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Old 08-05-2013, 04:01 AM   #1
Galax Steeler
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Default Steelers linebacker Foote still feisty as ever

By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It hasn't happened yet in training camp, but Larry Foote suspects it's only a matter of time.

At some point, when his helmet is off, someone will mistake him for James Farrior, even though the former inside linebacker has been retired for more than a year.

"This is the first year I didn't get called James," Foote said. "Last year, fans were calling me James. I still get it around town in Pittsburgh. He gets it sometimes, too, they call him Larry. One time I got it in [my hometown] Detroit. That's tough."

Foote said the case of mistaken identity is because he and his friend and former position mate have the same skin tone, forehead and hairline. But as he enters his 12th NFL season -- all but one with the Steelers -- Foote shares another quality with Farrior that distinguishes them from just about every other linebacker in team history:

Durability.

Foote has appeared in 157 regular-season games with the Steelers, third most among linebackers in team history. He passed Farrior (154) for third place in 2012 and will tie Jason Gildon (158) for second when he starts the season opener Sept. 8 against the Tennessee Titans.

If he stays healthy and plays all 16 games, which he has done eight times in his career, Foote will inch closer to the team's all-time leader among linebackers, David Little, who appeared in 179 games with the Steelers from 1981-92.

Foote signed a three-year contract in the offseason, so it is conceivable he could pass Little in 2014 -- a notion that is not far-fetched given Foote's dependability and resiliency.

"Last year, when they turned [Farrior's starting spot] over to me, they wanted to see how I responded," Foote said. "And, off my play, they wanted me three more years.

"When you get toward the end and you see it coming, that alone just drives you. I made enough money, had enough success. I don't want to hang them up just yet. That's what motivates me in the morning."

The Steelers wanted to re-sign Foote, who was an unrestricted free agent, because they were thin at inside linebacker. They thought they drafted his replacement, Sean Spence, in the third round in 2012, but Spence sustained a severe knee injury and damage to his peroneal nerve in the preseason and it is not known if he will be able to play again.

But Foote, who turned 33 in June, is still here. He left once, after the 2008 Super Bowl season, to sign a big free-agent contact with the Detroit Lions. But after a 1-15 season, Foote had enough of losing and re-signed with the Steelers in 2010 to be Lawrence Timmons' backup.

After starting all 16 games in 2012 when Farrior retired, Foote has a new contract and several new defensive mates but the same positive attitude. He does not think the Steelers are a team in transition and rebuilding mode.

He thinks they are a contender.

"It's been a long time since we missed the playoffs back-to-back years and I don't plan on it this year," Foote said.

"There's nothing witchcraft about it. We got good players here. It's a mindset and attitude. A lot of times, that's what drives teams in this league, especially when you got the goods. Only half the league has the goods; the other half don't. We're one of the teams that do."

The goods?

Foote is referring to two aspects he said will always make the Steelers a contender -- franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and a defense that has been ranked No. 1 in the league two years in a row and three of the past five.

"When you got a quarterback like we got, you got a chance," Foote said. "It's a quarterback-driven league and we did have the No. 1 defense in the league last year. That alone right there is why I pick us, that we're getting in [the playoffs] because we have the goods."

Foote, though, is keenly aware of the philosophy the Steelers embrace and the style they employ -- to keep the game close and find a way to win in the fourth quarter. They don't get blown out and they rarely blow out the other team. Last year, they were involved in nine games decided by four points or fewer but only managed a 4-5 record.

"That's the mindset," Foote said. "I wish it was the other way. I wish we were like the Patriots, put up 40-50 points on people. But that's not how we're built. I like it like that. We're a defensive team. You stop people from scoring in the 30s and high 20s, you win the game."

Foote has been around for a lot of those.



NOTES -- Foote and Troy Polamalu were given a day off from practice. When asked if anything were wrong with Polamalu, coach Mike Tomlin said, "He has a contusion of the birth certificate," a reference to Polamalu's age (32). ... Roethlisberger, who participated on a limited basis Saturday, returned to full practice. ... OLB Jason Worilds (toe), CBs Terry Hawthorne (knee) and DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring) and DE Nick Williams (knee) did not practice again. Also sitting out were OLB Jarvis Jones, RB Le'Veon Bell, TE Matt Spaeth and NT Steve McLendon, though Tomlin was not specific about the reason. ... The Steelers practice twice today. The afternoon session is open to the public. The players are off Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2b5EvZShQ
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers linebacker Foote still feisty as ever

Foote is definitely a guy that is on the downward slope of his career. He's been good at being the #2 guy inside for a while, but I really hope that Vince Williams steps up and makes the team. I also hope Spence recovers, so we have some ILB talent to replace him.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers linebacker Foote still feisty as ever

Like I've always said, Foote has been the consumate professional on and off the field! It will be a shame, as it was with Farrior, when he retires. He is a true example to hard work at home and on the field....
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers linebacker Foote still feisty as ever

I've always said that if the Steelers didn't reach for Jason Worilds and instead drafted Sean Lee, that Foote would not even have been here last season.

