Tag Archives: James Farrior

Developing the Talent: Outside Linebackers Coach Joey Porter

As I typed the title for this article I felt a great sense of anticipation. Some articles are easy to write, some are difficult. Some are slow going, but gratifying, but I have a feeling this one is going to be just plain fun. There’s something about Coach Porter that just makes me smile.

Because Joey Porter was already gone from Pittsburgh before I became a Steelers fan, I missed seeing him play. But you don’t have to have seen him play to have heard the stories. The King of Trash Talk—the baddest, most brash player around. His reputation precedes him, as a larger-than-life member of the Steelers revival, I suppose you might call it—when the Steelers finally took home a Lombardi after a 26-year hiatus.

But there is much more to Coach Porter than meets the eye, or ear.

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Meet the New Steeler: LB Steven Johnson


via Steelers.com

Perhaps a more appropriate title for this post would have been “A Football Life in the Slow Lane.” Nothing has been easy for Pennsylvania native Steven Johnson, except perhaps his decision to sign a one-year contract with the Steelers in March.

Johnson has played football for essentially his whole life. He was never the strongest or the fastest or the most obviously gifted player. But all he wanted was an opportunity. And opportunities have seemingly been few and far between.

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My Two Cents: Adios, amigo!

imageNo matter who you are, how great your career, one day, the Turk will come for you. If you are unfamiliar with the Turk, he is football’s version of the Grim Reaper. One of the toughest things for fans to accept is when a long time Steeler favorite reaches the end of the road. Unless you retire on your own terms, à la Heath Miller, the Turk will come.

The player is often not the decision maker of when his time is up. Occasionally, the Steelers have engineered a peaceful end to the career of an iconic player. More often the “retirements” involve some measure of resistance and/or hard feelings. Rarely, do players perceive that the end is near.  With most highly competitive athletes, there’s always a rock solid belief that there is one more good season.

Often, the great ones can still play, but not at the level which justifies their compensation and its effect on the team’s salary cap.

Therefore, placid dignified retirements are rare. Heath’s departure was classy and low key. Ike Taylor’s farewell lacked drama too, though surely he saw the Turk approaching. The Bus had a fairytale ending.  He was fortunate; life rarely cedes a happily ever after.

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A Blast from the Past: RIP 2011 Steelers

Matthew Emmons, USA Today Sports

Hombre’s epitaph was short and to the point:

As disappointing as the Pittsburgh Steelers playoff loss was, I concur with Dale Lolley that Pittsburgh’s latest loss on the road against the Broncos Mile High represents a microcosm of the Steelers 2011 season. Pittsburgh had all of the elements of greatness, but just couldn’t muster them at the right time.

So be it.

Both of the linked articles are good reads, if a bit depressing.

Hombre continued:

The Steelers face a lot of tough decisions in the off season, and there’s no better way to get the debate surrounding those decisions started than with the 2011 season’s final Five Burning Questions “Down But Not Defeated” Edition.

This question was interesting, since we know the end of the story: Read more

Runs Like a Deer, Hits Like a Truck — Steelers Middle Linebackers.

In this edition of The Steeler Way – the Good Guys, we shift gears again slightly. While I’ve focused on the character aspect of the Steeler Way, great play on the field is the basic component of our tradition. Middle linebacker has rock solid pedigree in the modern era.

Pittsburgh has employed a long line of excellent middle linebackers since rookie Jack Lambert first stepped on the field in 1974. In 1982, the Steelers went to a 3-4 defensive scheme. It was Joe Greene’s last season and he was no longer a full time player. Jack served as a bridge from the great 4-3 team to the “new” 3-4 alignment. I contend, despite a the excellence of his successors, it took two guys to replace Lambert. As a consequence, Jack will get his own article in this series.

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