Foote, as player, or as coach

Posted by Darren Urban on February 9, 2015 – 10:13 am

When the news first trickled out last week that the Cardinals could be interested in Larry Foote as Bruce Arians’ “ex-player-to-add-to-the-coaching-staff” candidate, I immediately thought of something Foote said back in October. It struck me a bit odd at the time, but in the current context, maybe Foote’s coaching possibility has been long in the queue.

Foote was talking about what the Cardinals wanted him as initially, because that was before Daryl Washington was going to be lost for the season by suspension — but the Cards were assuming Washington would be sitting a few games as a suspension because of his assault guilty plea.

“Daryl was supposed to be suspended four to six games and I was, ‘OK, I can come play and coach’ and he ended up gone for the year,” Foote said.

Again, Foote brought it up in the context that he was drastically underpaid given what role he ended up having. But the line about coaching seems relevant now. Foote said after the season he hadn’t decided if he still wanted to play in 2015. I’d be stunned if the Cardinals wouldn’t want him back as a player if that’s what he decided to do, as a leader and mentor. You wouldn’t want him playing as much as he did in 2014 — Foote wore down as the season went on, understandably — but he could still be a valuable piece and certainly a guy you want influencing players like Kevin Minter and Washington.

(A quick side note: I found it interesting O’Brien Schofield admitted he was following the wrong guys in the locker room when he was with the Cards. The team doesn’t have to worry about that if Foote is around.)

If Foote decides playing isn’t what he wants, he can still be that leader as a coach. The players know he’s done it before. Foote can help with that bridge between the departed Todd Bowles and new defensive coordinator James Bettcher. Either way, Foote “gets it” and is someone you want around. As he intimated a few months ago, coaching might have always been part of the plan.



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34 Responses to “Foote, as player, or as coach”

  1. By D on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Either way, re-signing Larry Foote would be a good move with the DWash suspension and the need to add another player on the inside.

    I don’t see a ILB free agent player on the market right now that AZ would pay to bring in as a starter, (unless P. Willis is released in SF), so I am guessing the Cards should use their 1st round draft selection on a ILB. My choice right now would be Paul Dawson. TCU, the closest player to DWash.

    Speaking of free agents, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Keim and BA went after two players who have had injury histories but could be what this team needs. Keim would structure both contracts so that they would be incentive laden. But if the Cards want to sign a pass rusher and a big RB in free agency, B. Orakpo and D. McFadden could give this team some added punch to compete with Seattle.
    (once the Card’s Cap is corrected). Another name to watch out for is J. Evans, G from the Saints, he most likely will be released since their cap is the worse in the league right now.

  2. By Marlin on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Sorry if you answered this question previously. When can DWash apply for reinstatement?

  3. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: DWash


  4. By Dynosoar on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    br in nc,

    Welcome back!

  5. By Dynosoar on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    I have read the article for BA receiving coach of the year and the line that struck me the most was the last line.

    “I took all those names off the IR and put them back on the depth chart,” Arians said. “I quit saying ‘What if’ and start saying ‘What can it be next year.’ I can’t wait until next year.”

    Well well, I’m not the only optimist regarding this team. Michael Bidwill has put together a winning combination in Keim and BA.

    I can’t wait until next year either.

    (I think the line, “quit saying what if and start saying what can it be” is a great motto for life. Thanks BA and thanks Darren for including this quote.)

  6. By Dynosoar on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Larry Foote is one of the best things that has happened to the Cardinals and my fingers are crossed that playing or not in 2015, he’ll be around this team for years and years to come.

  7. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Love this kind of post. Foote is a keeper either way.

    Superbowl 2016 or nothing at all (borrowed line, of course 🙂

  8. By georgiebird on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Informative article. But therein lies the Cardinals’ major problem- chasing a 13 year vet because no LBs have stepped up. It is very likely that Abraham, Dansby, Foote and the tarnished DWash ould still be our best LBs.
    It’s supposed to work like last year’s kicking situation- out with the old and still talented and in with the new and even more talented.
    But so be the albatross of the LB position.

  9. By Coach K on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    I think having played under hall of fame coach Dick LeBeau, and under Todd Bowles, Larry Foote would bring an excellent background into a coaching career. Having been a coach myself for 17 years, the only question is, can he wear a coaches hat without being buddy, buddy to the players. That is always the challenge for any young coach. You have to know where to draw the line.

