Hall of Famer
What does Foote's departure mean for Sean Spence?
The decision to release veteran Larry Foote does not mean the Steelers think Sean Spence has recovered from his devastating knee injury and is ready to return to full-time action.
But it does point out that they think the young players they have at inside linebacker – Spence, Vince Williams and Terence Garvin – are ready and more than capable of replacing Foote.
In an ideal world, that player is Spence, a third-round draft choice in 2012 whose rookie season -- and possibly career – was halted by a preseason injury in which he sustained multiple ligament tears, fractured his kneecap and damaged the peroneal nerve.
The latter is the most serious because it causes a lack of movement and sensation in the foot and leg. The peroneal nerve has regenerated and Spence is significantly ahead of where the Steelers thought he would be at this point. But, because of the unstable nature of the nerve, it is still too early to determine if he is healthy enough to play in 2014.
So what happens?
Well, one of two things:
The Steelers could go into free agency and find an inside linebacker with some experience who could be a starter in 2014.
Or, it brings into play the possibility of drafting an inside linebacker, maybe Alabama’s C.J. Mosley, with the 15th overall pick. The Steelers believe the draft has more quality outside linebackers than inside backers, so, if they want one, they might have to do it early.
The Steelers top defensive priority is improving their run defense in 2014, and they will look for players in the front seven to do that. The loss of Foote only exacerbates the situation.
Nice read. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Spence will be on the field, and competing for the ILB job opposite of Timmons. As I have stated in previous threads, he was within an inch of being activated this past season.. but was held back because we were not contenders at that point. 7 or 8 months of intense rehab will only get more ready..
I'd say that Spence's position is related only to Spence. He has no more chance if Foote is here or gone, he has a higher ceiling than Garvin or Williams, he just needs to fulfill it. If he can return and play to potential then he plays, if he fails to play to previous expectations then he will be out of football soon. Foote, Williams, and Garvin can't stand in his way the way that Sean Spence can.
to steal a line from Seinfeld, I am hoping that Spence will turn out to be all he should be... and more!