PDA

View Full Version : Foote makes Steelers forget about Bell



AZ_Steeler
10-13-2006, 06:14 PM
Interesting match up this weekend even though they won't be going against each other, but Kendrall Bell returns to the Burgh. It will be interesting to see if Foote steps up his game just to say "That's why they kept me over you Bell!" I might be reading into things a little much but it could be where the defense really gets a spark this weekend :dunno:

http://story.scout.com/ (http://story.scout.com/a.z?s=162&p=2&c=579048)

Good things come to those who wait.

At least that what Larry Foote hoped when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the fourth round of the 2002 draft.

The team had just signed James Farrior that season and already had 2001 defensive rookie of the year Kendrell Bell manning its inside linebacker positions. That didnt leave much of an opening, even for a player who had been the Big Tens defensive player of the year and an All-American the previous season.

It was tough coming here and sitting, said Foote. I had been All-America, the defensive player of the year in the conference. I knew I could play, I just needed a chance. Footes chance came sooner than he or the Steelers would ever have guessed.

Because of injuries to Bell, Foote started three games as a rookie and saw considerable amounts of time in other games, sharing time with Bell as he fought to come back from a sprained ankle. He went back to the bench in 2003, but ended up starting all 16 games again in 2004, as Bell struggled throughout the season with a groin injury.

The Steelers thought so much of Foote that they allowed Bell to leave as a free agent following the 2004 season. He signed with the Kansas City Chiefs and Sunday will mark the first time Foote and Bell have been on a field together since the end of the 2004 season.

Given the fact that the Steelers (1-3) are set on running the ball with Willie Parker and the Chiefs (2-2) will do the same with Larry Johnson, Foote and Bell figure to play key roles in helping to decide which team will come out on top.

The Steelers feel like they got the better of the deal by keeping Foote instead of Bell.

Hes had the opportunity to go out there and show how he can play, linebacker Joey Porter said of Foote, who has 26 tackles and is tied with Clark Haggans for the team lead with three sacks. Hes been able to play, but in this defense, when you have guys like Kendrell Bell in front of you, sometimes you have to stand back and wait your time. He waited his turn and now hes getting the opportunity to go out and make plays and hes showing everyone the capability of being the great player that hes been. Hes just having the chance to go out there and do it.

The 6-1, 239-pound Foote doesnt have the imposing physical skills of the 6-1, 250-pound Bell. What he does have, however, are outstanding instincts and the ability to diagnose plays thanks to plenty of film study.

I didnt run a great time at the draft combine and Im not the biggest guy, but I feel like Im a pretty smart player, said Foote, who led the Steelers with 123 tackles last season. His teammates appreciate that knowledge on game day.

He says he might not be the fastest or the biggest, but hes the quickest, said Farrior. He is a smart player, a very instinctive linebacker. Put him in the middle and he diagnoses the play most of the time just from reading the formation.

Its a far cry different than his rookie season, when Foote understandably struggled.

It was rough for him when he was a rookie, said Farrior. For any rookie to come into the league and be thrown in there right away, youve got to kind of learn on the run. I think he adjusted to well and you can see the difference in his play now.

His play now has been reminiscent of Bells first season, when he set a team record for sacks by an inside linebacker with nine.

Bell is in a new position now with the Chiefs, having been moved to outside linebacker last season. Bell started 14 games in 2005, recording 68 tackles and a sack. This season, he has 14 tackles and a sack in four games.

He was dinged up last year and in a new system, said Kansas City coach Herm Edwards. Now, hes in a new system again. But hes done a good job for us.

BlitzburghRockCity
10-13-2006, 06:22 PM
Kendrell is a shadow of his former self. His first 2 years in the league he was an absolute monster. Then he had the series of ankle injuries and knee problems and just never recovered.

Foote is doing a great job for us, I wouldn't trade him right now for anyone else.

Black@Gold Forever32
10-13-2006, 07:50 PM
When Kendrell Bell was on top of his game and avoiding injuries he was an hell of a LB. Probally Larry Foote could never be as good as Bell when Kendrell was on top of his game. But injuries have robbed Bell and he just couldn't stay on the field. So I would take Larry Foote any day over Kendrell Bell. Plus Larry Foote is making himself into a very good LB as well.

BlitzburghRockCity
10-13-2006, 08:22 PM
Bell also had problems trying to learn his position more. Remember when we asked him to play more of an active role in coverage, and also as a DL to help mix things up to keep him on the field more...he just never really grasped that the way that Jason Gildon who was injured at the time.

Foote just kept making plays and making plays every time he got his chance. He earned the spot he's in now, that's for sure.

Black@Gold Forever32
10-13-2006, 08:28 PM
Bell also had problems trying to learn his position more. Remember when we asked him to play more of an active role in coverage, and also as a DL to help mix things up to keep him on the field more...he just never really grasped that the way that Jason Gildon who was injured at the time.

Foote just kept making plays and making plays every time he got his chance. He earned the spot he's in now, that's for sure.

I know Bell was horrible in coverage. But when Bell was fully healthy he was so explosive as a pass rusher. Thats what I meant about Foote maybe never being as good as Bell. But overall as a LB Foote is better and I'll take Foote over Bell. Plus Larry Foote is tied for the team lead in sacks so far this season.

suitanim
10-14-2006, 09:50 AM
It is incredibly important that LB's in the Steelers scheme be multi-talented, though. Not every LB can do it, and that also explains why a lot of teams who play a 4-3 can draft a guy and start him opening day, and we have to season our LB's for 2-3 years before they are ready to start.

I did love watching Bell just destroy the oppositions running backs though...

BlitzburghRockCity
10-14-2006, 10:06 AM
I know Bell was horrible in coverage. But when Bell was fully healthy he was so explosive as a pass rusher. Thats what I meant about Foote maybe never being as good as Bell. But overall as a LB Foote is better and I'll take Foote over Bell. Plus Larry Foote is tied for the team lead in sacks so far this season.

No doubt, I remember him standing about 3 yds off the LOS and just completely unloading on the center or guard and literally knocking them on their *** or driving them backwards right into the backfield. He was so powerful it was really amazing. I wish he could have worked out for us, but I think at best he would have been a situational pass rusher that always had to come out on 3rd downs which is why we tried to give him more responsibility and it just never worked out.

House of Steel
10-14-2006, 10:27 AM
Bell was a beast when he played for us here in Pittsburgh, although, the pass coverage was very, very weak. I remember him bulldozing through the offensive line and knocking the RB backwords. Larry Foote has held his own here in the Burgh and I really enjoy watching him too. Foote come a long ways and he is proving himself to be a very vital part of the Blitzburgh Package. AWESOME!!!