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stlrz d
02-04-2010, 09:29 AM
http://proxy.espn.go.com/nfl/local/link?id=2467103


Frustrated Larry Foote will test free-agent market
John Niyo / The Detroit News

Frustrated by what he perceives to be a lack of interest from the Lions, veteran linebacker Larry Foote said he's planning to test the free-agent market beginning March 5.

"We're just going to free agency and see from there," said Foote, citing unproductive talks between his agent, Brian Levy, and Lions general manager Martin Mayhew. "I mean, obviously, I'm not a big priority for them. So that's just how I'm taking it."

Foote, 29, returned to his hometown on a one-year contract last May after spending his first seven NFL seasons in Pittsburgh. He started 14 games in 2009, leading the Lions with 99 tackles, including nine for loss and two sacks.

When asked about the possibility of re-signing Foote last month, Mayhew said, "I wouldn't rule out bringing him back. ... I thought he brought a lot to the table in terms of his leadership with that group and obviously the things he did in our community. He's a guy that wants to be in Detroit and obviously that's important."

But with the emergence of rookie DeAndre Levy, who started the final two games at middle linebacker with Foote sidelined by an injury, the Lions might be ready to move on. The team also has Ernie Sims and Julian Peterson under contract for 2010, though Peterson is scheduled to make $7.5 million in 2010.

Asked about Levy's development at the end of the season, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said, "I'll be really happy, whether he plays in the middle or outside -- it doesn't make any difference. But what I'd like to have him (do) is play the middle spot, so he can call the defenses."

So does that make Foote expendable?

"I mean, I don't look at it like that. Me and Levy played all year together, practically," Foote said, noting Levy started eight games at outside linebacker. "You want to stack up enough good linebackers as you can."

Foote said he's "not looking to break the bank" but wants a multiyear deal, not another one-year contract. And he's well aware he might not fit in the Lions' long-term plans.

"Just from the business side of it, with a team that's been losing, they don't normally invest in veteran players that much, no matter how good you played," he said. "Because a veteran at my age -- I mean, I'm still fairly young -- I'm just a piece of the pie, I'm not the base of a team."

So what's next? Even as a latecomer to free agency last spring -- the Steelers didn't release him until after the draft -- Foote drew interest from other teams, including Arizona, Tampa Bay and Indianapolis. And the two-time Super Bowl champ has proven durable, starting 94 consecutive games before suffering a foot injury in late December that forced him to miss the end of last season.

"I've never really been a free agent before," Foote said. "All I can go by is what my agent says, see what's out there, and it's in God's hands after that, really."

Oviedo
02-04-2010, 10:00 AM
No thanks.

Chadman
02-04-2010, 10:01 AM
Bring back Larry Foote!!!!


:tt1 :tt1 :tt1

frankthetank1
02-04-2010, 10:29 AM
No thanks.

i second that. what i saw of fox last season was very impressive. i would rather have fox than foote

phillyesq
02-04-2010, 10:42 AM
I liked Foote, and thought he was a very solid player on defense. He knew his assignments and was solid against the run. That said, I don't see how he fits on this team.

First, Foote is unlikely to play special teams at this point in his career. The Steelers need their backup LBs to play on special teams. Second, the Steelers need to get younger at ILB, not older. Fox is great as a backup ILB, but I'd like to see the Steelers grab a young player at the position. Either somebody early as a Farrior replacement, or somebody a bit later who may take more time to develop. The Steelers have had pretty good success developing mid rounds picks into starting ILBs -- guys like Earl Holmes and Foote come to mind.

RuthlessBurgher
02-04-2010, 11:07 AM
The question is, though, would a 29 year old Larry Foote be a better starter next to Lawrence Timmons than a 35 year old James Farrior at this point?

If they decide "yes" to that question because they think Farrior has truly declined while Foote is still in his prime (granted, Foote's prime is nowhere near Farrior's prime, but we are now comparing Foote's prime to Farrior's decline), they could always sign Foote and then cut Farrior without worrying about an accelerated cap hit (since there is no cap to worry about this season).

