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I-Want-Troy's-Hair
03-26-2007, 12:54 AM
Tomlin believes Porter is replaceable

Monday, March 26, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PHOENIX -- No Joey Porter? No problem. The new man in charge has high hopes for the linebackers who will form the backbone of his new defense next season.

"We're going to get great outside linebacker play," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin predicted yesterday.

Some of the Steelers' best players on defense have played outside linebacker in the past generation since the team switched to a 3-4 defense from the old Steel Curtain days.

Players such as Mike Merriweather, Greg Lloyd, Chad Brown, Kevin Greene, Jason Gildon, Porter and others have dominated defensive play in Pittsburgh over two decades.

Tomlin does not see a reason why that should change after the Steelers released Porter, whose 60 sacks rank fourth on their career list.

"Can we identify who's going to be the playmaker at this point? No," Tomlin said. "Are we concerned about that? Really, no. That's the nature of football. Whoever we replace Joey with, the fans and the people who are concerned and have a stake in it will learn to love those guys and appreciate those guys for who they are. I know that's going to be a fact."

They already know the linebacker Tomlin expects to replace Porter.

"I have an idea of what I think James Harrison is capable of and I think it's going to be more than enough," Tomlin said of the Steelers' top backup on the outside the past three seasons.

Harrison, who was on the street when the Steelers signed him before the start of their 2004 training camp only because Clark Haggans had a broken hand, has done well as a backup and during his eight starts.

But can he play every down, every game?

"He'll answer those questions inside the white lines," Tomlin said. "I'm in Minnesota last year and everyone's talking about how miserable our linebacker corps was and how we had no chance to put together a solid defense because of our linebackers. And those guys went out there and played rock-solid football."

Tomlin, on the job for two months, said he loves the speculation surrounding not only who will succeed Porter at outside linebacker but all other debates about his team.

"I love those questions. It provides good talk this time of year, the speculation. It gives people something to worry about, and you appreciate that. You hope they enjoy it, but at the same time the wheels keep turning."

He said he wasn't surprised by the reaction -- some of it negative from his players -- to Porter's release, and the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker's subsequently signing a five-year contract in Miami that included a $12 million signing bonus.

"I've been a part of that since I've been in this league. What chair you sit in doesn't really matter. I've always mentally put myself in the chair that I sit in now.

"I've been part of some unique situations as an assistant coach. I was a part of the Jon Gruden/Keyshawn Johnson situation. I was a part of Warren Sapp leaving in free agency. I was a part of releasing John Lynch and things of that nature.

"It's all a rerun to me, it really is, and the reactions that go with it. Yes, I'm the head coach now but it's nothing I haven't seen before. Change is part of this business, it's going to happen. Sometimes it's going to be more unpleasant than others, but it's the nature of what we do."

RoethlisBURGHer
03-26-2007, 01:14 AM
I think Silverback will be a beast,letting us draft a more pressing need in round 1 unless we can get a stud OLB at pick number 15.

Mandy90
03-26-2007, 02:58 AM
I don't believe releasing Porter will greatly effect the team for the coming season. If it were to effect the team, I believe it would be through the leadership he brought rather than his play on the field. Plus, I think the next OLB to replace him will have to be versatile enough to play DE in a 4-3 if they are going to successfully run a Hybrid D.

Galax Steeler
03-26-2007, 06:37 AM
I think Tomlin knows what he is doing I have not read noting negative on him.I believe we have a great coach for years to come.

stlrtruck
03-26-2007, 08:31 AM
Give Tomlin credit. Even if he is worried, he's putting up a great front and by doing so is solidifying those that don the black and gold both on and off the field.

Buzz05
03-26-2007, 09:30 AM
For a young guy Tomlin sure acts like he is a season veteran head coach. This guy is mature and knows exactly what to say and when to say it. I really think Tomlin is the right man for the job, now I just hope he can produce the wins

StillerPaul
03-26-2007, 02:27 PM
I don't think the loss of Porter will hurt us at all. I'd much prefer we get a good young passrushing DE and let Harrison play OLB.

Atlanta Dan
03-26-2007, 02:41 PM
So far so good, but Tomlin got the job because he gave a knock 'em dead job interview; not surprising he has continued to make a good impression with both national media and, especially, local scribes who clearly were tired of weekly beat downs and glares from Cowher.

But the Rooneys did not stay with Cowher for 15 seasons because he could charm the media and looking the part of a young HC is about as essential to long term success in the job as having neat handwriting.

Let's see how many stories continue to gush about Tomlin's great demeanor if the Steelers start off 2007 the same way they played the first half of the 2006 season.

polamalufan43
03-26-2007, 03:22 PM
Once again, a great statement. And I completely agree. Porter's release, while shocking and semmingly irreplacable, can be delt with. I really just think it will be a matter of time.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

GBMelBlount
03-26-2007, 08:37 PM
So far so good, but Tomlin got the job because he gave a knock 'em dead job interview; not surprising he has continued to make a good impression with both national media and, especially, local scribes who clearly were tired of weekly beat downs and glares from Cowher.

But the Rooneys did not stay with Cowher for 15 seasons because he could charm the media and looking the part of a young HC is about as essential to long term success in the job as having neat handwriting.

Let's see how many stories continue to gush about Tomlin's great demeanor if the Steelers start off 2007 the same way they played the first half of the 2006 season.

