Linebacker Larry Foote (left) with defensive end Calais Campbell at the team's Celebrity Golf Classic
Larry Foote looked the part of a retired NFL player on Thursday morning, sporting a brand-new $300 golf outfit at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler.
Then again, all of the Cardinals were in similar attire as they hit the links for the 26th annual Celebrity Golf Classic charity event, and Foote wasn't ready to cement himself as a coach quite yet.
While most expect the Cardinals linebacker to remain with the team as inside linebackers coach, Foote said the odds of him returning to the field are still "50-50." Coach Bruce Arians has said Foote needs to make a determination on whether or not to play when rosters are cut down to 75 players during training camp.
Foote said there are a few factors which will influence his decision.
"Draft, what happens with (suspended linebacker) Daryl Washington, stuff like that, how my knee feels (after offseason surgery)," Foote said. "I'll sit down with B.A. and the next couple of months are really going to be the deciding factor."
Foote has been involved in the regular coaching duties since early February, evaluating film and scouting.
"It's cool," Foote said. "Different hours, in the office. It's a different outlook looking at guys and judging guys. The rough part is going over our film last year so you have to re-live your mistakes that you did over and over again. I'm already telling the boys, 'When I'm doing some corrections, ain't no laughing at what happened to me last year.'"
It's a different role, but something he's starting to embrace.
"I am starting to like coaching," Foote said. "It's a little tough in the office, eating M&Ms, snacking all day, drinking coffee. I started my diet a couple days ago."
FACING THE STEELERS 'JUST ANOTHER GAME' FOR ARIANS
The regular season schedule was released Tuesday, and Arians now knows his return to Pittsburgh will come on Oct. 18. Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Steelers for five seasons and a part of the staff for eight – winning a pair of Super Bowl rings – until he was fired following the 2011 season.
He returned to Heinz Field the next year as offensive coordinator of the Colts, and doesn't think this visit will hold any special significance.
"It's just another game," Arians said. "It really is. It's been so long now."
The Cardinals will remain on the East Coast in the week preceding the matchup with the Steelers, as their Oct. 11 matchup is in Detroit and the team would prefer to avoid two cross-country flights in quick succession. Arians did this two years ago with back-to-back games in New Orleans and Tampa Bay, and is making a contingency after that experience.
"Now that we've got the schedule, we're starting to try to find out where we can practice," Arians said. "Somebody that would have an indoor facility in case of inclement weather. We went to Florida (in 2013) thinking it would be nice and got eight inches of rain."
PACKING ON THE POUNDS
Diminutive wide receiver John Brown admitted the long NFL season took a toll on his body as a rookie, and the numbers backed it up. He had 43 catches for 603 yards and five touchdowns through the first 12 games of the season but only 13 receptions for 161 yards and no scores over the final five, including the playoff loss to the Panthers.
He played last year at 173 pounds and said he's up to 183 now, with the goal of adding more weight.
"At the end of the season my body started going down, I started losing weight," Brown said. "This year I'm trying to focus on being able to keep this weight on as the season goes on."
Brown said having a full offseason with the team should help.
"Last year was hard because as soon as college was over I had the All-Star game, the combine and I was also traveling to different teams, so that kind of wore down my body," he said. "During the offseason this year, I was relaxed and I was in one area the whole time, so I was able to get right."
Images from the Cardinals' 26th annual Celebrity Golf Classic at Whirlwind Golf Club