:stirpot

PSU_dropout43
02-04-2010, 02:15 PM
Larry Foote, D'Qwell Jackson, Derek Johnson (ILB?), Adalius Thomas, Brandon Johnson (FA?).

Pick one. Sign one.

...and say good bye to Farrior or to Timmons.

frankthetank1
02-04-2010, 02:47 PM
Larry Foote, D'Qwell Jackson, Derek Johnson (ILB?), Adalius Thomas, Brandon Johnson (FA?).

Pick one. Sign one.

...and say good bye to Farrior or to Timmons.

if any ILB's are released it would be farrior. letting timmons walk would be very stupid.

hawaiiansteel
02-04-2010, 03:06 PM
notice how the Lions talked about Foote's leadership and his work in the community, not his on-field performance. that's because he's not that good and there isn't much to talk about.

we don't need a Lions reject, let him go to the Cardinals...isn't that where all ex-Steelers go to die?

Shawn
02-04-2010, 03:16 PM
No thanks.

i second that. what i saw of fox last season was very impressive. i would rather have fox than foote

No doubt...I think Fox is the most underrated player on our D. I believe the guy could be a terrific Mack Lbr...perhaps even great. I don't think we are in a dire situation at ILB. We certainly need depth at all LBr positions but Fox will step up this year as a clear starter. Farrior muddled the situation...but he has clearly lost a step. It will take a bit of time/patience to move Timmons to the Buck...but he is ready.

Shawn
02-04-2010, 03:17 PM
Larry Foote, D'Qwell Jackson, Derek Johnson (ILB?), Adalius Thomas, Brandon Johnson (FA?).

Pick one. Sign one.

...and say good bye to Farrior or to Timmons.

Good bye to Timmons? Are you serious?

cruzer8
02-04-2010, 03:18 PM
Larry Foote, D'Qwell Jackson, Derek Johnson (ILB?), Adalius Thomas, Brandon Johnson (FA?).

Pick one. Sign one.

...and say good bye to Farrior or to Timmons.

That's pretty dumb right there I don't care who you are!

hawaiiansteel
02-04-2010, 03:20 PM
Larry Foote, D'Qwell Jackson, Derek Johnson (ILB?), Adalius Thomas, Brandon Johnson (FA?).

Pick one. Sign one.

...and say good bye to Farrior or to Timmons.

Good bye to Timmons? Are you serious?



neither Farrior or Timmons are going anywhere, we are thin enough at ILB as it is. although Farrior has lost a step we still need him for his leadership and locker-room presence.

MaxAMillion
02-04-2010, 03:24 PM
Foote is not a 3 down linebacker, which is a big reason why he was let go. He plays the run well, but he is a liability in pass defense. Since this is becoming a pass first league, Foote's value is limited. The Steelers really should bite the bullet on Timmons. In other words, accept the fact that he is good in space hile struggling to shed blocks against the run.

Timmons should be an outside LB in a 4-3 defense (he was always projected for that position). He can excel for the Steelers as a nickel backer and a blitzer. Maybe he can develop into an OLB in a 3-4, but I just don't see him ever being effective inside against the run. If you go back and watch games, you will see Timmons struggle repeatedly in the run game. They give an overhead shot of the Dolphins breaking off a 20 yard run during the last game of the year. That shot clearly shows Timmons getting completely blocked by the fullback while Ricky Williams gets through clean. What is funny is that Timmons almost looks like he is taking on the fullback as part of a wedge in special teams rather than shedding the block on the way to the running back.

Heck, maybe the Steelers will just start Fox and Farrior (until they can find Farrior's replacement) and then go back to using Timmons as the nickel LB.