  10. By georgiebird on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Sorry for the “in” in Darren- my banking guy spells it “in”.
    Had to laugh at the whole situation of Whiz taking Dick LeBeau to Tennessee. Is LeBeau going to be the “defensive guru” for the DC namely Ray Horton.
    Is this the same Ray Horton :
    1) who was a hotshot HC candidate only a couple of years ago
    2) who Cardinals’ fans thought could never be replaced
    3) who felt he was being discriminated against by NFL teams
    4) who Cardinals’ fans have now forgotten about.
    Now that the Titans have their real DC, why doesn’t BA try to get Horton as our LB coach.

  11. By azdesertrat1953 on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Foote is just Smart as Heck on and off the field, he knows the D and he would make a good coach for the Cards.
    You might even put him out there in mini and training camp as a player/coach get the Rookies on D up to speed.
    If I were a rookie LB of any kind and had a chance to learn from Larry Foote, Oh Heck Yes!

    GO CARDS!!!

  12. By Dynosoar on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Patrick Hoog aka Don’t Take Losses,

    borrow away. It’s not mine, it’s ours. Ours meaning all Cardinals team, staff and players.

    It’s ours.

  13. By Mark in Chandler on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    I would rather have him as a coach than player. Do just as much good coaching, but would not take a roster spot nor be a hit to the salary cap.

  14. By LadyBird04 on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Larry Foote has been wonderful for the team this year. Would love to see him coaching either from the field or sidelines.

    Hate to bring back the Washington thing – but do the Cards have to pay him the rest of the 10M (I think 5m left) before they know if he will be playing, like the did last year? I can’t remember if that was a roster bonus or some other form of payment. Would hate to see the team having to pay again for a player that can’t play.

  15. By BigAL on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Time for Keim, B.A. & Mr B. to get busy! Yes! Keep Larry Foote as player/future coach…Fix the salary Cap situation 1st by reassuring Larry that he will not be in the Hinds Ward role in the future! Put Michael Floyd there! Better fit anyways!
    Get Larry’s & D.D.’s contract’s renegotiated…more Cap friendly! Extend or redo Crow’s contract! Invite Jason Pierre Paul who just became a FA in for a look see!And the minute Jordan Cameron becomes available make him an offer! He desperately wants out of Cleveland! Can you blame him? Michael Oher was also released last Thursday…I’d sure bring him in for a look see also! I like Bobby Massey, but the Carolina defensive front exposed him big time! Then be scouring the ww for FA ILB’s & RB’s…I think Mark Ingram could be a target, I believe the
    Saints have the worst CAP issues in the league…not positive but heard that somewhere…So that leaves FA ILB’s… & study, study, study for the Draft!
    Lets Go! Get Busy!

  16. By KL on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Could you imagine if Dansby stayed, they still picked up Foote, and Abraham played this season?

    One can dream…

  17. By Andy Kw on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    -Imagine if Karlos Dansby and Yeremiah Bell stayed, still pick up Larry Foote, have John Abraham, still have Antonio Cromartie. Yeah I think we can all dream but it is hard with our salary situation.
    -If Darnell Dockett, Larry Fitzgerald, and Daryl Washington won’t restructure their deals, I expect this team to release them all. I think D.Wash & Larry Fitz are the two likely players willing to restructure due to the circumstances. Dockett’s heart and soul is with this team but I doubt he will take a pay cut. With that serious injury of his, we’d think he’d consider helping the Cards out but he might be cut.
    -Lyle Sendlein has regressed the past few seasons and I would not be shocked if he became a Salary Cap casualty and have our future center selected in the Draft.
    I’d expect this team to select LBs with the first two picks we have and the next two for ST and OL. If these four picks are made, we are likely to be a much stronger team.
    -1) ILB Benardrick McKinney (Mississippi St.)
    -2) OLB Eric Harold (Virginia)
    -3) C Reese Desmukes (Auburn)
    -4) WR/KR/PR Stefan Diggs (Maryland)

  18. By D on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Andy Kw

    You have some interesting draft selections, I like your round 2 and 4 if they would be available. We’ll see in Indy on B. McKinney, to me he is a MLB in a 4-3, run stuffing down hill LB (similar to Minter)

    The Cards need more of a coverage LB like DWash. P. Dawson can run and cover better. The other names to know for coverage LB are E. Kendricks from UCLA and D. Perryman from Miami.

