There’s been plenty of talk about Larry Foote and Gary Russell on this site, but there are two more items of interest before putting the story to bed.
No Ill Will Toward Larry But….
It is hard to wish someone who has been such a reliable player and upstanding citizen ill will, and I certainly do not desire that for Larry Foote.
But his comments about feeling “limited” by the Steelers prior to Lawrence Timmons arrival leave a little bit of a bitter aftertaste.
Larry Foote is a good player, a very good player. But has he done anything to elevate himself to the elite level of linebacking that is at the core of the Steelers defensive identity?
James Harrison has. As has James Farrior. LaMarr Woodley is giving plenty of signs he’s headed in that direction too. Joey Porter was there, as were linebackers like Levon Kirkland and Greg Lloyd before them.
I dare say no.
Foote won two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh. He has now forced his way out of the only franchise to win six Super Bowls to sign with the only team to go 0-16.
He has certainly found a place with plenty of room to grow.
Give the man credit. He signed a one year deal with an eye toward proving himself and cashing in. He is putting his money where his mouth is.
Gary Russell Redux
Ed Bouchette made a very interesting comment in his recent chat. Someone asked him if Russell would still be with the team had the Steelers chosen to move Foote earlier.
Bouchette characerized the Steelers justification that Russell had to go to clear up cap room to resign Charlie Batch was a “smoke screen.”
In his previous chat Bouchette stuck by his reporting that Russell had been cut for cap reasons, but when pressed by Steel Curtain Rising, Bouchette admitted that he only “sort of” bought the explanation.
Rumors have abounded to explain the Steelers motive for letting Russell go. All are unsubstantiated so they will not be repeated here, but suffice to say, it looks like those who thought there was something else to the story were probably correct.