Steelgal
02-04-2010, 03:56 PM
Well...first Joey Porter wants out from the Dolphins and now this. Maybe they've lost something or maybe LeBeau knows how to maximize their skill sets.......

hawaiiansteel
02-04-2010, 04:10 PM
Well...first Joey Porter wants out from the Dolphins and now this. Maybe they've lost something or maybe LeBeau knows how to maximize their skill sets.......


I think the fact that we were willing to let Porter and Foote go in the first place tells you everything you need to know. The fact that the Dolphins and Lions are now doing the same just confirms what the Steelers already knew.

Shawn
02-04-2010, 04:38 PM
Foote is not a 3 down linebacker, which is a big reason why he was let go. He plays the run well, but he is a liability in pass defense. Since this is becoming a pass first league, Foote's value is limited. The Steelers really should bite the bullet on Timmons. In other words, accept the fact that he is good in space hile struggling to shed blocks against the run.

Timmons should be an outside LB in a 4-3 defense (he was always projected for that position). He can excel for the Steelers as a nickel backer and a blitzer. Maybe he can develop into an OLB in a 3-4, but I just don't see him ever being effective inside against the run. If you go back and watch games, you will see Timmons struggle repeatedly in the run game. They give an overhead shot of the Dolphins breaking off a 20 yard run during the last game of the year. That shot clearly shows Timmons getting completely blocked by the fullback while Ricky Williams gets through clean. What is funny is that Timmons almost looks like he is taking on the fullback as part of a wedge in special teams rather than shedding the block on the way to the running back.

Heck, maybe the Steelers will just start Fox and Farrior (until they can find Farrior's replacement) and then go back to using Timmons as the nickel LB.

I would argue that in some ways Farrior has held back the growth of Timmons. Timmons is a man out of position. I think that's part of the reason you haven't seen him explode. Timmons is best suited for either OLB or the Buck ILB position. He currently plays the Mack...which is supposed to be your stout run stopper. The Buck plays more in coverage. Timmons runs like a DB...and now has the experience to captain that D. Watch Timmons switch this season and excel. Fox will step in day 1 at the Mack and turn heads.

BradshawsHairdresser
02-04-2010, 04:45 PM
Foote is not a 3 down linebacker, which is a big reason why he was let go. He plays the run well, but he is a liability in pass defense. Since this is becoming a pass first league, Foote's value is limited. The Steelers really should bite the bullet on Timmons. In other words, accept the fact that he is good in space hile struggling to shed blocks against the run.

Timmons should be an outside LB in a 4-3 defense (he was always projected for that position). He can excel for the Steelers as a nickel backer and a blitzer. Maybe he can develop into an OLB in a 3-4, but I just don't see him ever being effective inside against the run. If you go back and watch games, you will see Timmons struggle repeatedly in the run game. They give an overhead shot of the Dolphins breaking off a 20 yard run during the last game of the year. That shot clearly shows Timmons getting completely blocked by the fullback while Ricky Williams gets through clean. What is funny is that Timmons almost looks like he is taking on the fullback as part of a wedge in special teams rather than shedding the block on the way to the running back.









Heck, maybe the Steelers will just start Fox and Farrior (until they can find Farrior's replacement) and then go back to using Timmons as the nickel LB.

I would argue that in some ways Farrior has held back the growth of Timmons. Timmons is a man out of position. I think that's part of the reason you haven't seen him explode. Timmons is best suited for either OLB or the Buck ILB position. He currently plays the Mack...which is supposed to be your stout run stopper. The Buck plays more in coverage. Timmons runs like a DB...and now has the experience to captain that D. Watch Timmons switch this season and excel. Fox will step in day 1 at the Mack and turn heads.


I would love to see how our D would play with Timmons in the Buck and Fox in the Mack.
However, what gives you the idea that the STEELERS have any inclination to do so?
I have seen nothing from the team that indicates that they are even exploring this possibility, nor have I seen any indication they are planning to demote Farrior to the bench.

pfelix73
02-04-2010, 04:59 PM
If he wants to come back and they can sign him within the cap, by all means, bring him back. We missed him last year. Timmons can go back to the bench to keep it warmed up for when Tomlin needs a seat.

