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1. Good riddance
2. How stupid can they get?
3. Unfortunate, but necessary
Here's more of what you had to say:
[Thanks to all for writing!]
"I think this was the best thing for the Steelers. JP is all down hill now. If you remember in SB L JP was manhandled by Walter Jones. He never played big against the big time players. He recorded 7 sacks last season and 6 were against 3 inferior opponents. Peezy was good in his time, but his time ran it's course. I think he'll end up like Jason Gildon, overpaid for the contributions he makes to the team that signs him." -- Mick Malizia, New Castle
"Kevin Greene, Gregg Lloyd, etc. The Steelers know when to cut ties with their players. Name one that they've let go who has gone on to perform as well somewhere else. Granted, Kordell went on to be a punter of the week, but ... I like Porter a lot, although his mouth made more plays last year than he did. And as for the people saying, "we need leadership on the team, and they cut a leader," I'd say this: If he is such a strong leader, why was there NO leadership on the team last year? He was ON THE TEAM when they had no leadership, which maybe suggests that he isn't such a strong leader to begin with." -- Josh Kupetz, Denver
"First I'd like to say that Joey Porter was my Favorite Steeler. When I first saw him in preseason, in 1999, I knew we had someone special. I bought his jersey in 2000, when he became the starter. He had a GREAT career for the Steelers, & I don't want to hear that he was a bad influence, that's crap. He was an emotional player, & that's what made him great. I also think the Steelers should've let him play out the last year of his contract, while grooming a young WLB to take over in 2008. But, I do understand. We needed to save money, & spend it on guy's who are going to be here beyond 2007. As much as I love JP, he wouldn't have been back in 08', so again, I understand it was business. I know JP has some left in the tank, but I hope he doesn't end up in Cleveland or Baltimore or heaven forbid NE. I just want to say Thank You to JP for giving it his all & helping to bring us the Championship in 2005. Who Ride? We Ride!" -- Sal Giglio, Rochester, N.Y.
"I think the Joey Porter decision came down to whether the Steelers wanted to be able to make progress towards signing some of their key free agents next season like Troy and Faneca. If it is any easier, look at who you would rather have long term, Joey or Troy. It makes total sense to me in that regard." -- Mike Dineen, Pittsburgh
"Not only did the team alienate themselves from Steeler fans across the country, the players themselves now need to second guess their careers in the 'Burgh. Good Luck keeping our crop of free agents in 2008 on the team, Mike. The Steelers claim of a business decision, salary cap room, etc. is assuming ignorance on everyone's part. This was nothing more than a power play by the new coach who was afraid of a possible disruption caused by a potential hold out ... too many unknowns to release a player of his caliber, still in the prime of his career." -- John Engel, Haymarket, VA
"This is a bad move; Porter still has a lot left in the tank. The defense as a whole had a bad season last year. His seven sacks still led the team and he missed two games. He could rush the passer, drop into coverage and support the run, this is a STEELER and we've done to him what we did to others. Let him leave and retire some where else. A BAD MOVE!! I sure hope he doesn't end up in Cincinnati where we would have to see him twice a year, saying "Who Ride" on the Steelers. JPeezy will be missed in the Burgh!" -- George Long, Texas
"Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo......" -- Beth LaRotonda, Pittsburgh
"For what it's worth, while money was a factor, I believe the real issue was Joey's attitude and personality. He would not thrive under a coach like Mike Tomlin and Tomlin and the management know that. You will not see Joey on a team coached by Tony Dungy, Lovie Smith, Herm Edwards, Sean Payton or Mike Holgren. Or Mike Tomlin. He needs a coach that doesn't mind his swagger. Maybe like Whiz or Norv Turner.
And I believe that this will be the year that Troy steps up and provides leadership for the defense. And I think Tomlin will be looking to him to step up and take that responsibility." -- Stephen Monserrate, Harrisburg, Pa.
"It's really hard to come down on an ownership that has won 5 Super Bowls, even though it did take a quarter of a century to get that fifth. Just add Porter now to what has become an all-pro caliber team of ex-Steelers over the years. It actually started back with Mike Merriweather and has continued to the present, even with a new stadium in place. Let's see, Rod Woodson was exiled to that all-star ex-Steeler team because of being through. Who is next? Troy Polamalu? He's certainly going to cost." -- Phil Conte, NC
"JP was a great Steeler. He achieved a lot of accolade in a team that doesn't care much for numbers or even franchise players. I believe in as much as it was a financial move to relieve some cap space, it was time to let go of the old attitude that personified Cowher so that we can build a new look under Tomlin. I think Tomlin is a calculating leader and it wouldn't surprise me to see good players like Troy, Casey and Ben becoming even greater players as a result. They are the new generation of this team and must be allowed to take leadership without any distractions from veterans. Never-the-less, JP was a great Steeler and that will remain as such. We still have a player with a similar persona and even greater aggression, Anthony Smith! We won't miss much comedy ..." -- Jonathan Zondo, JHB, Republic of South Africa, Steeler for Life
"Joey Porter will be missed. He was a great player and teammate. I wore his jersey every Sunday. I would have wanted him on the team next year. But this is probably the right move. After his game clinching interception in Week 1 against the Dolphins, I forgot Joey was on the team, barring the occasional reminder. Look at his stats. After Week 1, he only had 3 games where he got a sack, and those were against the Raiders, Browns, and Bucs, all horrible offenses, with bad offensive lines. I don't want the Rooneys to pay him one million dollars per sack!
