TEMPE, Ariz. — Last season, linebacker Larry Foote was the proverbial coach on the field, a veteran who was productive while also being knowledgeable enough about the game to help his teammates.
Now, he’s the literal coach off it, though he’s not quite used to the idea.
“Got to get adjusted to people calling me ‘sir’ and ‘coach,'” Foote, the Cardinals’ inside linebackers coach, said Tuesday after OTAs. “I done put the ‘sir’ fine up on the board. Don’t call me that. But it’s fun.”
The two-time Super Bowl champion explained he wants to be called “Foote” and not “coach,” though you can forgive players for making that mistake. After all, Foote is a coach now, and while he’s on the field, he’s running the drills — not participating in them.
The 34-year-old said the transition has been made easier because he’s “been the old guy anyway” on the field the last few years, but he did not really have plans to become a coach. Offered the job in his final meeting with Bruce Arians after last season, one in which the head coach told him he would be a good coach, Foote said he took a couple of days to think about it before deciding to give it a shot.
And so far, so good.
“The communication that he has is different than from some coaches because he’s coming out of it and just, where his eyes were as a player and he can teach young guys,” Arians said. “He has great respect from the players.”
“I’m getting it from both sides,” Foote said with a smile. “The players are hard on me, calling me a sellout. The coaches are being hard on me, calling me a rookie, (saying) I don’t know anything. I’m taking some abuse in there, I’m taking it. But I can handle it. I can handle it.”
Foote said the difficulties that come with being a coach, one of which is longer working hours, isn’t too bad. The Detroit native said it’s not like he’s putting in the kind of hours those Ford Motor Company factory workers do.