TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Steelers' Foote says subpar 2012 frustrating

Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
The Steelers' Larry Foote (left) looks on during OTAs on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, on the South Side.

Steelers/NFL Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Alan Robinson
Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Larry Foote says there's no fear of the unknown with the Steelers.

Or of doing things that may go against the perceived, stay-the-course Steelers way, which he says they're doing — partly at co-owner Art Rooney II's behest — following their 8-8 season.

For years a well-known entity with identifiable players such as Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison and Mike Wallace, the Steelers are “going through a bit of a transition period,” Foote said Tuesday.

After James Farrior, Hines Ward and Aaron Smith departed last season, veterans including Harrison, Wallace, Keenan Lewis and Rashard Mendenhall moved on this year. It has altered the look of the team, in Foote's estimation.

“We lost some guys this year and last year, so it's unknown guys who need to step up if we're going to go far,” said Foote, the inside linebacker who signed a new contract that will bring him back for an 11th Steelers season. “There are some unknown guys who have to step up and play big time for us.”

He was referring to players such as outside linebacker Jason Worilds, who isn't exactly an unknown quantity but is one who has yet to show what he can do as an every-week starter. Others include Cortez Allen, who replaces Lewis at cornerback, backup cornerback Curtis Brown and nose tackle Steve McLendon.

Foote appears to believe that Worilds, not first-round draft pick Jarvis Jones, will replace Harrison at outside linebacker.

“It's going to be difficult (for Jones to start immediately), especially outside,” Foote said. “There is so much technique, (knowing) where you've got to line up, inside or outside. The fortunate thing is they (Jones' Georgia Bulldogs) played a 3-4. ... I've seen a lot (of players) come in as rookies and not have a clue, but you can tell he's been around our type of football.”

Even if that wasn't the type of football the Steelers played during a playoffs-free 2012 season. Foote said there's a lingering irritation and anger — especially in his household, where he said a budgeted $40,000 or so in playoff money evaporated.

Rooney expressed disappointment with all the close losses — five by three points — and the large number of injuries. He said the team would explore different methods of conditioning.

“Everybody, Mr. Rooney on down, everybody is (mad),” Foote said. “Conditioning has gone up a notch. Everybody has to do a stress test. We're trying to get after it.”

Wallace alluded to the Steelers' all-business attitude when he recently told reporters in Miami that “everybody has a college mentality around here. It's a lot different than where I came from. Everybody's hungry.”

“This organization knows how to do it, and we're one of the top teams the past decade,” Foote said. “I don't know where's he's coming from, and I don't take it too seriously, but we're a top program. Everybody knows that.”

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Steelers

  1. Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
  2. Steelers LB Timmons has grown into leadership role on defense
  3. Steelers notebook: Backup QB Gradkowski remains out with shoulder issue
  4. Steelers tackle Beachum braces for competition along offensive line
  5. Steelers notebook: Rookie CB Golson still dealing with left shoulder pain
  6. Steelers’ Brown arrives in style, vows to be ‘the best in the world’
  7. Butler, Steelers defense take on new challenges
  8. Rossi: St. Vincent a football sanctuary during Steelers training camp
  9. Steelers’ offense outshines defense like never before
  10. Starkey: Tomlin’s the right coach, obviously
  11. Steelers RB Bell ready despite being in limbo