For those of you saying the Rooneys should have renegotiated contracts...you have no actual idea how the salary cap works. The Steelers obviously see Troy, Ben, Willie, Faneca, Aaron Smith, etc. as where their money needs to go in the next few years. Try this: Make a list of players the Rooneys let go because of money and divide it into "Good Decisions" and "Bad Decisions." You'll see the Good Decisions side is much longer. Not to mention, the Steelers actually did Joey a favor. They could have traded him, where he could have been stuck with the same contract he doesn't like. Now, he has the opportunity to sign a new contract, with a big signing bonus (the most important part)!
For those of you saying this is a horrible decision, that's fine. It's your opinion, and you may end up being right. I think Joey will have a pretty good year this season. But for those of you saying you hope the team he signs with kicks our butt, or that you're going to start rooting for another team now, Go Away. You were never real Steelers fans. Oh, and if you have Steelers season tickets, please sell them on e-Bay. I would really love to have them. Go Steelers!" -- Patrick Fisher Huntsburg, OH
"Ever notice how often (and hoe increasingly often) Porter was getting blocked by RBs and TEs, one on one? For an "Elite" OLB in a 3-4 or a 3rd down pass-rushing specialist like making "big" money (relative to this defense) -- that is just not good enough production. Time to build up another guy that teams need to plan around, that they need to send over an OT with a chip block -- like Porter used to be, like Gildon, Greene, etc. all used to be. You can get that same level of production Porter was offering from Haggans, Harrison, or a rookie, at far less the cost. It was time to move on." -- Patrick Weld, Malden PA
"God Bless Mike Tomlin! The Steelers of Jack Ham and Chuck Noll are back! We don't hoot and holler. We tackle people and walk back to our position for the next play. We don't dance. We don't brag. We don't act like idiots after we do our job. We will play with the class we played with under Noll and we will win Super Bowls. God bless Mike Tomlin!" -- Ficus Freeman Harrisburg, PA
"It is seems like the Steelers are going in another direction with their defensive scheme. Porter will 30 in three weeks and will command a high salary. The will probably draft an end in the up-coming draft and switch their defense. Porter had a toughness like Lambert and Steeler Nation will miss his contribution to the team. It is hard in the era of salary caps to let go players that are an integral part of the team. Porter will be around in the NFL for awhile and hopefully he won't go to the Browns!" -- Michael DeLuca, Ringwood, New Jersey
"I'm so tired of that classless, overrated, play-hard-when-I-want-to big mouth. He would not have lasted a minute with Coach Noll and couldn't hold Jack Ham's jockstrap. Lead by example and not with your mouth ..." -- Erm Buccina, Pittsburgh
"I am in a serious state of confusion right now. Getting rid of Joey is like forcing the Primanti Brothers Restaurants to leave Pittsburgh. He had come to personify Pittsburgh and it's people, tough, loud, in your face and hard working. I don't know if releasing Joey Porter was the right or wrong move (my heart says it was the wrong move), however, I pray to God that this decision works out because if it doesn't, and the defense don't perform to the levels to which it is expected to perform, Mike Tomlin will be run out of town, in an ugly way. Conversely, if it does work out, we'll all be saying that we wished Joey Porter was part of the Steelers success, and Mike Tomlin will look like a genius. Steelers nation, let's all pray for the latter." -- Troy Ballard, Born and raised in Pittsburgh, currently having the unfortunate distinction of being a resident of Harrisburg, PA
"Two Words in response to the cutting of Porter: Paul Posluszny." -- Rob Creely, New Boston, Michigan
"Trying to save money to get under the salary cap", saying Joey Porter "had an off year" last year (which he did, even he admits) are good media bites to try and appease everyone, but I think it goes deeper than that. JP was a Cowher guy, tough, outspoken, and wears his emotions on his sleeve. I'm sure, had he not been dumped, JP would have had more than an earful for Tomlin once JP got fired up on the field. And how classless, how just plain wrong it was, for Tomlin to not even face JP like a man and tell him the news, but to call him over the phone'? What a coward. A force who's meant so much to the Steelers, a verbal leader of the team on and off the field, deserved much better treatment than that. I hope the Arizona Cardinals pick him up, and when the Steelers play them next season, he has a MONSTER day for the coach (one of whom) should've been our coach in the first place. What an embarrassment for the Rooneys." -- David C. Doe, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
"It was a wise move on the part of the Steelers. The last two seasons he has been more prolific with his mouth than with his on field play." -- Mark Fischer
"Steelers Front Office has discovered a new bird within the last few weeks or should I say the front office has mutated into a new bird breed! There's the Blue and Yellow Warblers with their sweet tweet, tweet, tweet calls! The Chickadee with their twerping sounds! The Parrots with their gawking! Now the Rooney Birds are going "Cheap, Cheap, Cheap, Cheap, CHEAP!" First off they hire Mike Tomlin over Russ Grimm! Then they dump Joey Porter! The best defensive player we have! All because of MONEY! Cheap, Cheap, Cheap! Porter! God Bless You and thank for the memories!" -- David Jones of Milford, Pa.
