View Full Version : Foote steps in as if Farrior was still on the field

11-01-2011, 02:20 AM
Foote steps in as if Farrior was still on the field

Tuesday, November 01, 2011
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Steelers ILB Larry Foote celebrates after New England missed a field goal during the third quarter.

Steelers inside linebacker Larry Foote received the highest of praise from the man he replaced Sunday against the New England Patriots.

"It was like I was out there," James Farrior said.

Don't get the wrong idea. Farrior wasn't being an egomaniac as much as he was taking a playful jab at Foote, his best friend on the team. But his words had plenty of validity.

It's not so much what Foote did after the ball was snapped to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, although he played every play and had a big part in holding the New England offense to 213 yards in a 25-17 victory. That he was so solid came as no surprise. He proved long ago he's a quality NFL linebacker. He started every game for the Steelers from 2004-08, including Super Bowl XL and XLIII. He played the '09 season with his hometown Detroit Lions before re-joining the Steelers before last season.

It's what Foote did before the snap that was impressive. As Farrior's fill-in, he had to make all of the defensive calls and make sure his teammates were lined up correctly for each play. "When you're not used to doing it, it can be tough," Farrior said. "But he made all of the calls and all of the adjustments. He did an excellent job."

The big victory and Foote's performance made it a little easier for Farrior to miss the game, ending a streak of 93 consecutive regular-season starts dating to November 2005. He is out with a torn calf and could miss a home game Sunday night against Baltimore and a game Nov. 13 at Cincinnati before the open week. It's likely Foote will remain the team's main man in the middle.

"I'll never be compared to 51," Foote said of Farrior, the team's unquestioned leader on the field and in the locker room. "I'm not even going to try to be him. I just wanted to go out and earn the respect of my teammates and show them I could lead this defense."

There didn't appear to be any blown coverages by a Steelers secondary that played a marvelous game. Brady completed only one pass longer than 19 yards and finished with 198 passing yards. There also didn't appear to be any missed assignments in the run defense. Running back Kevin Faulk's 9-yard run late in the second quarter off of a direct snap was the longest in a game when the Patriots had 43 rushing yards.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Mission accomplished for Foote.

This was Foote's fourth consecutive start, although his first at Farrior's inside spot. Foote moved into the lineup at Lawrence Timmons' inside position Oct. 9 against Tennessee, bumping Timmons to outside linebacker because of All-Pro James Harrison's fractured orbital bone. When Farrior went down Oct. 23 in the Arizona game, Foote moved over to his spot and was replaced by rookie Stevenson Sylvester in the team's base defense.

The Steelers are 4-0 in Foote's starts. Good thing the Steelers brought him back.

"It was awesome to be able to play every play in a game like this again," he said.

Foote never doubted himself. At least he didn't until Farrior called him at home Friday night.

"I was just relaxing on the couch when he called out of the blue," Foote said. "He told me I had better be ready for the Patriots. 'You know they're coming after you because they always come after me.' I was fine all week, but that got me nervous. He kept me in on a Friday night and kept me up all night watching film. I didn't want to let this team down."

Foote didn't sound as if he regretted the night in or the extra film work. The victory left the Steelers with a 6-2 record, best in the AFC. That game Sunday night against Baltimore at Heinz Field will be for first place in the AFC North Division.

Foote figures to be a lot more comfortable and confident starting for Farrior.

"It about killed him to miss this game and it will kill him to miss the Baltimore game," Foote said. "I just want him to be healthy in December because we really need him."

And until then?

"I told him I have him covered," Foote said. "I told him he can play vicariously through me."

Did I tell you Farrior's initial observation about Foote had great validity or what?

"It was like I was out there ... "

I mean, really?

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11305/11 ... z1cQMcw900 (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11305/1186558-87-0.stm#ixzz1cQMcw900)

Discipline of Steel
11-01-2011, 06:34 AM
Harrison - Foote - Timmons - Woodley

Im not to worried about our LB situation at this point.

11-01-2011, 10:24 AM
Foote has never gotten enough credit for his role in our defense over the years. He might not be a "star" making a ton of splash plays but he is solid ... someone we can count on to have a solid game week after week.

