BY CARL KOTALA
Ben Roethlisberger turned and looked to his right.
Joey Porter was moving to the flat as his coverage dictated, but he saw what was coming all the way. The pass was low, lower than Roethlisberger expected it to be, and Porter was right there to snag it.
What followed, after the Miami Dolphins' linebacker was tackled right in front of the Pittsburgh Steelers' bench, was something that would have given a lip reader a headache.
"His mouth was moving so fast, you couldn't really hear what he was saying," Steelers linebacker Larry Foote told reporters. "But he was definitely talking a lot of trash."
Porter's return to the city where he spent his first eight NFL seasons didn't come off completely as the linebacker had hoped.
Despite playing his best game as a Dolphin with eight tackles and the interception, Porter could only watch as Jeff Reed's 24-yard field goal with 17 seconds remaining gave the Steelers a 3-0 win over Miami in the lowest scoring game in the 38-year history of "Monday Night Football."
The Heinz Field crowd booed Porter Monday night, though the decibel level was nothing near what Terrell Owens gets when he returns to Philadelphia, or when Barry Bonds appears anywhere other than San Francisco.
"That's what you're supposed to do," Porter said of the booing. "I am on the opposite team. That's everything I expected. I didn't expect nothing different."
Pittsburgh players, who greeted their former teammate when he came out for pregame warm-ups, had a special reception planned for Porter, too.
Foote, a good friend of Porter's, imitated the linebacker's trademark post-tackle kick several times during the game, including following Miami's first play when he stuffed Dolphins running back Jesse Chatman.
Porter, who could be seen watching the replay on the stadium JumboTron, appeared to have a sly smile on his face.
"It was expected," the Dolphins linebacker said. "It was something he told me he was going to do the night before. That's just having fun with football. I love having fun on the football field."
Soggy conditions made it tough for anyone to truly have fun out there Monday night. But Porter didn't seem upset with the decision to resod the field following Saturday's game between USF and the University of Pittsburgh.
The result left the field with patches of brown where grass was supposed to be. And it made getting traction nearly impossible.
Miami played on a wet, chewed up field at Wembley Stadium last month, but Porter said the conditions at Heinz Field were worse.
"Yeah, no question," he said. "It was like playing a game on the beach. We were stuck in the mud every step."
While Porter didn't get the win, he did get to have some fun. He did his own version -- the original version -- of the celebratory kick. And he did get to mouth off at the Steelers bench following his interception.
Even if no one knew what the heck he was saying.
"Aw, I wasn't really talking," Porter said. "I was just screaming, just laughing, just trying to have some fun with it."
At one point, it looked like he was saying "I know you love me" lol