Monday, February 17, 2014

Aptitude As Well As Attitude Behind Steelers Hire Of Joey Porter

The horrendous field conditions and lightning-filled weather that plagued the game that Monday night in 2007 reminded one a different era in the NFL and looked, amidst the mud and muck, as if it should've been played in black and white. Despite the all-too memorable conditions dominating the story that night, there is one thing I remember, will always remember, more than anything else.

"You know you love me!"

That night, former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey "Peezy" Porter returned home - and picked up right where he left off.

The Steelers opening drive ended with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger being intercepted by Peezy who had been cut by the Steelers in the previous March. His pick came along the Steelers' sideline, and then yelled those famous words at their bench after being tackled.

That epitomizes Peezy and exemplifies why head coach Mike Tomlin brought him in as an assistant linebackers coach as Steelers Digest's Bob Labriola would later point out on Twitter.

"@BobLabriola: Since 1992, the 2 best @Steelers OLBs re: sacking the QB & intercepting passes: Greg Lloyd and Joey Porter. He can help Jarvis and Timmons."

During that time until now, per the criteria set by Labriola, Peezy leads all Steelers outside linebackers with 60 sacks and 10 interceptions. He wasn't just the fire-and-brimstone, sack-the-quarterback menace most remember. He could also cover, and knows how to translate his skill set into a teaching format. Just ask his alma mater, Colorado State.

"Porter’s tutelage, assisting the defensive coaches with the team’s outside pass rushers, produced significant results for the 2013 Rams, who posted their best record since 2002, at 8-6, and earned a victory in the New Mexico Bowl over Washington State. Senior outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett posted 12.0 sacks and set a Mountain West record with 20.5 tackles for loss en route to winning MW Defensive Player of the Year honors." - http://tinyurl.com/lgfc534

As the title of Labriola's article brought out, and referring back to the tweet quoted earlier, 'Jarvis Jones isn't Peezy's only pupil.'

"Joey can bring a certain element of pass rush expertise, and the exciting thing is that Jarvis and him are a very similar stature,” said Steelers GM Kevin Colbert. .... "But Joey wasn’t brought in here just for one player. The expertise he can lend to all of our pass rushers, interior people as well as the outside linebackers, can only help us.” - http://tinyurl.com/mvvqxge

Part of that "element" is something that is missing with the current corps of linebackers. They don't have...let me see, how can I explain this?

Since 1974, the Steelers have always had at least one linebacker who just scared everybody. That one who personified the words from the rap group U.T.F.O. on their 1987 cut "Diss": "I never say excuse me, move out my way, sucker! You use 'Mr.', I use 'Motherfu**er!'"

And that is something this group is lacking. So, sure, he can show them how to beat up half the Cleveland Browns team, but his expertise  benefits in more ways than just that as was a fierce pass rusher and great cover linebacker as touched on before. He could help teach Jones, Spence and even Timmons in those categories.

Jones is more laid back and is, as If It Ain't Steel has described him before, more sleek and sudden than powerful and disruptive. Though Jones says he understands the import of the offseason, Peezy will still provide a real challenge on a daily basis. - espn.go.com/blog/pittsburg…

Spence, as Labriola pointed out, "is a complete unknown." He still has to overcome the peroneal nerve damage that he suffered when he tore ligaments in his knee. If he avoids further damage, as this type of injury can lead to other injury conditions like the inability to even lift the distal are of the foot, he still has to get used to being on a football field after being away for two years.

He is currently working hard at the renowned Bommarito Performance Systems in Miami, Florida. Spence has trained there before and is also from Miami where he played college ball.

According to Michael Coffey, owner of "Coach Coffey" and formerly of Velocity Sports Performance, "Pete Bommarito does a great job with Muscle Activation Technique. I'm sure that will help Spence."

Peezy will definitely be able to help all the linebackers in some way or another. He will be able to light a fire under them and get results.

"You know you love me!"

Yeah, Peezy, we do.