Steelers Porter on Ray Lewis and Ravens

<b>Joey Porter</b><br> <i> Steelers-Ravens are center stage again this week?</i><br> Oh yeah, we're looking forward to it. Coming off a good victory, we're looking forward to getting after these guys this week.

That coin flip last year was interesting last year with you and Ray Lewis.
I thought he took some shots at me. The feeling is mutual. I've got respect for him as a football player, but at the same time I don't know how much his respect level is for me. However he feels about me, the feeling is the same.

Why don't you think he respects you?
Just how it all started. It was something simple. I wasn't even playing that day and he had stuff to say to me. I didn't understand why he was talking to a guy who wasn't even playing. I never lent my focus to a guy who wasn't even playing. There were times when he was sitting on the sidelines with the shoulder injury. I never went over to the sideline. What I was going through, he came over and said stuff to me, I took that as him taking a shot at me. That was last year, though I put that behind me.

Was he making light of a serious situation? You actually got shot.
I don't know where he was going with it. He knows what kind of player I am, especially with football. He comes in hollering about how this was his house and all that. Me being a captain and a leader on this team, he knows I'm going to say something back to him. That's an easy argument. It's like if we went to Baltimore and I walked up to him and said, 'This is my house.' I expect him to say something back to me. He was trying to get me to argue with him and he did.

Did he say anything about you getting shot?
No, he didn't really do that, but at the same time, why are you even arguing with a guy who isn't going to play. That's like me arguing with a guy who's in street clothes. What is that going to do?

What's the coin-flip going to be like on Sunday?
I'm going to call heads or tails. I got it off my chest. I told him what I wanted to tell him. He didn't respond the way I wanted him to respond. If he wants to make something bigger of it this week, I'll be there for that too.

Joey, it's early in the year, but it's a big game. They don't want to go down 0-2. You want to beat Baltimore.
It's Baltimore and Pittsburgh, so the rivalry is going to be there regardless, whether it's me and Ray or just two teams that don't like each other. It's going to happen. They feel like they're better than us. We feel like we're better than them. That shows you how bad they wanted to get that losing streak off their backs (last season). They left their starters in the whole game going into the playoffs. That lets you know how serious they were in that last game. A smart coach doesn't play his players that long in a regular season game that has no meaning. He played them all the way to the end into overtime just to beat us.

Are you saying that Brian (Billick) is not a smart coach?
He's a smart coach, he's the coach of their team. That's what he felt he had to do to get them motivation for the next week. If it was me, I wouldn't have played my guys the whole game into overtime, knowing they had a playoff game the next week.

They have what is universally seen as one of the top defenses in the league, how do you feel your defense is regarded and if you go down there and shut them out do you see this as chance to put a notch in your belt?
A shutout is a shutout. Whenever you can go out there and shut out a team, it's always a notch for your defense. We want to go out there and stop Jamal Lewis first. We're going to go out there and stop the run and try to put some pressure on their quarterback. If everything goes well, I'm looking forward to having a good game.

Are you surprised what Cleveland did to Jamal?
No, not really. They had to after the two big games he had against them. You've got to say enough is enough, especially against that team. I pretty sure they were psyched up because of what Jamal had done, so they put all of their efforts into stopping him. They did what they had to do.

Do you expect Ray to copy your boot?
He already did that. He's doing it now. I guess I got a new fan out there now. That's cool with me.

The Steelers are 6-2 in Baltimore. Ray Lewis said Pittsburgh is his house, is Baltimore's stadium your house?
He knows what the situation is when we come down there. The love is mutual. He probably hates me and it's the same around here. When we go down there, it's business. We don't like them, they don't like us. It's going to be a dogfight.

Do you like playing in these kind of games? Hines (Ward) called it pure hatred.
Pure hated, that's the way you go out there. All shots are dirty so you don't have to feel bad because they're going to be trying to get you if they have opportunities. That's the way I like it. If I knock you down, don't be putting your hand up expecting me to help you up. You're not going to help me and I'm not going to help you. Leave it that way. I'll play my best and you play your best. I know you don't like me and I don't like you.

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