"This was undoubtedly the worst personnel move in Pittsburgh Steelers history.... did Matt Millen phone this one in? Peezy was Black and Gold personified... the absolute emotional leader of the defense -- the LAST person we could afford to get rid of. It would serve the Steelers right if he ends up in our division.... or worse yet, in New England!" -- Samuel J. Gentile, Nashville
"1. Is this Tomlin's means of throwing down the gauntlet early in establishing a new attitude for the Steelers?
Apparently so. The personal fouls probably won't be tolerated anymore under the new regime. Lost in all the emotion over this "business" decision, is that it may be in Joey Porter's best interests to go elsewhere. He's going to get paid a larger signing bonus which is guaranteed money and he'll earn it! In my opinion he's worth $5mil/year but Troy Polamalu is worth $6mil. I love J-Peazy! I have all his jerseys and met him at the Pro Bowl. Big mouth or not, he played to the max. And all the haters obviously weren't paying attention to the fact that he dropped back in coverage more often than blitzed. When he did blitz he brought pressure and/or got the sack. Open your eyes.
2. This is an obvious signal of a shift to the 4-3 -- what do you think of the scheme and how will the current Steelers fit?
If I'm not mistaken, Dick LeBeau coached the 4-3 in Buffalo and the Queen City. If you look at the NFL Films piece on LeBeau from last year, it would appear he created the "Zone-Blitz" to be used out of the 4-3. Mike Tomlin, didn't run a passive Cover2 scheme but blitzed a lot. So get your fingers off the panic button, because they're going to release the dogs... pun intended, sorry midget horses!
3. Do the Steelers look for personnel in free-agency? The draft?
If they won't pay a team leader big money, why pay anyone else. Per SOP, the Steelers will have one free agent, somebody no one has ever heard of, who will contribute in some way a la Cedrick Wilson and Ryan Clark. I think Clark brings more to the team on a consistent basis but with more 3 & 4 receiver sets, Wilson should break out.
I just hope they don't waste draft picks by putting the guys on the practice squad so other teams can raid them. This is going to sound crazy, but I'd put Faneca and Simmons on the trading block to get even more picks. For multiple picks in this year's draft, why not reunite #66 with Russ Grimm? The #6 pick and the 15th sounds good to me, not to mention even more. Not that I have anything against Faneca. If they're cleaning house, clean the whole house, not just the defensive side. Pozlusney, wherever in the draft we can get him.
4. ... Joey Porter was a lightning rod and the emotional leader of the team ... Who fills that vacuum now?
Larry Foote fills the vocal part of things while Troy Polamalu and James Farrior continue to go about there business like the ninjas they are. They may be quiet but they are deadly. If Faneca were to go (hypothetically) Ben would have to step up and be more of a leader. Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith, and Hines Ward all signed big deals to stay with the team for years to come, and they should step up as, well, at least more so than they already do.
5. Do you trust the Rooneys judgment and shrewdness in these situations?
Was it the elder Mr. Rooney or the younger one who made the call? Either way, it's probably what's best for the team and the organization. We have to take the emotion out of it. Drink some beers, shed some tears, say goodbye to a great player, and wish him the best, at least that's what I did. Not school girl with a skinned knee tears, but the kind where something got in your eye and you can't get it out without salt water brimming up in around the lids. When the Steelers win the next 3 Super Bowls to take over from the N.E. Hate-triots, the title of team of the decade, we'll all look back and say Cowher and Peazy weren't worth it to pay them as much as they got. They deserve it but the team and us fans don't deserve it. Besides think how much more expensive tickets to home games would be if we kept both those guys. Look on the bright side, we get to play the NFC west this year so we should win at least 4 games right there." -- Mike Foster, Hawaii
Sports Idiots: 13 reasons we'll miss 55
Deadspin: Joey Porter might take this as disrespect
Joey Porter's Pit Bulls: Ol' 55
Mondesi: Hines is "surprised?"
Honest Wagner: Note to self ...
One For The Other Thumb: Fuzzy moments: Peezy edition
Yinz Luve Steelers: Crying tears of Black & Gold
Carbolic: Porter says bye to front office
Behind the Steel Curtain: It makes sense
First Published March 2, 2007 12:00 am