Lions Ink Foote; Solidify MIKE Position

Larry Foote

The Detroit Lions have their middle linebacker. One week after an expected release prompted his public interest in Detroit, former University of Michigan standout Larry Foote agreed to a one-year deal with the team, according to the Associated Press.

The Detroit Lions have their middle linebacker.

One week after an expected release prompted his public interest in Detroit, former University of Michigan standout Larry Foote agreed to a one-year deal with the team, according to the Associated Press.

The contract is believed to be worth close to $3 million.

"I'm excited because it's a fresh start for me," the Detroit native told The AP. "It's a one-year deal to show my talents, and hopefully end up signing a long-term deal after showing the Lions and their new coaching staff what I can do."


AP Photo
  G/GS Tackles Sacks Ints
2008 16/16 63 1.5 --
Career 110/83 431 14.5 3

Foote, a seven-year veteran, tallied 63 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2008 for Pittsburgh, where he has spent his entire career. He also picked up two Super Bowl rings as the franchise's starting inside linebacker.

He started every game for the Steelers in each of the past five seasons.

Although the Lions had tinkered with the notion of starting rookie DeAndre Levy and even outside linebacker Ernie Sims at the middle linebacker position (or "MIKE"), Foote gives Detroit a veteran and proven presence.

Flanked between veteran All Pro Julian Peterson and hard-hitting speedster Ernie Sims, the Lions seemingly have the makings of one of the NFL's more talented and capable linebacking units.

Assisting Foote in his transition to Detroit should be the fact that in defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham's 4-3 scheme, the MIKE position isn't much different from the inside position on the 3-4 defense, where Foote excelled in Pittsburgh.

The Lions opted not to re-sign incumbent starter from a year ago, Paris Lenon.

In all, the team now has 12 linebackers on the current roster.

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