    Of course Free agency and DWash future will determine what happens in the draft..

    I don’t see BA cutting Lyle and Starting a 3rd round Center or going with Larsen or Steen. I agree with you his play doesn’t match is Cap number, but with other holes to fill, I doubt they cut Lyle and create another hole to fill.

  19. By Scott H on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Hmmm….does the NFL allow player coaches??? Imagine that – a coach that grabs a helmet and gets on the field when needed!

    Foote looked like he definitely still had something to give for most of 2014. Kinda tailed off the last few games, it seemed. And suddenly, everyone was pointing out how much a liability he was in coverage on TE’s.

    Either way, would be nice to see him stay here. But ya wonder….if he’s standing on the sidelines – ONE year removed from playing pretty damn well – and our D is struggling and what we seem to be lacking is THE guy that Foote was last year… will be frustrated he’s not out there.

    Then again, is he plays and and it’s pretty obvious after a few games he just doesn’t really have it anymore, that will be frustrating as well.

    I say, let him make the call and keep him here, regardless. Not like we have to break the bank for him, is it?

  20. By Scott H on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Not related to this but SO sad to hear the news of Ed Sabol’s passing. Wow, what an amazing guy he was. And what a great life he had. He has to be one of THE most important people in the history of the NFL.. No one can be a fan of the NFL to any degree and NOT have been enlightened / entertained by Ed Sabol and NFL Films – even if they somehow had no idea who he was .

    BTW, NFL FILMS is actually only one town over from me out here in southern New Jersey. Right there in Mt Laurel. So amazing to think that so many of these great films were made right around the corner.

  21. By Andy Kw on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    To have more cap space, this must be done:
    QB Carson Palmer (he got injured, he has to be reasonable no matter his history with us), ILB Daryl Washington (I think he will do anything to stay with the team), WR Larry Fitzgerald (If Arians gives Larry Fitzgerald real playing time not decoy, then he should be willing), DE Calais Campbell (He wants a championship and with the restructure helps the Cards toward that goal. He will still earn lots of money)

    DT Darnell Dockett (he gets beat too many times and his injury already makes him less appealing to keep no matter his leadership.) C Lyle Sendlein (regressed too much), TE John Carlson, WR Ted Ginn Jr, LB Lorenzo Alexander

  22. By Scott H on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply


    Back up a step – can you imagine if Washington had not been suspended? If HE is in there ( assuming he is healthy – NOT an easy assumption to make given what we just went through! ) and we have either Dansby OR Foote in there with him…NOW we’re talkin!

    Dansby was leaving, no doubt about that. Seems he just uses the Cardinals to get his next contract. At this point, I don’t even remember if Foote was brought in to replace Dansby or Washington or either or both. Maybe he isn’t brought in at all if we don’t lose both of them. But my preferred fantasy scenario is having Washington in there and Foote as well ( ‘ cause Dansby – aka the Mercenary – was gone no matter what ).

    Having Double D would have been nice, too!

    And Abraham. And Zastudil. And Palmer. And Dwyer. Good lord, man, look how much we lost with all those gone from the line-up! And we STILL didn’t surrender the division to Seattle until Week 15, when we were reduced to a 3rd string QB??? If the Cardinals enjoyed the same health as the Seahawks did, I think the landscape of the playoff picture in the NFC would have been MUCH different. We would have played ALL of our games here – including the one on Feb 1st. I really don’t think anyone ( in the NFC ) would have stopped the Cardinals.

    I work with a Cowboys fan who believes that Jason Garrett should have been Coach of the Year over Arians, hands-down. Granted, he’s a Cowboys fan so it follows that he isn’t very bright. But….c’mon, man. There really isn’t even another coach you can remotely put into the discussion of COY. That discussion starts and ends with Arians.

  23. By azdesertrat1953 on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Thinking on it a bit more Larry Foote could be the D assistant.
    He knows the D inside and out.
    He would be the right fit to help James Bettcher, on anything.

    Nobody but Todd Bowles knows it all but Foote would be darn close to knowing more about the D than anyone else or as much as everyone else.

    It just sounds right having Larry Foote as a D coach for the Cards, if he retires.

    GO CARDS!!!

