James Farrior and Larry Foote, a staple in the Blitzburgh defense for years. These played beside each other and were as good as any linebacker tandem in the league. Times changed and Foote moved onto a short stint in Detroit while Potsie continued to lead the Steelers defense.
Fast forward to 2011 and with James Harrison out for atleast a couple more weeks with the broken orbital bone, the elder statesmen in the middle are reunited and for the last 2 weeks have seemingly picked up where they left off. In the last weeks, Farrior and Foote have combined for 30 Tackles, 2 passes defensed and 1 sack. Not too shabby for a couple of over the hill NFL linebackers I would say.
With Timmons' move to the outside to cover for Harrison, it's nice to see these 2 be able to step up and make plays when they are needed most. While the defense may not be up to par with previous years in the eyes of some, they are as we speak the #1 overall defense in the NFL. Considering all the issues over the years with the secondary, all the injuries, and the age of the defensive line, things could be a lot worse for the black n gold defenders.
Should we be surprised though? Farrior had a great season in 2010 finishing with 109 Tackles, 6 Sacks, 1 INT, and 5 passes defensed. Some were ready to write him off early this season again, but the unquestioned leader on the field for the Steelers defense is still getting it done. Credit the improved play of the defensive line for the improved play of the linebackers. It all goes hand in hand but overall seeing guys like Foote and Farrior still getting it done is a something maybe we shouldn't be so surprised about.