Tag Archives: Joey Porter

5 Smoldering Questions: Post-Dolphins Pre-Chiefs


Via Steelers.com

By Hombre de Acero

The Pittsburgh Steelers opened the 2016 playoffs with a Wild Card win as the Killer Bees stung the Miami Dolphins to the tune of 30 to 12. The AFC divisional round will bring the Steelers to Arrowhead Stadium, where the Steelers hold a 10-7 edge but are 0-1 in the playoffs.

But before we can get to that, this corner of Steelers Nation must wrestle with these 5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers.

1. By his own admission, Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play as well as he should have after the Steelers took the lead. My friend and sometimes Spanish language Steelers scribe Gustavo Vallegos, aka El Dr. de Acero, suggested that perhaps the fact that Le’Veon Bell was getting so many carries kept Ben from getting into a rhythm. 

Do you see any validity to this suggestion? If so is it a problem or a good problem to have?

2. Le’Veon Bell broke the Steelers single game playoff rushing record against Miami. Consider that for a second – in his very first playoff game, Le’Veon Bell outperformed the best efforts of Willie Parker, Jerome Bettis, Franco Harris or Rocky Bleier’s collective 58 playoff games.

What does that say about number 26?

3. News reports of Joey Porter’s arrest have typically come with a laundry list of off the field incidents, ranging from his getting shot outside a night club, to his bouncing a check, charges being dropped for a somewhat similar incident a few years ago. ESPN even cited his being on the field last year in the Cincinnati game.

However, the arresting officer Paul Abel also has a “checkered past” as well. Pittsburgh City Paper reporter Charlie Deitch pointed out that most of the coverage of the incident cited Porter’s previous history, but not Abel’s, and suggested they should.

Where do you come down?

4. Everyone remembers the 1993 Steelers loss at Arrowhead Stadium for Bill Cowher blowing up at Mark Royals for a blocked punt that wasn’t his fault and for that special teams disaster for opening the door to yet another Joe Montana comeback. 

Fair enough.

But that was also the last Pittsburgh Steelers game to field a defensive line that wasn’t coached by Johnny Mitchell. What do you think this 23=year tenure says about both Mitchell and the organization, and what do you think Mitchell’s greatest contribution to the franchise has been?

5. Speaking of special teams disasters, the Steelers special teams have had more than their share of hiccups in the last month and Mike Tomlin didn’t pull any punches when asked about it at his press conference.

 Do you think that there is something that can be done about the situation, or will this just need to be something the Steelers have to try to compensate for on offense and defense?

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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Evaluating the Steelers’ 2016 Draft Picks: Travis Feeney

feeneyOf the Steelers’ six picks in the 2016 draft, Feeney is the only player other than 7th round WR DeMarcus Ayers who I didn’t profile prior to the draft, or at least consider profiling. I can tell you this, though—had I seen this photo a few weeks ago he definitely would have been on the short list for Momma’s Mock Draft.

As I know almost nothing about him, we’ll start this journey together.

Not surprisingly, the “Ryan Shazier to safety” crowd have already started moving him around the field, as this episode of Asked and Answered testifies:

Q: I’ve noticed with the drafting of Travis Feeney, all the talk is about special teams and pass rush. Given that he has good speed and size and converted from safety to linebacker in college, how come there is no mention of using him as a possible dime back in sub-package? He could be used in the manner some teams are going, like the Cardinals do with Deone Bucannon.

A: Excellent. No sense waiting until these rookies even walk into the locker room at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex for the first time before switching their positions.

In case you can’t tell, Bob Labriola absolutely HATES “why don’t the Steelers move Player X to Position Y” questions. It’s a good thing the questioner didn’t know that Feeney was picked by the Oakland A’s in the 2011 MLB draft (but declined to sign) because then he could have really  gotten creative. Read more

Player Focus: Jarvis Jones

via Observer-Reporter/AP photo

Back in June of 2013 I wrote an article about the Steelers’ first-round draft pick. It was, naturally, primarily speculation, as is most anything we write about draft picks. The sad truth is, no matter how amazing a guy was in college and how many awesome “measurables” they have, figuring out how well they will do in the NFL is anybody’s guess.

This is why the draft gurus have to reassess their assessments, as Mel Kiper did recently when he regraded the 2015 draft class. In case you’re wondering, he downgraded the Steelers class from A- to B-, mainly because Senquez Golson was injured and Sammie Coates didn’t play much at all.

Which drives me nuts. By this time everybody and their grandmother knows why the Steelers picked Coates, and he is looking like a perfectly lovely insurance policy who will contribute as a player in the near future. How can you downgrade the pick of a player who got injured? If nothing else issue an “incomplete.”

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Homer’s Report Card for the Steelers Divisional Round Playoff Game

Ben_Roethlisberger_2015by Homer J.

It is with a heavy heart that I give you the following. I will have more to say tomorrow, but for now I’m going to post this and go watch Downton Abbey. As usual I will give you a smattering of Homer’s game notes and his report card.

And I want to second Homer’s comment—I am so proud of this team. Has any team ever gone into a playoff game missing both their starting (or even backup starting) running back and their best wide receiver, with their quarterback hurt, and made a game of it? The Steelers did. This was a game they very plausibly could have won, against the top defense in the league. It’s hard to accept that they lost, but also difficult to do anything but admire them for the way they did it.

Madjack58 put it best….the only thing fully functioning on this team is heart and guts.

The question in our hearts is whether it’s time for the clock to strike midnight, or whether heart and guts and magic dust will keep it all going.

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On Second Thought: Broncos vs Steelers Merry Christmas from the Steelers

via Steelers.com

by Ivan Cole

During the years when the team is in the playoff hunt, games in and around the Christmas holiday can have a special resonance, the first and best example being the Immaculate Reception game which took place two days before Christmas. Elimination or irrelevancy can put a pretty gloomy pall over what is supposed to be a festive time. For 2015, the Steelers have us beginning Christmas week with a Victory Monday, not a small thing for Steelers Nation.

A flawed team
Following at least one of the points I made in my piece on approaching the finish line, despite the impressive victory plenty of the team’s flaws, particularly defensive, were on display, causing Homer J. to comment that this group probably won’t go far in the playoffs. Homer can be depressingly accurate when he’s being pessimistic, but the larger point has been missed. Unlike a day ago, if the season ends now the Steelers go to the playoffs. Read more

Battle of the AFC North: Assessing the 2013 1st Round Draft Picks

via Post-Gazette, Matt Freed photo

by Rebecca Rollett

Back in 2013 I did a series of articles comparing that year’s draft picks by the AFC North teams. The idea was to compare their college stats and decide who made the best picks. Naturally I was hoping the Steelers would win the competition, but I tried to be fairly objective.

As I was well aware at the time, it is impossible to assess a draft pick, college stats or no, for at least several years after the draft. Some even say it takes longer than that. You may have a player who impresses immediately but has a career-ending injury partway into his rookie year. You have the late-bloomers, who in fact may never make a huge impact for the team who drafted them, especially in these days of short rookie deals.

But isn’t that what this time of year is all about? It’s still about potential and promise. Our hopes haven’t yet been confirmed, or crushed, by the actual product on the field. So I thought it might be fun to revisit those picks and see how they have fared.

The Picks and the Pundits: Read more