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  1. #1
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Porters departure troubles Steeler players

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_495927.html

    By Scott Brown
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Saturday, March 3, 2007


    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The backdrop at Walt Disney World on Friday offered a stark contrast to the reality rammed home to two of the Steelers' most prominent players a day earlier.
    Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Hines Ward are at a veritable fantasy land this weekend, taking part in the annual "ESPN The Weekend" at Disney's MGM Studios, and both said they understand that football at this level is a business as much as it is a game.

    But each also said that realization didn't make the loss of outside linebacker Joey Porter, who was released Thursday because of financial considerations, any easier.

    "I got better playing against Joey Porter," Roethlisberger said yesterday. "Just everything that he brought made me a better player."





    "I think (the Steelers cutting Porter) just shocked everybody, regardless of the situation," Ward said. "Joey's always been the catalyst of our defense, the focal point of our defense. There's no question losing a Joey Porter hurts our team defensively."

    His release is another change in an offseason that has been full of them for the Steelers.

    Bill Cowher, who had been the Steelers head coach since 1992, resigned in January, and no one is sure what shape the Steelers will take under Mike Tomlin, especially after what happened with Porter.

    "(Alan) Faneca called me, some of the veteran guys, my phone has been blowing up like, 'What the hell are we doing?' " said Ward, a nine-year veteran. "A lot of guys are questioning what's going on, kind of worried about the makeup of this team, where we are actually going to go."

    Ward said he has talked to Tomlin, liked what the new coach had to say and is excited to play for him.

    But Porter's release was, if not unsettling to Ward, at least the equivalent of cold water thrown in the face.

    Ward is one of the highest-paid Steelers, and his salary will count $5.9 million against the salary cap this season.

    "As a veteran guy, you look at (what happened to Porter) and you worry a little bit because you lay it out on the line to try to do what's best for the team and then you see players get cut," Ward said. "You sit there and say, 'Uh oh. Am I next in line?' "

    Ward, whose contract doesn't expire until after the 2009 season, said the Steelers have not approached him about restructuring the deal. But, he acknowledged, after next season the two sides will probably have to do something to make his contract more amenable to the salary cap if he is to stay with the Steelers.

    Porter had one year left on his contract, but it was a foregone conclusion that he wouldn't return to the team unless he and the Steelers worked out a long-term extension.

    Ward and Roethlisberger said his loss goes beyond the numbers Porter posted in sacks, tackles and opponents intimidated.

    While the colorful and sometimes controversial Porter rankled his share of people outside of the Steelers' locker room, he was eminently popular inside of it.

    "Joey was such a great friend, not only a teammate," Ward said. "Not having him around the locker room, he's going to be missed in that sense. I'm sure Joey would have loved to just retire as a Steeler. Players, coaches, we come and go, it's a part of the business, and that's kind of the (bad) part of it."

    Roethlisberger agreed.

    "You lose a guy that's such an emotional leader, a phenomenal football player and a game-changer on defense for us," he said. "What the Rooneys felt was the right decision they made, and it's a business for them as well."
    This is exactly what Ive been saying since this started and so have some of you as well. For those that doubt Porters influence on this team and he meant as a locker room and on the field leader and friend, read this article. These players aren't just talking to hear themselves talk otherwise they'd be downplaying this so it doesnt seem as bad.

    This team is in a state of flux and these players don't know how to deal with this type of change. They've all seen teammates come and go over the years but the change that we're undergoing now is unlike anything 90 percent of our roster has ever seen. I know we're excited about Tomlin and his ideas and fresh attitude toward coaching and everything but we have to remember that our players are human beings too with feelings and they were all very attached to Joey and respected him as a teammate and friend. In their eyes his play didn't drop off 1 bit contrary to what the media and some of us think. They understand the NFL is business, it's part of the gig when you sign up to play, but still the affects of what's been happening with coaches leaving, players getting released is going to take its toll on this team as the coming months unfold. How they handle it will be key to our success especially early on.

    It's going to take longer than you might think for this team to adjust, partly because they are all scattered and not in Pittsburgh and most have them have barely talked to Tomlin at this point so there's alot of unanswered questions among the players that need to be resolved. I hope they are able to move forward as a unit and compete and play well and grasp the new scheme and ideas that Tomlin has but don't be surprised if we do struggle atleast some early on.
    Last edited by BlitzburghRockCity; 03-03-2007 at 05:22 PM.

