The Detroit Lions have many needs, not the least of which was an inside/middle linebacker.
After going 0-16 and having the worst defense in the NFL in addition to the worst record, the need to shake things up is enormous right now. Getting Larry Foote could be something that could help turn this team around defensively.
The Lions clearly need more than just an inside linebacker, but getting Foote was a step in the right direction. A homegrown hero from the north side of town, Foote went to Pershing High School on the city's near Northeast side and attended the University of Michigan, where he was one of the Wolverines' leading tacklers his junior and senior years in addition to being an All-American his senior year.
Prior to this season, he'd played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was a 3-4 inside linebacker whose primary jobs were to plug any holes on running plays and stop the screen pass. He went from averaging nearly five tackles a game his senior year to averaging 6.3 per game in the Steelers' 2005 Super Bowl season.
Although his numbers slipped the last few years, it was largely due to the fact that the Steelers had increased depth at linebacker over that time period with the addition of James Harrison and fellow Wolverine, LaMarr Woodley.
One problem that will arise for Foote, not necessarily the team as a whole, will be how he adjusts to being a leader on a defense after coming from a team that was full of leaders and great linebackers. If I were conducting an interview with him, I would ask him how he would plan to deal with that role as a leader on this defense, how does he see himself in relationship to being a leader, and whether he feels it necessary to be a leader himself?
I would also ask him the obvious question of what is it like to go from the Super Bowl champs to the team that just lost all 16 games? I don't know if he's tired of answering that just yet, but i think he just might still be happy to be back in his hometown.
I would ask him what he wants to accomplish in his first (and possibly only) season in Detroit. What he hopes to help this team do, and how far he thinks this team can go, and how much will they improve, seeing that they can't get any lower than 0-16?
As a follow up, I would ask him why he only signed a one-year contract in the first place; whether he wants to play in Detroit for the long run or whether he just wants to play and see what happens.
The need for linebacker has been addressed by the Lions, but the need for an offensive lineman has yet to be seriously addressed by the Steelers. The last question I would ask Foote would be whether he felt mad about them releasing him instead of trading him for an O-lineman and whether he felt like they undervalued him?
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