Foote provides depth for short-term; Linebacker still a priority in draft
Larry Foote returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers was a surprising development over the past couple days and is even somewhat of a shock to Foote who asked to be released last off-season from Pittsburgh in an attempt to play in his home-town and not be a backup to Lawrence Timmons.
A year later, Foote learned what he claims to be a valuable lesson and is fortunate to be re-joining the organization he won two Super Bowls with.
“I was coming off the Super Bowl and anxious to start over and do something different,” Foote told the media today during his press conference.
“You can’t really explain it until you go through it,” Foote said. “You talk about dog days. Those were dog days, especially being a competitive person and losing. I made some nice relationships over there, and it was good going home and playing there, but I just thank God I’m back and didn’t sign a long-term deal.”
Foote indicated today that he is comfortable in a backup role as James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons return as the Steelers starting inside linebackers.
“I accept that role, ” Foote said.
A lot of things played a part in Foote returning to Pittsburgh.
Familiarity, wanting to play for a winner again was a big part but so was the Steelers offering a 3 year deal worth slightly more than $9 million, that includes Foote receiving close to $4 million in year one of the deal.
“It’s something I didn’t think was going to happen,” Foote said. “I’m still in shock. I’m glad to be back.”
The return of Foote bolsters the Steelers linebacking corps for the short-term and gives them flexibility in 2010.
At Inside Linebacker, the Steelers have a strong group of four linebackers in Lawrence Timmons, James Farrior, Larry Foote and Keyaron Fox.
If there is an injury to LaMarr Woodley or James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons would likely move over to outside linebacker and Foote would move into the middle.
The return of Foote though does not take linebacker off the board for the Steelers in the 1st or 2nd round.
Top linebackers Rolando McClain and Sean Weatherspoon remain very high on the Steelers draft board as potential first round selections.
I’ve been told from multiple team sources that the addition of Foote does not alter the Steelers draft plans one bit.
James Farrior is in what is likely his last season as a starter and the Steelers value linebackers like no other organization.