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Old 01-02-2007, 07:46 AM   #1
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Default Porter angling to stay with Steelers

Porter angling to stay with Steelers

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Bill Cowher and outside linebacker Joey Porter are closer than your typical coach and player.

When Porter addressed the possibility of holding out prior to the season because he wanted to renegotiate his contract, Cowher begged him to report to training camp because he needed his fiery leadership.

Against his better wishes, Porter complied because of his tremendous respect for Cowher.

In the opener against Miami, Porter kissed Cowher on the sideline after returning an interception for a touchdown.

Following Sunday's 23-17 overtime win over Cincinnati, Porter put his relationship with Cowher to the test when he asked Cowher in the locker room if he was leaving.

Even if Cowher leaves after 15 seasons, Porter, 29, insists he wants to finish his career with the team that drafted him. He said it's wrong to assume he doesn't want to remain with the Steelers if Cowher isn't around.

"No matter who the coach is, I play for the Steelers. I'm the type of player I want to start what I finish," Porter said immediately after the game. "I started here, I want to finish here. Give me the opportunity to be a lifelong Steeler."

Following Monday's exit interview with Cowher, Porter re-emphasized his loyalty to the Steelers. He said he doesn't know whether Cowher is coming back, but that Cowher's decision won't impact what he does.

Porter feels like he's done his part. His sack total dipped from 10 1/2 a year ago, when he led all NFL linebackers, to seven, which led the Steelers during a season in which they missed the playoffs after winning Super Bowl XL.

Porter recorded two more tackles this season (63-61) and continued his role as the team's emotional leader.

"At the end of the day, it's going to be up to the organization. I'm here," said Porter, who ranks fourth on the Steelers' all-time list with 60 career sacks. "At the beginning of the season, everyone wants to know, 'Oh, why does he have such a bad attitude?'

"I've never had an attitude toward the Steelers. This is home for me. I knew how it was going to be when I got back, I was going to resume my position as a leader and try to win football games."

Said safety Ryan Clark: "Joey's going to run the team. We're fine with that. He has muscles."

But if Cowher leaves, will the new coach want Porter to assume the same role he had under Cowher? And, if the new coach goes in a different direction, will Porter's role be diminished?

Also, coming off an 8-8 season, will the fiscally conservative Steelers be willing to pay Porter more than $6.1 million in 2007 in the final year of his contract -- making him one of the team's highest-paid players -- or will he be asked to renegotiate his contract, or even be forced to take a pay cut if he wants to remain with the Steelers?

"It is a business, and just like everybody else I've got to make the right business move for my family," Porter said. "It's something that comes with the business, and if you have an opportunity which I feel like you should have, what's the difference of making me wait another year? If I mean that much to you, like I think I should, go ahead and take care of me, make it happen."

Porter's contract situation could develop into one of the biggest stories in the offseason.

Offensive tackle Max Starks, a restricted free agent, is the only player whom the Steelers have to tender an offer or risk losing without receiving compensation.

Remember, the Steelers aren't obligated to address Porter's contract until after next season. Unless redoing Porter's deal is beneficial to everyone.

After speaking with Cowher yesterday, Porter compared his contract situation with that of his coach. Porter didn't say whether he discussed his contract with Cowher.

"That's like coach Cowher's decision," Porter said. "I can't give you that answer right now. I don't know when, but that time will come. Until it comes, my address isn't going to change. I'm going to be where I'm supposed to be. I'm not going nowhere."

Given what happened last year prior to training camp -- especially if Cowher doesn't return for a 16th season with Porter as his team leader -- Porter's uncertain contract future with the Steelers could test his loyalty and management's patience.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_486627.html
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Old 01-02-2007, 07:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Porter angling to stay with Steelers

I like Porter but his stats are down and it just seemed like at times we were not getting any pressure on QB's like we used to. Our OLB's are got to get there and they werent at the end of the year. Especially against the Ravens it seemed like McNair had all day every time he went back to pass. With our secondary we must have a lot of pressure on the QB to have success...
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Porter angling to stay with Steelers

Signing Troy to a new deal is the future for the defense - Porter is the past; if Porter does not take a significant pay cut (which he probably will not), look for him to be gone, with a high LB/college DE draft pick & Harrison at OLB next fall to follow.

Of course everything is going to be delayed with a new HC, especially if a hire is made from outside the organization.
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Porter angling to stay with Steelers

I think its a clever play by Porter to make such an issue of his desire to remain a Steeler - it makes him look like he made every effort to stay.

Quote:
"I started here, I want to finish here. Give me the opportunity to be a lifelong Steeler."
Im sure Pittsburgh has a valuation in mind when it comes to Joey Porter and they wont stray too far from that.

As i've said before if your OLB's are struggling to get to the QB in a 3-4 then you need to look closer at the d-line - thats where the blockers gets tied up...or not as the case may be.