I'm glad we got him back. GO BIG FOOTE!! :tt2

11-01-2011, 10:26 AM
I hadn't really thought much about it but man is it great right now to have Foote around. He has stepped in for Timmons for a few weeks already, and then he moves over to be the defensive QB. Quite a contribution for a player who many were calling for to be cut pre season. I think that it would be a lot different had we had Timmons-Sylvester-Ivy-Carter finishing out the game on Sunday.

11-02-2011, 12:44 AM
Steelers linebacker Foote finding his stride

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


In a season in which injuries have plagued the linebacker corps, Larry Foote assumed a starting role at inside linebacker for the Steelers.

If home is where the heart is, then Larry Foote rekindled his love for Detroit.

The former University of Michigan linebacker signed a free-agent deal with the Lions prior to the 2009 season after spending eight years with the Steelers. Even though he had earned two Super Bowl rings, something was missing.

"Larry had to leave to see what it's like somewhere else," Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler said. "He needed to do that."

Foote, who is perpetually energetic, desired the cheers of the hometown faithful. He wanted to be closer to his family and friends, who surfed every wave of emotion with him from the Motor City to the Steel City.

After scaling the mountain of the NFL, it was all downhill in Detroit. The Lions staggered and stumbled to a 2-14 record in Foote's lone season home.

"He got a chance to come back here," Butler said, "and we were happy to get him back. It's worked out well for all of us."

Foote, the Lions' captain and leading tackler, played a significantly lesser role when he returned to the Steelers last year. His playing time was limited mostly to special teams during the Steelers' march to Super Bowl XLV. So, it took a while before Foote hit his stride after being inserted into the starting lineup when linebacker James Harrison injured his eye at Houston.

"I'm not making any excuses, but I was a little rusty because I didn't play that much last year," Foote said. "I was making mistakes and doing things I don't normally do."

On Sunday, Foote did extraordinary things in helping the Steelers' defense overwhelm the usually cool and unflappable Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady. He was solid against the run in helping limit New England to 43 yards rushing, as the Steelers beat the three-time Super Bowl champions for only the third time in 10 games.

Foote had only 27 tackles last season. Already, he has 31 tackles including a game-high eight in the 25-17 win over New England.

In a season in which injuries have plagued the linebacker corps Harrison, James Farrior and Jason Worilds have dealt with health issues Foote assumed a starting role at inside linebacker when Lawrence Timmons moved outside to replace Harrison.

"Unfortunately, my number was called because of injuries," Foote said. "It's a lot different being a starter because there's a lot of new stuff. Seeing it in practice is one thing, but it's totally different in the game."

Now, expectations are higher for Foote when the Steelers face another AFC playoff contender Sunday at Heinz Field. The Ravens exploited the Steelers linebackers in a season-opening, 35-7 thrashing a game that saw Foote come off the bench early for Farrior.

"Obviously, he knows what to do because he's a veteran," Timmons said. "It's definitely been an advantage for him. You can tell he's comfortable because he's making a lot of plays. But what has impressed me is the fact that he plays on the scout team and he starts.

"It says lot about what an unselfish player he is."

And after some early season jitters, Foote is confident he's back on top of his game.

"I'm getting more comfortable, which means I'm playing faster," Foote said. "Almost every team we play has attacked us differently, especially with blocking schemes. In previous years, they would try us with a couple of runs. Now, they are trying different stuff we're not used to, but we're correcting it."

Foote and the defense practically crippled the Patriots' pass offense: The Steelers' top-rated pass defense allowed only 170 yards via the air.

"We've gotten better in our coverage schemes," Foote said. "But we aren't anywhere near our peak. Everybody's got to play better with the stakes getting higher."

The Ravens aren't likely to face the same team they pushed around during their easy victory in Baltimore. Collectively, the Steelers' linebackers are playing with far more confidence.

And no one, it seems, has elevated his game as much as Foote. In his second stint with the team, the veteran is feeling right at home in the starting lineup.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1cVpJU8Dv (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_765039.html#ixzz1cVpJU8Dv)

11-02-2011, 03:56 AM
Well let's hope he keeps it up. He was flat out terrible against the Ravens the first go around this year when he spelled Farrior in the middle two quarters of that game. You could tell the signal caller was out and there was a definite drop off.

The Ravens and Ray Rice are a completely different animal than Brady and BGE and Kevin Faulk. The run D to the middle (and Rice cut backs) and pass D to the middle of the field stunk in game 1.

Rice is really the only) in the league right now that beats the Steelers consistently. Foote and company beter be ready.