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Old 08-20-2006, 06:06 AM   #1
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Default Smizik: Angry Porter should alter attitude

Smizik: Angry Porter should alter attitude
Sunday, August 20, 2006

By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Joey Porter is unhappy. He considers himself a premier NFL linebacker who isn't being paid like one. He hasn't said as much, but it's pretty clear he wanted the Steelers to renegotiate his contract and attach a whopping signing bonus to it, something that would befit the man who led NFL linebackers in sacks last season with 101/2.

Porter's has a right to be unhappy. With himself and his agent. Any unhappiness directed toward the Steelers is misguided.

Although Porter's signing of a restructured contract in February 2004 was not a public event, it safely can be assumed no one in the Steelers organization had a loaded pistol pointed at his head. If fact, it comfortably can be presumed that when Porter agreed to this deal he had a wide grin on his face.

And why not?

The deal was restructured so Porter would get most of his salary that season in the form of a signing bonus. That meant instead of having to wait the 17 weeks of the season to get all of his money, he got most of it before training camp.

Not only that but the contract would pay him $3.5 million in 2005, $3.85 million this season and $5 million next season.

That is not a bad situation and one Porter, who returned to the Steelers starting lineup last night in a 17-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at Heinz Field, seemed to have accepted.

"I'm here, I was here when I was supposed to be and I've missed no days,'' he said. Porter, who didn't begin practicing until Aug. 9 after having knee surgery in May, played three series with the first-unit defense last night.

He had been sulking throughout training camp, and for those who didn't know why, it all became clear in an interview he did last week on the NFL Network. He was asked by Marshall Faulk if he was underdpaid.

"Definitely," he answered. "I definitely feel that I have outplayed the contract that I am under. What I bring to the team ... it's not just me out there playing football. Me being the leader I am and the response I get from my team. The whole city of Pittsburgh knows what I bring. Coach [Bill] Cowher knows what I bring."

There's truth to what Porter said. If he were on the open market right now, he probably would command a higher salary that he's making this year and next. If he were on the open market, he would command a fat signing bonus.

But he's not on the open market. He's under contract, a contract he willingly signed. All the pouting and complaining in the world isn't going to change that. It might on some teams, but not on the Steelers, an organization that has been known to renegotiate contract but almost always only when it helps them manage the salary cap.

Porter has accepted that. "They [the Steelers] have their rules. This is closed."

Porter has been around long enough to understand what the situation is. There's no questioning to resolve of the Rooney family in such matters. And that's particularly true when the player in question is a 29-year-old linebacker who is entering his eighth season.

It's his age that probably has Porter on edge. Although he finished the 2005 season on a dominant note and there's reason to believe he can be excellent again this year, there's a good chance Porter has received his final large NFL contract.

The Steelers made a mistake in giving Jason Gildon a new contract at an advanced age. They're not likely to make that mistake again.

In his comments to the NFL Network, Porter boasted about his leadership. That's not an overstatement. He definitely a leader, by word and action, on the Steelers defense. But was demeaning that role with his behavior.

Leaders don't cause distractions. Leaders don't delay in getting necessary medical attention. Leaders don't sulk through training camp.

Porter needs to regain his focus. He needs to return to being the leader he was and forget about his contract.


Almost nothing should be made of NFL exhibition games but the fact is the first-team defense, the unit Porter captains, could barely get off the field against the Vikings. After a three-and-out on their first possession, the Vikings went 76 yards on nine plays for a touchdown and 13 plays for 40 yards for a field goal on their next two.

The Vikings had the ball for 11 minutes, 19 seconds in the first quarter, not something a team might be expected to do against the Steelers.

"It was my first game since last year so I am definitely not where I want to be, but that is what the preseason is for," Porter said. "I have a lot of time to get the game tape and to get my moves ready."

Porter needs to do one more thing: Fully adjust his attitude. Based on the fact he philosophically accepted his situation, he seems to have taken a major step in that direction.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06232/715020-194.stm
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Smizik: Angry Porter should alter attitude

[QUOTE=83-Steelers-43]Smizik: Angry Porter should alter attitude
Sunday, August 20, 2006

By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


[B]Porter needs to do one more thing: Fully adjust his attitude. Based on the fact he philosophically accepted his situation, ..............................






I think that your Porter will do exactly that... adjust his attitude and continue to be a leader and kick a$$ on the field.

