By Dale Lolley
Posted Mar 16, 2007
Sports Illustrated's Michael Silver was right about the Mike Tomlin hiring but he's wrong about the Steelers' decision to release Joey Porter.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Michael Silver the Pittsburgh Steelers will regret allowing linebacker Joey Porter to go.
He even went as far as to compare the Steelers allowing Porter to leave to the San Francisco 49ers allowing Ronnie Lott to leave as a free agent in 1991.
Sorry, I’m not buying the comparison.
In his prime, Joey Porter was a good player capable of sometimes great things. But he’s not that player any longer.
To compare him to a Hall of Fame player such as Lott is, well, ludicrous.
Anybody who saw Porter play the past two seasons on a consistent basis knows that Porter no longer has the explosion that once made him so good.
Was he still an effective player?
Sure, at times, Porter would show flashes of his old self. But more often than not, Porter spent his time being engulfed by opposing blockers who no longer feared him using his once-excellent burst to beat them to the outside.
For that, he was not worth the $5 million the Steelers would have had to pay him in 2007. Nor was he worth the distraction a potential holdout would have caused new head coach Mike Tomlin in his first season with the team.
It's also up for consideration that the apparently straight-laced Tomlin didn't want a guy like the Porter around mucking up his team.
Porter's mouth, after all, got him into more than a little bit of trouble in the past couple of years for saying things he probably shouldn't have.
Silver was the guy who first broke the story that the Steelers were going to hire Tomlin as their next head coach. And despite varying reports in the 24 hours following that report, Silver turned out to be correct.
But in this case, he’s wrong.
Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter