Steelers' Foote knows how quickly a situation can turn ugly

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Larry Foote knows all about being in the wrong place at the wrong time, which is where teammate Mike Adams found himself early Saturday morning on the South Side.

"It's the old saying, nothing good happens after 12 o'clock," Foote said after another Steelers spring practice Tuesday on the South Side.

Foote was back near the campus of his alma mater, Michigan, in February 2003, when a melee broke out near a pizza joint around 2:30 a.m. Foote, who had just finished his rookie season with the Steelers, was among those arrested, accused of punching another man. He and others had come to the defense of a woman who was thrown to the ground, and Foote was later exonerated.

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Foote came out of that incident with a thumb injury, much less serious than the knife wounds Adams had to his stomach and arm when several men tried to steal his truck on Carson Street.

"Bad people come out late at night, that's just the rules of the game," Foote said. "Guys have to be aware of that."

Married with two children and now 10 years older since his own incident, Foote said he learned that lesson a long time ago. "The only time I go out is to go get a gallon of milk late at night."

Adams' teammates had several different reactions to how they should proceed in light of the attack. Proceed as usual? Use extra precautions? Avoid certain areas of the city, like the South Side?

On Monday, coach Mike Tomlin indicted that section of the city was "a dangerous place."

Of course, one Steeler was the cause of a South Side ruckus in October last year. Defensive lineman Alameda Ta'amu pleaded guilty in April to drunken driving and apologized for his behavior. Although that incident started on Fort Pitt Boulevard, Ta'amu fled from police and ended up crashing into four parked cars on East Carson Street.

The Steelers' training facility is a good Shawn Suisham kick from East Carson Street and about 15 blocks from where Adams was attacked around 3 a.m. Saturday. Some Steelers have lived in and around the South Side since the team moved its training facility along the river near the Hot Metal Bridge in 2000.

Isaac Redman is not one of them. He agrees with his coach that the South Side is not safe.

"It's proven that it's not," Redman said. "If you do choose to go out, you might need to seek security or make sure you're not by yourself. But we definitely have to learn from what happened."

Redman said he and his teammates "absolutely" have to reassess the issue of safety in their public lives after what happened to Adams.

"When you're going out and having a good time with your friends, you have to also think that we could be targets. You have to take what happened to him and learn from it.

"Things like this have happened in the past. It's happened to him now. If we don't learn from it, go out and make the same mistakes, that would be foolish on our part."

Other teammates do not necessarily agree that it was the wrong place or the wrong time, or that Steelers have become "targets."

"Danger can happen at any given time anywhere, not just Pittsburgh, it's anywhere," LaMarr Woodley said. "I wouldn't say I don't feel safe around Pittsburgh. Crime is everywhere."

Woodley has partnered with Pittsburgh-based Prevent Another Crime Today in an effort to help reduce crime and violence in the city and had a fundraiser last week for the group.

He knows nighttime isn't the only time when attacks can occur.

"Stuff happens in the in the daytime, stuff could happen walking down Carson Street; it could happen at any given time. It's not just late at night when stuff happens, it's anytime."

Woodley said he does not fear visiting the South Side.

"Nah, it's not just the South Side, that's the thing. We look at it because it happened on the South Side, but there's stuff that happens everywhere, it just doesn't get reported. Being that it was a Pittsburgh Steeler, now the light shines on it. But stuff like that happens every day."

Call him versatile

Kelvin Beachum, trying to become a jack of all trades, seemed to master the right tackle position late last season when he replaced the injured Adams for the final five games of the season.

Now he will keep that position warm until Adams returns.

Beachum, who started 52 games over four seasons at tackle for SMU, was drafted in the seventh round in 2012 to play guard. However, after the Steelers lost starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert and then his replacement, Adams, to ankle injuries last season, Beachum was pressed into action at right tackle.

He has been trying to add center to his repertoire this spring after the Steelers did not re-sign backup center Doug Legursky, a free agent.

"I'm being accountable and taking responsibility for what the Steelers have given me so far,'' Beachum said.

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For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com and Twitter @EdBouchette. First Published June 5, 2013 4:00 AM


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