isn't done yet.

43 Solos
37 Assists
3 Sacks
3 FF's
1 INT
5 PD's.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' Foote poised to defend job

While I'm not a huge Larry Foote fan, the guy does what he does. He isn't flashy, but he knows his role and gets the job done. Not every player on the defense is going to be a flashy pro bowler type, and every D needs solid role guys. The bottom line is that if he loses his job it means we have better talent behind him, which can only improve our defense.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' Foote poised to defend job

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While it is almost a lock that Timmons will replace Foote at some point, I think Foote's stats alone show that he isn't done yet.

43 Solos
37 Assists
3 Sacks
3 FF's
1 INT
5 PD's.
43 solos in the mack position is nothing to be proud of. IMO, that is one of the reasons he should be riding the bench. the steelers need to upgrade their LB corps.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' Foote poised to defend job

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Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
While I'm not a huge Larry Foote fan, the guy does what he does. He isn't flashy, but he knows his role and gets the job done. Not every player on the defense is going to be a flashy pro bowler type, and every D needs solid role guys. The bottom line is that if he loses his job it means we have better talent behind him, which can only improve our defense.

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Old 01-15-2008, 10:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' Foote poised to defend job

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Originally Posted by ?teeldude View Post
43 solos in the mack position is nothing to be proud of. IMO, that is one of the reasons he should be riding the bench. the steelers need to upgrade their LB corps.


I guess Farrior (if you take a look at his stats, which were along the same lines as Foote's) should be riding the pine, too. As rev so eloquently stated above with regard to Foote:

Quote:
He isn't flashy, but he knows his role and gets the job done. Not every player on the defense is going to be a flashy pro bowler type, and every D needs solid role guys. The bottom line is that if he loses his job it means we have better talent behind him, which can only improve our defense.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' Foote poised to defend job

This reminds me of the Ryan Clark vs. Anthony Smith debate from last off season. Just because a young guy is flashy and has a lot of upside doesn't mean they are better starters right now for the team than the less flashy vets like Foote, Clark Townsend.

Bet we all wished we'd had Ryan Clark for that Pats game right about now.

Foote will start next year, and Timmons will be the first guy off the bench in case of injuries---and perhaps LeBeau will do some creative things with him on third down or something . . . but I don't think he's going to be ready to start yet.
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