My porter, on the other hand, will continue to whine, brood, sulk, and generally act like a spoiled little child... untill Shell makes sure his a$$ is full of splinters from riding the pine.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Smizik: Angry Porter should alter attitude

I love Joey, but I wouldn`t try and get money from the Rooneys, when its not your turn. They have strict rules about when they will renog. on contracts. Joey should remember that he is great, no doubt, but he is a piece of a puzzle. A puzzle that our system dictates. Stay within the system!
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Smizik: Angry Porter should alter attitude

Ward did same thing, Porter was asked a question and he answered it. I dont see what the big deal is. He is playing this year.. If they want to extend him after hte season they will do it next year and he knows that. I am sure most of the players in the NFL, just as if if you were you asked about your job if you should be making more.. i am sure the answer is YES. He hasnt been able to be on field so i think now that he is back on it and not having to watch practice from the sideline... he will be fine.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Smizik: Angry Porter should alter attitude

He made his statements...now it's time to play football...and Peezy will do just that.

The bottom line? He's there...he didnt hold out...he got what he had to say off his chest...and he will step up and perform...I have no doubts.

Could he have handled it better? Certainly. But he could have handled it much worse.

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Old 08-20-2006, 08:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Smizik: Angry Porter should alter attitude

Peezy has a lot of respect for his teammates and especially Dick LeBeau, Bill Cowher and the Rooneys, from some of the articles I've read in the past. He knows what the situation is - he's seen it before with past and present teammates. It isn't like he is being singled out here. I think between Cowher, Hines, Ben and a few of his other close friends on the team, they'll get through to him. Underneath that tough exterior, he is a teamer, I don't doubt that for a moment. I honestly believe that when the season starts, we will see the Joey Porter we all know and love - fierce, intense, aggressive, yap-flappin' hard-hitting Peezy!
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Old 08-20-2006, 08:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Smizik: Angry Porter should alter attitude

I don't know....I could be tainted from living in the same city as Chad Johnson ...but Porter's attitudes don't always thrill me. No doubt a terrific player. My son had an opportunity to buy his jersey for a great price recently and asked my opinion. I told him it was completely his choice but gave him my take. I guess I'm more of a Troy or Hines kind of girl. My boy hasn't decided yet.
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Smizik: Angry Porter should alter attitude

I don't want to question on how the Rooney's do business. I usually totally agree with them. But with all the talk of resigning Ike Taylor. Who really has only had one good year. I know finding really good corners is hard to do. But Joey Porter has proven himself and was huge in bringing the Rooney's their fifth Lombardi Trophey last year. Yes thats a good point that Joey Porter did restructured his deal a few years ago. But thats another point alot of players have restructured their deals to help the Steelers with their salary cap. So why not give Joey a new deal...even if Porter has two years remaining on his contract.

I know that could open a whole new can of worms if the Rooney's do give Porter a new deal. But they have done that in the past for the likes of Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox with two years remaining on their contracts. There has to be some worry about Joey's age and his skills might start declining just like Jason Gildon did when he got a big contract. But I just feel that Joey Porter deserves his deal. The guy always works his ass off and had a big part in the Steelers Super Season last year. The Rooney's should reward a player who has put in the hard work and the years that Joey Porter has put in.
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Smizik: Angry Porter should alter attitude

Everyone loves to point out that Porter led the league in sacks last year but Joey played up on the defensive line last year. He wasn't behind them, he was on the right end. I watched every game last year and I have some of them taped, go back and see for yourself.

Play after play Joey makes a surge against the offensive lineman, gets stopped, then he stands around watching. A running back can go up the middle, get stuffed, then cut to Joey's side and go upfield and Joey refuses to pursue. Usually Polo has to come down and get him.

Porter played great in the Denver game but other than that what can anyone remember him for? Against the Colts? Yeah, but one of those sacks he was completely unblocked, the credit goes to Lebeau for that one.

He seems to be good in pass coverage though because not many passes went to the guy he covers.

But I really think we can stick Harrison in his place and get MORE production. More sacks, more tackles, more assists, and save $5m against our cap.
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Smizik: Angry Porter should alter attitude

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackNGold203
He made his statements...now it's time to play football...and Peezy will do just that.

The bottom line? He's there...he didnt hold out...he got what he had to say off his chest...and he will step up and perform...I have no doubts.

Could he have handled it better? Certainly. But he could have handled it much worse.

Much much much much much much much much much much worse.

I think he handled it perfectly. And Cowher too.

Cowher probably told him "Joey. You may or may not be a Steeler next year. But you are a Steeler this year. You have a chance to win a second Super Bowl. SO! Does it matter who pays you your piece of Fort Knox next year? With TWO rings AND a fat paycheck you should be happy no matter where you play next."

Porter: "Okay Coach"
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