Opponent Opinions

Joey Porter's homecoming to Pittsburgh is one of the main attractions of Monday night's game between the Dolphins and Steelers at Heinz Field. It was one of the topics Steelers linebacker Larry Foote addressed in a conference call with South Florida reporters this week.

On Porter coming back to Heinz Field: "I'm expecting him to be fired up. I know he wishes the circumstances were a little different with their record. Joey was one of the best teammates I ever had. He was the true leader. He definitely made our team go. He was a big part of our Super Bowl year and the years before that. Joey is a special player. He always dominated for us."

On the uncomfortable situation this season for Porter: "I know it's tough for him. I've talked to him a couple of times. He's still getting used to that 4-3 defense. You have a guy who played in a 3-4, outside linebacker. It's kind of hard to put him in a 4-3 and ask him to do the same things. Joey's the ultimate team guy. He always wants to win. I know it's rough on him, coming from a winning team and going 0-10. He always wants to win. He's not selfish at all. He's definitely in hard times right now."

On the real Joey Porter: "The good thing about Joey Porter, he's a Pro Bowl, superstar guy, but he'll be friends with the last guy on the team. It's going to be my first Thanksgiving without going over to his house. It's going to be different for me. He's the ultimate team guy, I'm quite sure they know that already. You go in that locker room, Joey Porter … he doesn't look at people's contracts, or what draft pick you are. He's a real person, easy to hang out with. He kept the glue on the team -- offensive side, defensive side. The team was together because of him."

On Thanksgiving Day at Joey's house: "There would always be at least 10-20 guys at his house. His wife would make a big meal, a lot of guys would always go over there. He always opened his door to everybody on the team -- from guys on the practice squad to everybody on the team. Joey Porter's house on Thanksgiving was always special for us."

On missing him on the locker room or on the field: "Oh yeah, definitely missing him. Just in the locker room, his presence … everybody's always going to miss Joey Porter. He meant so much to this team, just on a personal level, as a friend. On the field, we miss him, just the way he plays, his intensity. But we had a guy that was his backup here who has stepped in and done a great job."

On facing Dolphins rookie quarterback John Beck: "I'm quite sure he's seen the film. He knows our motto. We're going to come after him. He knows that. Monday night, we're going to come after him and he's going to have to adjust on the run."

On trash talking: "Yeah, there's going to be some trash talking. I don't know if Joey's got that much firepower with them being 0-10. But I'm quite sure he's going to come out and do a lot of trash talking. I know he wants to come back and prove he can still play and have a great game at Heinz Field."

On the best thing Porter ever said to an opponent: "Man, he's said so much. He talks about people's grandmothers, mothers -- he takes it real personal. Joey's fired up on Sundays. He'll say anything. Don't be a guy that has something happen in the news, or get in some domestic violence, because he's going to tell you about it all during the game."

On Porter's own legal problems and whether anybody is going to talk about that: "Oh yeah, I'm quite sure Cincinnati will. Levi Jones will say something to him. But Joey Porter was on the winning side. ... Oh yeah, we're going to talk trash to him. We're going to make fun of him."

On the Steelers' decision not to bring Porter back: "Everybody was hurt by it. He's the ultimate team guy. He was close with a lot of people on the team, so it was sad. People around the building were sad, because Joey Porter had that presence. But we know this is a business."


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