The Pittsburgh Steelers are bringing Joey Porter back, this time as a coach. Porter has been hired as a Defensive Assistant Coach and is expected to work with the Outside Linebackers. It’s a position of uncertainty moving forward with LaMarr Woodley on the downside of his career and Jason Worilds set to cash in as a free agent whether it’s in Pittsburgh or elsewhere. Porter was one of the NFL’s most feared linebackers during the 2000’s and could be a great mentor for 2013 first round pick Jarvis Jones who needs to get stronger and faster this off-season, in addition to playing with more aggression in his game.
“We are excited about having Joey back with the Steelers’ family,” said Head Coach Mike Tomlin in a released statement. “Joey spent a number of years with Pittsburgh as a player, and now he’s back to assist the coaching staff. We look forward to his efforts and contributions.”
Porter played 13 years as a player and this will be his first as a coach. The former outside linebacker was originally drafted by the Steelers in the third round (73rd overall) for the 1999 NFL Draft. Porter started 171-of-188 career games, spending time with Pittsburgh (1999-2006), the Miami Dolphins (2007-09) and the Arizona Cardinals (2010-11). For his career, Porter registered 98 sacks, 721 tackles (552 solo), 25 forced fumbles, 12 interceptions, nine fumble recoveries, three touchdowns and one safety. He recorded 60 sacks as a member of the Steelers, which rank fifth in franchise history.
He was selected to four Pro Bowls (2002, ’04, ’05, ’08), named All-Pro four times and was a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000’s. When he registered his 70th career sack during the 2008 season, he became the first NFL player with 10 career interceptions and 70 career sacks. Porter was the only NFL player to have registered at least five sacks in each season between 2000-10. During that time he recorded at least nine sacks six times.
Porter was released by the Steelers following the 2006 season and never played under Mike Tomlin as a Steeler. Porter signed a big contract with the Miami Dolphins and had two very productive years there, recording a career high 17.5 sacks in 2008 and 9 sacks in 2009.