  24. By Coach K on Feb 9, 2015 | Reply

    Big Al

    You make an excellent point. Play Larry outside at X, and let Michael Floyd play the role of Hines Ward. Absolutely the smartest comment I have read in a long time. Floyd’s body type is perfect for that inside role. Let Larry play outside and throw some deep jump balls outside to him. I guarantee Larry can still get up. Great point Big Al.

    Andy Kw

    McKinney is a good player, but he is NOT a first round talent. He is still raw and is not refined in pass coverage. He is a great athlete but will not grade out to a first round pick. There are three inside backers graded much higher than him. All of them will be gone before McKinney gets picked in round two.

    Desmukes got beat terribly in one on one drills at Senior Bowl. He has a hard time handling length and defenders get their long arms under Desmukes and hold him off until they release to make a tackle. He should get better but is most likely a 5th round pick.

    I like Eric Harold of Virginia. He’s built like a strong safety, long and lean, but would make a good situational pass rusher from the edge. Plays well in space but is light on his feet and neutralized if engaged with an offensive lineman.

  25. By djjackson81 on Feb 10, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K : First of all its Eli Harld the OLB not Eric Harold. Secondly if you actually believe for a second that McKinney gets drafted in the second rd your are delusional. As far as AZ fits for ILB Dawson seems to be the better fit but at the same time would not be shocked if they took McKinney. Do not be shocked if AZ drafts C/G when they decide to draft on the OL it will be BPA at either one of those positions depending on who is still on the board. That does not mean they will play as rookies. I have an overwhelming feeling Larsen is playing C after Lyle is a cap casualty. Watch for RG to be played buy Steen or Watford the starting being who shows better in training camp preseason games.

  26. By Dynosoar on Feb 10, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H.

    “Granted, he’s a Cowboys fan so it follows that he isn’t very bright”

    No. No he’s not. (very bright that is.)

  27. By Coach K on Feb 10, 2015 | Reply


    I will guarantee you McKinney will not be drafted in round one. 100% guaranteed not going to happen. Period.

    As for your comment Do not be shocked if a C/G is selected.

    I have been saying all along that I feel they will take Cameron Erving, if they are smart. He can play any position on the o-line and will be a starter on day one.

    So I agree C/G. Highly possible and probable.

    Unless an elite pass rushing stud falls to them, or Mariotta somehow falls which is highly possible. If not, my money is on Cameron Erving, or Keim trading down out of round one for extra picks. I hope he does.

  28. By William Barry on Feb 10, 2015 | Reply

    Hope Larry Foote becomes a defensive assistant….he has great knowledge of the defense…..and would be a great leader and teacher…

  29. By Big Ken on Feb 11, 2015 | Reply

    I’m with ‘D’ on Paul Dawson. I keep reading about Dawson having character issues, but no specifics. So what are the issues? As far as Jason Garrett being COY last year, the Cardinals beat his Cowboys.

  30. By clssylssy on Feb 11, 2015 | Reply

    I’m all for having a veteran presence, whatever the job title-player,, etc-and I understand the enthusiasm to rebuild the team for the coming season however, there are certain issues that need to be addressed or it won’t matter who is on the roster and who is on the sideline with the clipboard. The Cards have continued to have glaring weaknesses in basic skills such as tackling, catching, blocking, breaking tackles, and while these issues are acknowledged by BA, I don’t see anything being done to produce improvement. Last in the league in tackling??? Are you kidding me? Fans may want to rag on Horton but we weren’t last in the league in tackling and he laid the defensive groundwork for Coach Bowles to step into. Hopefully Coach Bettcher will be more of a detail oriented guy and will see the wisdom of perfecting the fundamentals, and further build on Bowles contributions.
    Seems like this team gets so focused on the BIG picture that they get tripped up by not mastering the basics. The thing that really stood out with both the Seahawks and the Patriots was that they stayed “in the moment” from week-to-week, focusing on a single game and avoiding the “Superbowl or nothing” mentality that seemed to be our demise beginning in Seattle (they had injuries too as did the Patriots). It seems like a long way to preseason but there’s much to do and we still don’t know much more than we did pre Superbowl.

  31. By Jimmy L. Henry on Apr 10, 2015 | Reply

    Foote, I am very happy for your transition…You will make an excellent coach because you were an excellent player (with the Cubs, Pershing, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Arizona …God Bless you on your new journey!!

    Your Eastside Doughboy Brother…

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