Foote excited for a 'fresh start'
New middle linebacker Larry Foote signed his one-year contract and met with the media today. He said he asked the Steelers for a trade shortly after the Super Bowl in February and always hoped to be a Lion, but didn't know if that was possible until after last month's draft.
I think if they would have took the linebacker (Aaron Curry) No. 1 or the kid at USC (Rey Maualuga), they'd have had three spots, Foote said. All spots, you got to earn it, but they'd have had three guys penciled in as starters so I might have been looking elsewhere.
As it is, Foote's penciled in to start in the middle of the Lions defense, with Julian Peterson and Ernie Sims as his running mates. That's a significant upgrade over a linebacker corps that featured Sims, Paris Lenon and Ryan Nece last year. Lenon and Nece are still free agents.
Foote said he has more to offer as a player than he showed the last seven seasons in Pittsburgh and wants to spread my wings a little bit.
I'm just coming in with some tape on my helmet with my name on it and a fresh start, he said. The playing time and the football part will take care of itself.
Other highlights from Foote's media session today:
On why he preferred a one-year deal to multi-year contract: I wanted a one-year deal, basically. I wasn't fighting with my agent, we wasn't fighting with (general manager Martin) Mayhew last night, we just said whatever it takes let's get it done. I told Tom Lewand, in a couple months you're going to wish you signed me longer because I'm going to be worth a lot more in a couple months.
On the transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense: I had my first meeting with the linebackers coach and we put in a couple of the base defenses and it was similar to some of the stuff we did at Pittsburgh. My mind wasn't as lost as the other guy that was next to me, so hopefully I ain't going to say his name hopefully I can learn everything faster.
On what he brings as a middle linebacker: Just a good football player. I bring leadership, experience, I'm a vet and I don't got to say I'm tough, but I definitely am tough. I'm just going to bring quality football at that position. He said he's ready for a lot more collisions, too. I don't mind collisions. You can ask my mother that since I've been a kid.
Foote, who'll wear No. 55, said he intends to be heavily involved in the community and stay in the area after he retires. He's already working on a plan to build a charter school in Detroit. I'm excited to be home full time, he said.