At multiple points over the last handful of seasons, it seemed as if Larry Foote’s name was brought up as a possibility for the Arizona Cardinals.
Having made a name for himself as a Pittsburgh Steeler, the 12-year veteran comes to the Valley with 481 total tackles, 23 quarterback sacks and three interceptions.
“A blitzing linebacker, a guy that likes to take it to the offense,” Foote told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday when asked to describe himself. “I’m known for being a guy that plays above the neck, and I’m a true believer that in this league, if you make mistakes you lose. Just being a veteran, and teams around the league knew that’s what I brought to the locker room, and B.A. knew that as well.”
Foote spent 11 of his 12 seasons as a member of the Steelers, eight of which came while Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was with the team. So part of the reason Foote decided to sign a one-year deal with the Cardinals is familiarity, as he comes in knowing he’ll be a good fit for the defense Arizona runs.
Another reason? That defense he’ll be a part of.
“If you’re a linebacker, this is heaven for you,” he said. “With the guys up front and with the addition of (Antonio) Cromartie, and we already got (Patrick) Peterson, we’re going to be a tough defense.”
How much Foote will actually bring to the defense remains to be seen. At 33 he is no spring chicken, and he played in just one game last season after rupturing a biceps in Week 1.
However, the Cardinals got great seasons out of veteran pickups John Abraham and Karlos Dansby last season, and the hope is Foote, who helped the Steelers to three Super Bowl appearances (two wins) can have similar success in 2014.
“I left Pittsburgh once, I played in Detroit in ’09 and that defense just didn’t fit my style,” Foote said. “I was watching these guys last year and seeing they led the league in blitzing, and as a linebacker you just want to go there and play that style.”
The Cardinals are happy to have him. With Dansby now in Cleveland and Daryl Washington facing a possible suspension, the team was set to be pretty thin at the inside linebacker position. In Foote, they have someone who has proven himself capable, and while he’s not the player he once was, that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute to a team that has Super Bowl aspirations of its own.
And about those Super Bowls, Foote recorded a pair of tackles in one that probably did nothing to endear himself to Arizona fans.
“I don’t remember,” he said of Super Bowl XLIII, with a chuckle. “I don’t remember. That was a long time ago.
“I’ve got this red and white on, baby, I don’t remember none of that.”