:tt1

RuthlessBurgher
02-04-2010, 05:02 PM
If he wants to come back and they can sign him within the cap, by all means, bring him back. We missed him last year. Timmons can go back to the bench to keep it warmed up for when Tomlin needs a seat.

:tt1

There is no cap next year.

And at this point, it is more likely that Farrior takes a seat than Timmons.

ikestops85
02-04-2010, 05:16 PM
I agree with Shawn on this one. Fox reminds me a lot of Harrison when he was a backup player. When the guy gets on the field he makes things happen. It would be interesting to see Fox start and Timmons move over and take Farriors spot. The only thing that worries me about that move is taking Farriors leadership off the field.

pfelix73
02-04-2010, 05:19 PM
Fans have this perception that Farrior is about washed up. Not this one. Farrior is still better than Timmons is. IMO.

Shawn
02-04-2010, 05:56 PM
Foote is not a 3 down linebacker, which is a big reason why he was let go. He plays the run well, but he is a liability in pass defense. Since this is becoming a pass first league, Foote's value is limited. The Steelers really should bite the bullet on Timmons. In other words, accept the fact that he is good in space hile struggling to shed blocks against the run.

Timmons should be an outside LB in a 4-3 defense (he was always projected for that position). He can excel for the Steelers as a nickel backer and a blitzer. Maybe he can develop into an OLB in a 3-4, but I just don't see him ever being effective inside against the run. If you go back and watch games, you will see Timmons struggle repeatedly in the run game. They give an overhead shot of the Dolphins breaking off a 20 yard run during the last game of the year. That shot clearly shows Timmons getting completely blocked by the fullback while Ricky Williams gets through clean. What is funny is that Timmons almost looks like he is taking on the fullback as part of a wedge in special teams rather than shedding the block on the way to the running back.









Heck, maybe the Steelers will just start Fox and Farrior (until they can find Farrior's replacement) and then go back to using Timmons as the nickel LB.

I would argue that in some ways Farrior has held back the growth of Timmons. Timmons is a man out of position. I think that's part of the reason you haven't seen him explode. Timmons is best suited for either OLB or the Buck ILB position. He currently plays the Mack...which is supposed to be your stout run stopper. The Buck plays more in coverage. Timmons runs like a DB...and now has the experience to captain that D. Watch Timmons switch this season and excel. Fox will step in day 1 at the Mack and turn heads.


I would love to see how our D would play with Timmons in the Buck and Fox in the Mack.
However, what gives you the idea that the STEELERS have any inclination to do so?
I have seen nothing from the team that indicates that they are even exploring this possibility, nor have I seen any indication they are planning to demote Farrior to the bench.

Pure speculation at this point. But, the reason I believe it will happen is because Farrior's play really dropped off last season. And this is coming from a Farrior fan. It makes sense at this point. Timmons was placed in the worst possible place for his skill set and still played fairly well. He was placed there because of Farrior was still playing at a high level and they wanted to get Timmons experience. Also, Fox was excellent last season...he really shocked me. The guy has serious game...I'm a fan. It just makes sense to make the move...and develop our young talent.

Shawn
02-04-2010, 06:01 PM
Fans have this perception that Farrior is about washed up. Not this one. Farrior is still better than Timmons is. IMO.

Last season he wasn't better. Farrior looked really bad in several games. His coverage really suffered. I mean the guy is 35 y/o. He isn't superman.

And I don't think it's really fair to compare Farrior and Timmons. It would kinda like placing Ike Taylor at safety and comparing his play to Gay. The Buck and the Mack are totally different positions with totally different responsibilities. Timmons talent is apparent but it isn't being used appropriately. I believe the Steelers already know this...and will make the correct move in camp.