I was a fan of Foote at Michigan and a fan of him as a Steeler, but the only reason he will start this season is that the Steelers haven't drafted a suitable replacement sooner and Sean Spence got injured last season. Foote is a weak link up the middle now and should be a veteran backup, not a starter.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers linebacker Foote still feisty as ever

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Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
I've always said that if the Steelers didn't reach for Jason Worilds and instead drafted Sean Lee, that Foote would not even have been here last season.

I was a fan of Foote at Michigan and a fan of him as a Steeler, but the only reason he will start this season is that the Steelers haven't drafted a suitable replacement sooner and Sean Spence got injured last season. Foote is a weak link up the middle now and should be a veteran backup, not a starter.
s. lee and s. spence are scrubbs!

the biggest mistake we ever made, that will haunt the franchise for years was letting thaddeus gibson go!

4 years later he is almost the star player on the titans practice squad!

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Old 08-05-2013, 12:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers linebacker Foote still feisty as ever

Sorry, I know Foote had good tackle numbers but he is a liability against anyone with speed. There is no way he can hang with a fast RB on the loose and I shudder to think what would happen if one of the elite TEs in the league has to be covered by him. Troy Polomolu is the only reason that Foote can keep playing because he can cover for the lack of speed by Foote. If Troy stays healthy, Foote is fine. When Troy is gone, Foote is a liability. Unless Shemarko flashes some Troyness, I hope and pray Troy stays healthy this year.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers linebacker Foote still feisty as ever

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Sorry, I know Foote had good tackle numbers but he is a liability against anyone with speed. There is no way he can hang with a fast RB on the loose and I shudder to think what would happen if one of the elite TEs in the league has to be covered by him. Troy Polomolu is the only reason that Foote can keep playing because he can cover for the lack of speed by Foote. If Troy stays healthy, Foote is fine. When Troy is gone, Foote is a liability. Unless Shemarko flashes some Troyness, I hope and pray Troy stays healthy this year.
not even the fastest lb's can hang with fast rb's or elite tight ends. i doubt timmons can cover ray rice or antonio gates. it's just how it is
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers linebacker Foote still feisty as ever

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s. lee and s. spence are scrubbs!

the biggest mistake we ever made, that will haunt the franchise for years was letting thaddeus gibson go!

4 years later he is almost the star player on the titans practice squad!

Yeah, another great buckeyes we let go too soon. His potential was Vrabel-esque.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers linebacker Foote still feisty as ever

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the biggest mistake we ever made, that will haunt the franchise for years was letting thaddeus gibson go!
Could you imagine how many more Lombardis we'd have if we'd have just kept him and John Kuhn around? At least 7, I'm figuring.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers linebacker Foote still feisty as ever

Ed: Linebackers 'A Question Mark'

TUESDAY, 06 AUGUST 2013 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE

Good morning,

James Harrison left for Cincinnati, LaMarr Woodley is trying to overcome the past 1 ½ seasons of inadequate play, and James Farrior is two years removed.

What has become of the great Steelers linebacking corps, the position that produced the most Pro Bowl appearances in franchise history?

“It’s a question mark,’’ said Larry Foote, the greybeard and ironman of the group.

Linebacker has been the one position that has avoided question mark status for a long time, but that’s precisely what they are heading into 2013, especially on the outside.

Inside, Foote and Lawrence Timmons were rocks, the top two tacklers on the team, although Foote will dispute who finished first. Outside, they were disappointing the past two seasons. Woodley had four sacks the past 1 ½ seasons and Harrison’s injuries reduced his effectiveness at the same time.

“We need Woodley to go back to what he’s normally doing,’’ Foote said. “And we need whoever’s going to fill those shoes [of Harrison’s] – by committee whatever – we need an unknown guy to make his presence known, to emerge and be a force.”

It’s a committee of two at right outside linebacker at the moment and one of those did not practice since last Thursday. Jason Worilds, who has been a backup in his first three seasons since the Steelers drafted him in the second round, is getting the chance to start in Harrison’s spot, but he’s missed the past four practices. They also drafted Jarvis Jones on the first round and he’s been playing with the first team while Worild’s heals.

There is potential there. IF Woodley returns to form and IF Jones and/or Worilds make people forget Harrison.

“He looks good,’’ Foote said of Jones. “You always look at the first-round pick and he looks like he’s going to fit the bill.

“That position is easy. If I had it my way, I’d be an outside linebacker; you get 10 sacks and you’re the man. Whoever gets sacks is going to play.”

https://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/...-question-mark
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