Steelers Notebook: Porter apologizes, but not to Winslow

"I would just like to say it was a poor choice of words ..." -- Joey Porter

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Linebacker Joey Porter apologized yesterday to anyone he might have offended over some crude remarks he made Thursday, except for the target of his comments -- Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow.

"I would just like to say it was a poor choice of words in the comment I made toward Winslow," Porter said. "If I offended anybody, I apologize for that."

Porter twice called Winslow a name considered derogatory when used to describe gay men.

"I guess how we used that word freely, me growing up using it, I didn't think nothing of it like that," Porter said. "Like I said, I apologize to anybody I offended on it.

"I didn't mean to offend nobody but Kellen Winslow. Pretty much, that's it about that."

Porter said he was not worried about possibly hearing from the league regarding his comments, and he does not plan to talk to Winslow about what he said. Porter has appealed a previous $15,000 fine the league levied on him for comments he allegedly made to an official on the field in Oakland Oct. 29.

"Man, once they take it they're not giving it back. You can appeal it all you want to. They take it, so it comes down to your word against theirs and their word is always bigger than ours.

"I appealed it. They said we'll get back at you when we get back at you, so that means they're not going to get back at you."

Porter, who made the cover of Sports Illustrated early this season when the magazine called him the most feared man in the NFL, said he's not surprised at the reaction over his latest comments.

"Not really, because whatever I say is going to go to an extra level anyway. I didn't think nothing big of it when I did it and it's over with. I don't want to keep harping on it and make a story out of nothing."

Pro Bowl picks

The Steelers gathered after practice to cast their votes for the AFC Pro Bowl team. Coaches and players vote this week and the teams will be announced next Tuesday.

Hines Ward, who has made the Pro Bowl four times at wide receiver, believes one Steeler above all deserves to make it -- halfback Willie Parker.

"I'd be real shocked if Willie does not make it because he's having one hell of a year," Ward said.

Parker ranks third in the AFC with 1,199 yards and his 13 touchdowns are two fewer than Louis Lipps' team record of 15 in 1985.

Three running backs from each conference make the Pro Bowl.

Guard Alan Faneca, elected the past five years to the Pro Bowl, and strong safety Troy Polamalu, elected the past two years, lead the fan balloting at their positions. Those two, along with Casey Hampton, Jeff Hartings and Porter, made the Pro Bowl last season.

"We have a lot of [deserving] guys," Ward said. "This year, it's just been weird because it's been banged up so much. We have guys playing at a Pro Bowl level; it's not that they're not Pro Bowlers if they don't get voted to the Pro Bowl."

Ward runs

Ward, who missed the past two games after knee surgery, ran but did not practice yesterday.

"Today was just a confidence booster for me. I'll be ready to practice tomorrow."

The Steelers have an extra practice this week because they usually do not work on Tuesdays. Coach Bill Cowher gave the players four days off after they beat Cleveland, 27-7, Thursday.

Polamalu, Hartings, Mike Logan and Cedrick Wilson also did not practice. Ryan Clark, listed as questionable, did.

Takeaway

The Steelers lost another draft choice when the Browns signed defensive end Orien Harris from their practice squad. Harris was a fourth-round pick this year from Miami. Defensive tackle Scott Paxson, an undrafted rookie from Penn State, replaced him on the practice squad.

Peter Diana, Post-Gazette
The war of words between Kellen Winslow and Joey Porter didn't end on the field Thursday night at Heinz Field.
Click photo for larger image.


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