Even though Joey Porter now plays for the enemy, the Steelers are looking forward to facing their former teammate.
Porter, an outside linebacker, has started 13 of the Dolphins’ 15 games this year (he missed two with minor injuries). He’s 32 years old now and obviously in the twilight of his career, but still leads Miami with eight sacks. In 2008, Porter had a career year with 17.5 sacks.
“It will be good to see Joey again,” wide receiver Hines Ward said. “As you know from when he played for us, he’s one of the best trash talkers in the league. I’m sure he’ll be trash talking again Sunday, but I don’t think he’ll be trash talking any of our veterans that he played with. He’ll probably trash talk with our younger guys.”
Porter, who played for the Steelers from 1999-2006, signed with Miami as an unrestricted free agent in March of ’07. He’s faced his teammates once, that coming on Nov. 26, 2007 when the Steelers edged the Dolphins, 3-0 at Heinz Field, amid a monsoon-like thunderstorm.
“I played against Joey before, but I really haven’t experienced him trash talking,” said Steelers left tackle Max Starks, who’ll line up opposite Porter at times Sunday. “I know what a good trash talker he is because I’ve been a teammate of his. But I don’t think he’s going to disrespect us.”
Grisham looking for more touches
*** With Hines Ward questionable with his hamstring injury, Tyler Grisham hopes to get more touches this week.
An undrafted rookie out of Clemson, Grisham had been on the Steelers’ practice squad for most of the season. But for the Dec. 10 game in Cleveland, Grisham was promoted to the 53-man active roster because Ward was hobbling that week at practice.
In last week’s win over Baltimore, Grisham experienced an exhilarating high and an embarrassing low.
He hauled in a 14-yard pass on third down that helped set up a Jeff Reed field goal, which ultimately proved to be the game-winning points. But a few snaps later, he dropped a pass that would have given the Steelers another first down in the red zone.
“As a receiver, you think more about the drop because you are not supposed to do that” Grisham said. “I was trying to get up the field, but you have to catch the ball first. That’s one of the first things you’re taught when you’re little. Catch it before you run.
“That catch was big for me. It’s my first one as a pro. My family was there to see it. My first catch ever in the NFL was pretty amazing.”
Grisham said he will definitely be in uniform this week.
Meanwhile, veteran wide receiver Joey Galloway, signed last week with Limas Sweed was placed on the season-ending non-football illness reserve list, isn’t sure if he’ll “get a hat” as coach Mike Tomlin likes to say.
Last week, Galloway was one of the eight game-day inactives.
Tank Johnson responds to Woodley’s comments
LaMarr Woodley claimed on Wednesday that the Cincinnati Bengals will “lay down” on Sunday so the Pittsburgh Steelers can’t get into the playoffs.
On Thursday Tank Johnson fired back at Woodley. “I can tell you this, we didn’t lay down against the Steelers,” Johnson said. “I think LaMarr Woodley should worry about what concerns LaMarr Woodley and the Steelers and not worry about this great franchise in the Bengals.”…..The Bengals were 2-0 against Pittsburgh this season.
Meanwhile, believe it or not but the buzz around the league is that the Indianapolis Colts pulled their starters last Sunday against the Jets because they don’t want the Steelers getting into the playoffs.
The decision to pull their starters came from Bill Polian and there are many league insiders who in fact believe the Steelers went into the Colts thinking.