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    Top 30 Friday133's Avatar
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    Meh. this is just their emotions talking right now. Wait until they get in mini camp in May and then training camp in July. This team will find an identity and be just fine. There is just way too much of a deal being made of Porter leaving IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Friday133 View Post
    Meh. this is just their emotions talking right now. Wait until they get in mini camp in May and then training camp in July. This team will find an identity and be just fine. There is just way too much of a deal being made of Porter leaving IMO.
    Last I checked, football is an emotional game. This team has no identity at the moment. I have my doubts that this team will find an indentity by the time the reg. season rolls around. When we got rid of guys like Lloyd and Woodson, we had people who could step up and take their place, this is not the case with Porter. He can still go above and dbeyond what is expected of him. I really hope he doesn't get picked up by the bungles, b/c he is going to make up pay if he does.

    I stand by my previous statement that this is a terrible move. It's all about letting the team know who is in charge, and the outcome is going to hurt the fans. Tomlin is trying to show who the boss is, and I think the team is going to resent him for it.

    He better show me something in this draft.

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    TampaSteelGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stillers#1 View Post
    Last I checked, football is an emotional game. This team has no identity at the moment. I have my doubts that this team will find an indentity by the time the reg. season rolls around. When we got rid of guys like Lloyd and Woodson, we had people who could step up and take their place, this is not the case with Porter. He can still go above and dbeyond what is expected of him. I really hope he doesn't get picked up by the bungles, b/c he is going to make up pay if he does.

    I stand by my previous statement that this is a terrible move. It's all about letting the team know who is in charge, and the outcome is going to hurt the fans. Tomlin is trying to show who the boss is, and I think the team is going to resent him for it.

    He better show me something in this draft.
    I agree with you and this entire post 100%!!!!!


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    TampaSteelGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friday133 View Post
    Meh. this is just their emotions talking right now. Wait until they get in mini camp in May and then training camp in July. This team will find an identity and be just fine. There is just way too much of a deal being made of Porter leaving IMO.
    I totally disagree! It is emotional! These guys are like family, we play like family and that's why we are a unique football team. We don't play like the other teams iwith their "There is I in the word Team" football. Each player complements each other and losing Porter is a huge loss to the Steelers. Emotionally and defensively. If you thought last year was bad, wait till this year now. Losing Jerome and now Joey (Strong LEADERS!!), I was so excited about this new coach until this suprising news about Joey now I feel disaapointment somewhat! Our boys are fearing for their positions and in some way it's good but I think its going to do more harm that good and now how are they feeling about their new coach after this?. I'll bet Joey has his best year this year and I'm sorry it's not going to be as a Steeler!!!!
    Last edited by TampaSteelGirl; 03-03-2007 at 07:30 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by TampaSteelGirl View Post
    I totally disagree! It is emotional! These guys are like family, we play like family and that's why we are a unique football team. We don't play like the other teams in their "There is I in the word Team" football. Each player complements each other and losing Porter is a huge loss to the Steelers. Emotionally and defensively. If you thought last year was bad, wait till this year now. Losing Jerome and now Joey, I was so excited about this new coach until this suprising news about Joey, now I feel disaapointment somewhat! Our boys are fearing for their positions and in some way it's good but I think its going to do more harm that good. I'll bet Joey has his best year this year and I'm sorry it's not going to be as a Steeler!!!!
    The thing is are his best years are behind him, I will be shocked if he ever plays another full 16 game season again. He will miss at least a game this year with some kind of injury
    "Racing doesn't teach a lesson. Nor do most racers. Many of them can't even tell you why they're in the cockpit. They don't know. Racing isn't what they do. It's who they are."

    R.I.P. Dan Wheldon

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerDan43 View Post
    The thing is are his best years are behind him, I will be shocked if he ever plays another full 16 game season again. He will miss at least a game this year with some kind of injury
    Oh please!!!! He's in fabulous shape and not injured!! He's only 29 and has many great years ahead of him! Everyone had a crappy year last year, Troy, Hines, Ben, Ike etc...It wasn't just Joey. I"m telling you, whoever picks him up is getting some serious defensive help!!


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    #1 Clown Hater SteelerNation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friday133 View Post
    Meh. this is just their emotions talking right now. Wait until they get in mini camp in May and then training camp in July. This team will find an identity and be just fine. There is just way too much of a deal being made of Porter leaving IMO.
    that right there said it for me!

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    Waterboy
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    I believe someone named Noll was quoted as saying "Franco who?" after the release of the star RB. The Steeler's made the playoffs that year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcurtaindad View Post
    I believe someone named Noll was quoted as saying "Franco who?" after the release of the star RB. The Steeler's made the playoffs that year.
    ...and 26 years later the steelers finally won another superbowl. i agree with stillers#1, i hate the porter move. but then again i hated seeing cowher walk, and i will hate the inevitable faneca, and ward moves. but the simple matter of the fact is the rooneys have decided to go in a different direction.

    ignore the fact that this steelers team won the sb 2 seasons ago. right now the rooneys are looking at getting where the jets or saints are with a new hope and direction.

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