SteelTorch
02-04-2010, 06:02 PM
If he wants to come back and they can sign him within the cap, by all means, bring him back. We missed him last year. Timmons can go back to the bench to keep it warmed up for when Tomlin needs a seat.

:tt1
:wft

Where are you coming from? Foote wasn't missed at all. Timmons the starter for one simple reason: because he's better.

phillyesq
02-04-2010, 06:51 PM
If he wants to come back and they can sign him within the cap, by all means, bring him back. We missed him last year. Timmons can go back to the bench to keep it warmed up for when Tomlin needs a seat.

:tt1
:wft

Where are you coming from? Foote wasn't missed at all. Timmons the starter for one simple reason: because he's better.

Timmons was the starter because the Steelers reached and took him at #15 a few years ago. The tandem of Foote on running downs and Timmons as a nickel linebacker in passing situations was far more effective than Timmons playing every down. Foote was gone because he was due something close to $3 million, which is too much to pay a LB who doesn't play every down.

hawaiiansteel
02-04-2010, 07:19 PM
If he wants to come back and they can sign him within the cap, by all means, bring him back. We missed him last year. Timmons can go back to the bench to keep it warmed up for when Tomlin needs a seat.

:tt1
:wft

Where are you coming from? Foote wasn't missed at all. Timmons the starter for one simple reason: because he's better.

Timmons was the starter because the Steelers reached and took him at #15 a few years ago. The tandem of Foote on running downs and Timmons as a nickel linebacker in passing situations was far more effective than Timmons playing every down. Foote was gone because he was due something close to $3 million, which is too much to pay a LB who doesn't play every down.


also, when it became obvious that Foote wasn't going to be the starter anymore he started whining and asked for his release which the Steelers granted him.

RuthlessBurgher
02-04-2010, 08:08 PM
Fans have this perception that Farrior is about washed up. Not this one. Farrior is still better than Timmons is. IMO.

Not saying Farrior is washed up. He had 102 tackles, 3 sacks, and a forced fumble last year (although you have to admit his major gaffes against Brian Leonard and Ray Rice at important times in losses to divisional opponents). Farrior is still a warrior (in fact, he is only off by one letter!). But if you want to get Fox more playing time, I would rather give the old man a rest. Timmons was no slouch this season with 78 tackles, 7 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles. The ascending 23 year old should be on the field more often that the declining 35 year old, who would likely benefit from getting regular breathers at this age. The question is, though...if Farrior is on the field less often, which player that is on the field for essentially every defensive snap who would wear the helmet with the radio in it? Troy? Woodley? Keisel?

Shawn
02-04-2010, 08:15 PM
If Timmons is switched to the Buck as the starter he will be wearing it.

feltdizz
02-04-2010, 08:18 PM
Bring back the Steel Mills..

No thanks on Foote.

Why would anyone want to bring back a bunch of old dudes who are complaining about playing time? It's a young man's game and we need more young players not old timers.

flippy
02-04-2010, 08:29 PM
Timmons is 23. He had very little college experience. Everyone expected him to take some time to develop.

He shows flashes but hasn't put it all together yet, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him take his game to the next level in his second season as a starter. It's a big adjustment going from being a 3rd down player to a full time player.

And I think Fox is ready. And Larry Foote would make for a nice veteran backup if Farrior is done.

RuthlessBurgher
02-04-2010, 08:33 PM
Bring back the Steel Mills..

No thanks on Foote.

Why would anyone want to bring back a bunch of old dudes who are complaining about playing time? It's a young man's game and we need more young players not old timers.

For what it's worth, Larry Foote is 6 years younger than James Farrior.

hawaiiansteel
02-04-2010, 08:37 PM
Larry Foote wasn't happy being a bench player when he was with us last, what makes anyone think he would be happy with that role now?

SanAntonioSteelerFan
02-04-2010, 09:48 PM
Speaking just from the gut, knowing it might be wrong in this instance - but our D's problem is age and slowness in general ... needs to be a darned good reason to choose old over young in my book.

