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Old 10-27-2006, 07:19 AM   #1
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Default Porter locks in on return

Porter locks in on return
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, October 27, 2006


He has been reduced to the role of towel-waving spectator for the last two games. But pent-up aggression isn't the only reason why outside linebacker Joey Porter may have a more, well, let's just say energetic Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
The game is a must-win for the Steelers, who are 2-4 after losing a shootout last week in Atlanta.

"It is," Porter said, "a state of emergency."

It can be argued that the Raiders' woeful offense has been in a state of emergency, and it won't get any easier for the unit that is ranked last in the NFL in total offense.


Porter's return to the starting lineup is likely -- he has been sidelined with a bad hamstring -- and the Raiders may also have to deal with an angry Casey Hampton.

The Pro Bowl nose tackle has accused the Falcons of playing dirty in Sunday's game. Asked if he had a problem with their chop blocking, he said, "it went way beyond that."

Hampton is questionable for the Raiders game with a bad hamstring, though he said he will play.

Coach Bill Cowher isn't quite as sure, pointing out that Hampton didn't practice Thursday and will be a game-day decision.

Cowher was a lot more encouraged about Porter, who practiced at full speed for a second consecutive day and has been upgraded to probable for Sunday's 4:15 p.m. game.

His teammates are also encouraged by the likelihood of his return.

"We miss him a lot," safety Troy Polamalu said. "He's our leader."

Porter said he tried to be one as much as possible while going through the first hamstring problem of his career.

"There's only so much you can do on the sidelines," Porter said. "There's a certain edge I bring when I'm out there."

That edge, that attitude, makes him as valuable to the Steelers as his pass-rushing skills.

And maybe some of both were missed in last week's game as Atlanta hung 41 points on a proud defense.

"Right now we're playing in spurts," said Porter, who has two sacks and in interception in four games. "Bottom line, there are no excuses."

The thing that has to perplex Cowher is how schizophrenic the Steelers have been on both sides of the ball.

A defense that has looked dominant at times has also been dreadful at certain junctures, particularly when the opponent has gotten the ball inside the Steelers' 30-yard line.

Meanwhile, the offense has had stretches where it has moved the ball at will. But it has also stopped itself and put the defense in a bad position with turnovers.

"At some point in the game you have to complement each other with a big stop or a big drive and be able to respond in critical times," Cowher said. "When the defense is not doing well the offense has to pick them up."

And vice versa, as Porter has vowed the defense will do.

"Right now it's about us," Porter said. "We're going to make teams play to our level."
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Old 10-27-2006, 08:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Porter locks in on return

im glad our defense has been down without him. he is a big part of the team and his absenses hopefully showed everyone that he should be resigned.
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Old 10-27-2006, 08:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: Porter locks in on return

I'm glad Peezy will be back...the D needs that "edge" back

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Old 10-27-2006, 08:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Porter locks in on return

The Cards have their "Edge" and now we have our EDGE back! Peezy does bring a lot to the table, not only with his aggressive style of play, but his leadership skills on and off the field - something the Steelers as a team could really use right now. Welcome back Joey!
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Old 10-27-2006, 08:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Porter locks in on return

Forget bringing the house...bring the PAIN! At least with the Raiders already having Black in their uniforms, they won't be able to tell much of a difference once the Defense adds the blue!
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Old 10-27-2006, 08:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Porter locks in on return

Porter should get the defense fired up this week. I'm glad he can return
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Porter locks in on return

19ward86.. so you are Glad that our Defense was Down without Porter? Are you kiddin' me? why if your a real steelers fan would you say that? I for one am glad to see Joey back and maybe he can bring that toughness back that our D has been lacking the last few weeks.
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