Prior to the MLB's 2004 regular season all-star catcher Ivan Rodriguez left the Florida Marlins, only months after helping the Marlins win a World Series. He came to the Detroit Tigers who had just finished a 43-119 season, merely one loss away from tying the record for most losses in a MLB season, previously held by the New York Mets in their inaugural season.
The Tigers then went on to a 72-90 record in 2004 with help in large part to Rodriguez. Coming off of the franchise's worst season, Rodriguez came to Detroit and instantly gave them some semblance of credibility, which played a role in bringing in other free agents that off season and the off seasons that would follow.
Now inside linebacker Larry Foote has come to the Detroit Lions, fresh off of a Super Bowl victory with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's no secret that the Lions are coming off of their franchise's worst season by matching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' winless inaugural season. Sounds familiar huh?
Now am I saying that Larry Foote will be what Rodriguez was for the Tigers? No, but he could be one of the first steps in getting the ball rolling.
Foote brings experience and leadership to his hometown team and solidifies a drastically improved Detroit linebacker corps. There are a few questions surrounding his ability to switch from a 3-4 inside linebacker to a 4-3 middle linebacker, but I doubt with his physicality and experience playing in the middle in college that it will be much of a problem.
The addition of pro-bowl outside linebacker Julian Peterson via trade could also have a similar effect, and hopefully between the two of them they can help start a turn-around similar to their MLB counterpart.
Hey, us Lions fans have to find some hope to cling to.