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Thread: Foote, Timmons battle for linebacker position By John Harris

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    Foote, Timmons battle for linebacker position By John Harris

    Foote, Timmons battle for linebacker position
    By John Harris
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Thursday, August 14, 2008
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... rss&feed=9

    Lawrence Timmons may be the Steelers' future at right inside linebacker. But for Larry Foote, the future is now.

    Foote, a former fourth-round draft pick from Michigan entering his seventh NFL season, has made 64 consecutive regular-season starts and ranked third on the team last year with 69 tackles.

    But to remain the starter, Foote will have to fight off a challenge from Timmons, last year's first-round pick. The battle continues tonight in Toronto, where the Steelers play an exhibition game against the Buffalo Bills.

    "I'm playing well," said Foote, a 6-foot-1, 239-pounder. "This is my seventh camp, so I know how to thrive and stay healthy.

    "I'm not going to lose my spot physically with my play. That's just the confidence I have in myself that I'm always going to perform at a high level."

    Timmons, 22, is six years younger than Foote, and his closing speed makes him a legitimate threat as a playmaker. The 6-1, 234-pounder is expected to play considerably more this season.

    But, at least for now, Foote remains the starter.

    "The media made a big deal out of the competition," Foote said. "I knew it was coming. He's a good talent. He's a high draft pick. You can think like that, but I know what I can do. I've done it year in and year out.

    "Is (Timmons) going to be the future of the Steelers? Yeah, no doubt about it if he keeps progressing. But my play's not going to make the coaches sit me. If that's what they're waiting on, that's not going to happen."

    Asked about Foote's performance in training camp, coach Mike Tomlin replied, "He's responded the way I expected him to, which is to try to get better and give us an honest day's work. He understands his competition, and I think he's embraced that."

    Foote said the coaches haven't discussed his competition with Timmons.

    "I have no idea," he said. "They really haven't sat us down. He's been playing a lot of stuff that (safety) Troy (Polamalu) plays. So when Troy gets back, I don't know what they're going to do.

    "The linebackers here are required to do a lot. Just the fire zone (defense) concept. You think you've got one man, but (if) they do something else, you've got somebody else. You've got to really be able to think on the run."

    Foote's unwavering confidence comes from a belief that his body of work with the Steelers speaks for itself.

    "I don't know what the coaches are going to do. But if they're sitting in a meeting room, it's not going to be a discussion that Foote ain't playing up to par, so let's get him out of there," Foote said.

    "I've always been an underdog - from Little League to high school to college, to barely getting drafted.

    "I'm small. Some people say I'm slow. I keep thriving. My numbers stack up with any linebacker, and I'm on the field probably (only) 70 percent of the plays. In this defense, if you know what you're doing, you're going to make your numbers."

    John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

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    Re: Foote, Timmons battle for linebacker position By John Harris

    I love when this kind of competition is going on, it's win-win for the team.
    Timmons appears to be getting up to speed, and I expect him to come out to prove something Thurs. This is the time when those starting decisions are going to be made, better take advantage of it young man.

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    Re: Foote, Timmons battle for linebacker position By John Harris

    I like both of these guys and I expect both to play big roles this season and into the future. I think either way it shakes out this season, no matter who starts, they will probably both be starters in '09 b/c Farrior is probably gone after this season. I think the competition is good for the team as well. It will make both players better for whats to come. This schedule is not easy so both players will be needed to get this team where they want to go.
    <a href=http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=6946&dateline=1338146203 target=_blank>http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums...ine=1338146203</a>

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    Re: Foote, Timmons battle for linebacker position By John Harris

    Quote Originally Posted by AkronSteel
    I like both of these guys and I expect both to play big roles this season and into the future. I think either way it shakes out this season, no matter who starts, they will probably both be starters in '09 b/c Farrior is probably gone after this season. I think the competition is good for the team as well. It will make both players better for whats to come. This schedule is not easy so both players will be needed to get this team where they want to go.
    I agree with nearly all of what you said except still not sure if Farrior is gone next year, feeling in my gut right now is he will be gone.

