GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Veteran linebacker Larry Foote only knows how to play three downs.
Entering his 13th season, and his first with the Arizona Cardinals, he’s not ready for that to change – regardless of what coach Bruce Arians has said. In June, Arians said he wasn’t sure if Foote, who turned 34 this summer, could play three downs, “but two downs for sure.”
“I mean, that’s why I’m here in camp,” Foote said Saturday. “I’ve always been a third-down linebacker. But you got to make that assumption when you see a linebacker 34 years old. I’ll show him.”
With Daryl Washington suspended for at least a year, Foote is the leading candidate to replace him next to Kevin Minter. In 2012, his last full season, Foote played 997 snaps, missing just 18. There’s no question in Foote’s mind he’s capable of doing it again.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I’ve been doing it my whole career. I don’t know otherwise. I’m just here to compete and get a spot.”
Foote is coming off a biceps injury that ended his 2013 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers after just one game. Returning to form hasn’t been difficult, Foote said, but he’s looking forward to next week when the Cardinals put on the pads for the first time. He said he feels 100 percent as camp opened Saturday.
Since he was signed on May 7, 23 days before Washington was suspended, Foote has taken Minter under his wing, while tutoring him on how to be the quarterback of the defense.
“Just mental stuff … stuff that I know [from] the older guys, that [former Steelers linebacker] James Farrior passed on the knowledge and little stuff that coaches don’t see,” Foote said. “He’s open, he’s hungry. He’s a humble kid. It makes it easier being an older guy talking to a young guy that’s humble.”