SteelTorch
02-04-2010, 10:45 PM
If he wants to come back and they can sign him within the cap, by all means, bring him back. We missed him last year. Timmons can go back to the bench to keep it warmed up for when Tomlin needs a seat.

:tt1
:wft

Where are you coming from? Foote wasn't missed at all. Timmons the starter for one simple reason: because he's better.

Timmons was the starter because the Steelers reached and took him at #15 a few years ago. The tandem of Foote on running downs and Timmons as a nickel linebacker in passing situations was far more effective than Timmons playing every down. Foote was gone because he was due something close to $3 million, which is too much to pay a LB who doesn't play every down.
How was Foote missed anyway? Our run defense was fine, and our pass defense suffered mostly because of a terrible secondary and a less-effective pass rush. Timmons wasn't perfect, but he was a first-time starter. Give him time. He'll be fine. Bringing Foote back, however, won't solve our problems.

Shawn
02-04-2010, 11:36 PM
Speaking just from the gut, knowing it might be wrong in this instance - but our D's problem is age and slowness in general ... needs to be a darned good reason to choose old over young in my book.

$$$

Our D wore down late in games. It's not that these guys can't still play but they can't still play 4 quarters. It's time to let our young talent have a crack at it. Worst case scenerio...Timmons and Fox can't get it done and we switch back. However, I don't see it happening. We need to draft a middle round mack for depth. We need to say no to Foote. We need to get younger...not older.

Shawn
02-04-2010, 11:40 PM
If he wants to come back and they can sign him within the cap, by all means, bring him back. We missed him last year. Timmons can go back to the bench to keep it warmed up for when Tomlin needs a seat.

:tt1
:wft

Where are you coming from? Foote wasn't missed at all. Timmons the starter for one simple reason: because he's better.

Timmons was the starter because the Steelers reached and took him at #15 a few years ago. The tandem of Foote on running downs and Timmons as a nickel linebacker in passing situations was far more effective than Timmons playing every down. Foote was gone because he was due something close to $3 million, which is too much to pay a LB who doesn't play every down.
How was Foote missed anyway? Our run defense was fine, and our pass defense suffered mostly because of a terrible secondary and a less-effective pass rush. Timmons wasn't perfect, but he was a first-time starter. Give him time. He'll be fine. Bringing Foote back, however, won't solve our problems.

Run support might be the weakest part of Timmons game and he still played fairly well in a position where his main duty was to stop the run. Get the guy where he needs to be and the fans will sing the guy's praises. I wasn't a fan of the Timmons pick but his talent is undeniable. But, we are trying to place a square peg in a round hole with our current arrangement.

Slapstick
02-05-2010, 12:53 AM
I wouldn't mind if Foote came back, but not as a replacement for Timmons.

I really like Farrior, but it seemed like he got old very quickly last season...not as bad as Tyrone Carter, but his drop off was noticable...

Fox plays both Mack and Buck LB positions...I would like to see which combo would work better in training camp between Timmons and Fox at those two positions...

And Timmons wasn't a reach...that may be an individual opinion, but it wasn't shared by anybody who studies the draft on a regular basis...Timmons was projected to be a mid 1st round pick, which he was...

Shawn
02-05-2010, 01:06 AM
I wouldn't mind if Foote came back, but not as a replacement for Timmons.

I really like Farrior, but it seemed like he got old very quickly last season...not as bad as Tyrone Carter, but his drop off was noticable...

Fox plays both Mack and Buck LB positions...I would like to see which combo would work better in training camp between Timmons and Fox at those two positions...

And Timmons wasn't a reach...that may be an individual opinion, but it wasn't shared by anybody who studies the draft on a regular basis...Timmons was projected to be a mid 1st round pick, which he was...

I think Fox has the physical ability to play both which says something about Fox. I do know he has practiced both. I can't remember if he ever played the buck in a game.