Look at Ray Lewis's improved year for evidence of that.

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Old 01-02-2007, 03:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Porter angling to stay with Steelers

I'm sure they'll give him the opportunity...the question for Joey P. is, "Will you take the opportunity that is presented to you?"
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Porter angling to stay with Steelers

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Originally Posted by stlrtruck View Post
I'm sure they'll give him the opportunity...the question for Joey P. is, "Will you take the opportunity that is presented to you?"
Well, I hope he stays, but either way I think we are going to draft his eventual replacement in the draft this year. As for the above, I agree. I think the organizatino will give him a good offer, but the question is is he going to think of it as a good offer? Or is he going to get all egotistic and go somewhere else. Now, I have said before that I think Joey is alright, but I do think he can lose it at times, so you never really know.

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Old 01-02-2007, 07:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Porter angling to stay with Steelers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livinginthe past View Post
I think its a clever play by Porter to make such an issue of his desire to remain a Steeler - it makes him look like he made every effort to stay.



Im sure Pittsburgh has a valuation in mind when it comes to Joey Porter and they wont stray too far from that.

As i've said before if your OLB's are struggling to get to the QB in a 3-4 then you need to look closer at the d-line - thats where the blockers gets tied up...or not as the case may be.

Look at Ray Lewis's improved year for evidence of that.

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The Steelers are almost constantly a top 5 run defense, 3rd overall this year. Casey and Smith are simply awesome, some of the NFL's best in a 3-4. Keisel can hold his own, although one could make an argument there. He's more speed then run stop but he's learning and doing a decent job, 5.5 sacks isn't to shabby either.

If the linebackers aren't getting to the QB it wouldn't be because of our front, especially with the current personnel.

We'll see if Porter will play for another coach, I feel he might not be a Steeler next year. Players/Coaches talk out of both sides of their mouthes. You never know what will actually happen until it happens.

Also, Lewis' system was switch back to a pure 3-4, that's why he's been better lately. When he was forced to play a 4-3 he was nearly nonexistent. Rex Ryan did a better job in his 2nd year as DC in playing to the players strengths.

Last edited by 4n2t0; 01-02-2007 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Porter angling to stay with Steelers

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Originally Posted by 4n2t0 View Post
The Steelers are almost constantly a top 5 run defense, 3rd overall this year. Casey and Smith are simply awesome, some of the NFL's best in a 3-4. Keisel can hold his own, although one could make an argument there. He's more speed then run stop but he's learning and doing a decent job, 5.5 sacks isn't to shabby either.

If the linebackers aren't getting to the QB it wouldn't be because of our front, especially with the current personnel.

We'll see if Porter will play for another coach, I feel he might not be a Steeler next year. Players/Coaches talk out of both sides of their mouthes. You never know what will actually happen until it happens.

Also, Lewis' system was switch back to a pure 3-4, that's why he's been better lately. When he was forced to play a 4-3 he was nearly nonexistent. Rex Ryan did a better job in his 2nd year as DC in playing to the players strengths.
I disagree, I don't like our "STARTING" defensive lineman at all. They produce very little pressure on the QB and make few tackles on the RB. I know, I've heard it a million times, "Their job is to occupy blockers". Well hell, I could occupy a damn blocker.

All I know is that when Chris Hoke gets one of his "FEW OPPORTUNITIES" to relieve one of the starters, he typically blows up his blocker, rather than occupying him, and is consistently seen disrupting things in the backfield. Now that's a fact as I see it.
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: Porter angling to stay with Steelers

If the idea of a 34 was to have the Dlineman rushing, we wouldnt have the guys we have. The Dlineman are there to maintain their spots to stop the inside run (which they do better than most) and to occupy MORE THAN ONE BLOCKER (3 Dlineman to 5 Olineman!). It is the job of the Linebackers to get pressure on the QB. Unfortunately since I live in Denver I was not able to watch enough games to see what the pressure breakdown was.
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Porter angling to stay with Steelers

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I disagree, I don't like our "STARTING" defensive lineman at all. They produce very little pressure on the QB and make few tackles on the RB. I know, I've heard it a million times, "Their job is to occupy blockers". Well hell, I could occupy a damn blocker.

All I know is that when Chris Hoke gets one of his "FEW OPPORTUNITIES" to relieve one of the starters, he typically blows up his blocker, rather than occupying him, and is consistently seen disrupting things in the backfield. Now that's a fact as I see it.
Fair enough, then let's compare against all other teams in the NFL that play a pure 3-4.

Pittsburgh - 10 sacks from lineman.
Chargers - 10.5 sacks from lineman.
Patriots - 12.5 sacks from lineman.
Cleveland - 5.5 sacks from lineman.
Baltimore - 17.5 sacks from lineman.
Dallas - 2 sacks from lineman.

With the exception of the Ravens the Steelers are right in the mix. So I disagree with your disagreement. lol.
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