AD, we have a good team. Two big question marks for me...will Ben come out 2-6 or 6-2. If we lose Faneca...not that we will, our O-line may struggle. Last two times o-line struggled, 6-10, 8-8. Point being, if O-struggles, there may be little patience. Look at what happened to Maddox when 6-10 was PERCEIVED to be his fault. I hope we don't have our wrath coming down on Tomlin who has inherited this situation. :confused:

rich4eagle
03-26-2007, 09:05 PM
I think the Steelers made a wise choice with Tomlin and letting Porter go is again another gutsy move that makes the Steelers what the are........SOLID!!!! You gotta get players on the upside for a fair price and let em go when they cost more than they can play..........and the Steelers been doing that for years......

Suitanim
03-28-2007, 06:24 PM
History is certainly on the Steelers side...

noto45
03-29-2007, 07:53 AM
do you really think he was gonna say oh crap we a screwed....haha Porters Time was up and he is getting too old for us.............. NEXT!

coachspeak33
03-29-2007, 10:33 AM
Letting Joey go was not a mistake in my opinion...what was a mistake was not shopping him to accumulate picks...and simply cutting a guy that we still had under contract for another season

If the dolphins were interested enough into Joey to give him 12 million up front, while guaranteeing 20 of a potential 32 million, then i think they probably would have considered shipping a pick or two our way (they added two extra picks in the wes welker deal)

SteelCityPride
03-29-2007, 01:23 PM
As I stated in a past post, Linebackers are to the steelers what running backs are to the Chiefs and Bronco's. The Steelers have a scheme that allows good players to be great. Look at what the Chiefs and Bronco's do with running backs, they can pick up a number of guys in free agency or late in the draft and turn them into rushing champs, not Larry johnson, he was a higher pick, but especially the Bronco's, it seems like they can plug and play and guy who played for a large Division 1 school into their backfield and he can gain 1300 yards. This is what the Steelers do with line backers, they have an awesome front 3 that the opposing teams O-line don't know which direction they will be coming from, and with the linebackers filling the holes ad cutting off of that front 3, they are in great position to make lots of plays, in my opinion Joey didnt make enough in the past two years, except in the run to the super bowl.

Suitanim
03-30-2007, 07:04 PM
Letting Joey go was not a mistake in my opinion...what was a mistake was not shopping him to accumulate picks...and simply cutting a guy that we still had under contract for another season

If the dolphins were interested enough into Joey to give him 12 million up front, while guaranteeing 20 of a potential 32 million, then i think they probably would have considered shipping a pick or two our way (they added two extra picks in the wes welker deal)

The Steelers did not and could not know how much interest Porter might generate, since they have clearly evaluated him as on the decline. Sure there are teams out there who might have been foolish enough to do something stupid and trade draft picks, but the Steelers avoid that kind of chicanery for the most part...it's part of the price they pay for being the moral compass of FO's in the NFL...

GBMelBlount
03-30-2007, 09:32 PM
The Steelers did not and could not know how much interest Porter might generate, since they have clearly evaluated him as on the decline. Sure there are teams out there who might have been foolish enough to do something stupid and trade draft picks, but the Steelers avoid that kind of chicanery for the most part...it's part of the price they pay for being the moral compass of FO's in the NFL...

When I read what coachspeak33 says, it makes sense to me. It always seems to me that the nfl is ruthless. Players only care about themselves. FO only cares about themselves (with some exceptions..i.e.Jerome.) I may be wrong, but if the Steelers took the high road, not that they didn't, but isn't that far more the exception than the rule in the NFL? And if that's the case, if the steelers did take the moral high road, I guess that would be less of a surprise to me than most other teams doing that.

Steeldude
04-01-2007, 05:15 PM
any LB on the steelers' roster can replace porter's output/presence on the field the last few years.

Suitanim
04-01-2007, 05:27 PM
When I read what coachspeak33 says, it makes sense to me. It always seems to me that the nfl is ruthless. Players only care about themselves. FO only cares about themselves (with some exceptions..i.e.Jerome.) I may be wrong, but if the Steelers took the high road, not that they didn't, but isn't that far more the exception than the rule in the NFL? And if that's the case, if the steelers did take the moral high road, I guess that would be less of a surprise to me than most other teams doing that.

Let me toss out a few names to you...

Greg Lloyd
Kendrell Bell
Levon Kirkland


These were all guys that the Steelers could never live without. Yet we have seen Joey Porter, James Farrior and Larry Foote replace these guys AND win a championship in the meantime...

Elvis
04-01-2007, 06:13 PM
Losing Porter will hurt us a little as far as our leadership role is concerned. But I think we are gonna be ok. Harrison may or may not be the answer we will just have to wait and see but lets give him a chance to see what he can do. I think right now that DB and OL is the biggest concern to our team.
Easter Sunday... April 8,2007
Elvis

Steeldude
04-01-2007, 11:56 PM
porter's leadership role amounted to embarrassing pre-game antics and incoherent gibberish like "who ride, we ride".

ben2hines=6
04-03-2007, 01:22 AM
the only thing that should worry everyone is the leadership role....i mean it was obvious how much we missed bettis in the locker room last year...ive never seen a steeler team take so many 15yrds in my life....were gonna have to see who steps up in the leadership role

aussiesteelers
04-03-2007, 05:25 AM
porter's leadership role amounted to embarrassing pre-game antics and incoherent gibberish like "who ride, we ride".

exactly. we will only miss him if noone can equal or surpass his performance last year. i'm hoping tomlin knows if harrison is the answer or if we need to go to the draft