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    Re: Foote, Timmons battle for linebacker position By John Harris

    Quote Originally Posted by BIG FAN
    Quote Originally Posted by AkronSteel
    I like both of these guys and I expect both to play big roles this season and into the future. I think either way it shakes out this season, no matter who starts, they will probably both be starters in '09 b/c Farrior is probably gone after this season. I think the competition is good for the team as well. It will make both players better for whats to come. This schedule is not easy so both players will be needed to get this team where they want to go.
    I agree with nearly all of what you said except still not sure if Farrior is gone next year, feeling in my gut right now is he will be gone.
    I really hope that Farrior gets an extension too, but I have to be realistic. This team never signs guys that are on the wrong side of 30, especially ones that given another good season this year will demand big $ on the open market. I love Potsy, he has been a great addition both to the team and in the community but I just don't see him being willing to sacrifice that kind of cheddar just to stay here.

    <a href=http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=6946&dateline=1338146203 target=_blank>http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums...ine=1338146203</a>

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    Re: Foote, Timmons battle for linebacker position By John Harris

    part of me wants to see timmons win this battle but foote has been pretty solid over the years and a bit under rated. they have so much depth at LB this year, what a great problem to have. farrior probably wont get an extension and thats stupid. he hasnt declined all that much, he still led the team with tackles last year. i agree with the thinking the steelers use about guys who are older than 30 but i think farrior is an exception.

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    Re: Foote, Timmons battle for linebacker position By John Harris

    I believe I've read here that Farrior has stated he isn't above giving the "hometown discount" to stay with the Steelers. I believe he's got some good years left in him.

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    Re: Foote, Timmons battle for linebacker position By John Harris

    Quote Originally Posted by stlrz d
    I believe I've read here that Farrior has stated he isn't above giving the "hometown discount" to stay with the Steelers. I believe he's got some good years left in him.
    Don't you have to be from the hometown to give the "hometown discount"??

    Just sayin' :P

    But totally agree with you that Farrior has at least a few more years of playing at a high level. Since Peezy left, he has become the leader of this defense and despite the amount of talent/depth we have at lb right now, it would create a huge hole in our team if he left.

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    Re: Foote, Timmons battle for linebacker position By John Harris

    Quote Originally Posted by rpmpit
    Quote Originally Posted by stlrz d
    I believe I've read here that Farrior has stated he isn't above giving the "hometown discount" to stay with the Steelers. I believe he's got some good years left in him.
    Don't you have to be from the hometown to give the "hometown discount"??

    Just sayin' :P

    But totally agree with you that Farrior has at least a few more years of playing at a high level. Since Peezy left, he has become the leader of this defense and despite the amount of talent/depth we have at lb right now, it would create a huge hole in our team if he left.
    farrior would be a huge loss. thats a good point, its better to have him than not. who would take over for him? foote? no thanks. i like foote ok but only in the role he has now. timmons is way too inexpierenced to take farrior's place. it would be great if he took a pay cut like bettis did, but he still needs to get paid just like any other player

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    Re: Foote, Timmons battle for linebacker position By John Harris

    Quote Originally Posted by rpmpit
    Quote Originally Posted by stlrz d
    I believe I've read here that Farrior has stated he isn't above giving the "hometown discount" to stay with the Steelers. I believe he's got some good years left in him.
    Don't you have to be from the hometown to give the "hometown discount"??

    Just sayin' :P

    But totally agree with you that Farrior has at least a few more years of playing at a high level. Since Peezy left, he has become the leader of this defense and despite the amount of talent/depth we have at lb right now, it would create a huge hole in our team if he left.
    I know you're kidding, but I believe in the NFL "hometown discount" refers to taking less money to resign with your current team.

    At least that's how I always understood it based on how I've seen it used.

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