Q & A with Steelers LB Joey Porter

<b>GVB: </b> Joey, so much has happened for this team. This team is playing really well right now. I was talking with Kimo von Oelhoffen, and this goes back even to training camp, about how not a whole lot of people were giving the Steelers a lot of respect back then.

But Kimo told me back in training camp that the Steelers were going to be good this year. Did you see it as far back as him?

Porter: I always felt like it was a good team last year, but when you get off to start like we did last year, and you have the injuries, you never get nothing going early. We never won two games back-to-back. It's tough and it frustrates you because you know you have the talent to do it and it never happens. Then you come out here this year with pretty much the same team with a couple of additions and you play like the way you know you can play. When you play like that you have to take it for what it's worth and ride the high while it's going and continue to do the little things that got you there.

GVB: What has Dick LeBeau meant to this defense?

Porter: He's meant everything to this defense. He's giving us a whole new outlook on defense, how we approach the game, the way we're going to go after people. We're always going to do what we do instead of adjusting to what the other team's going to try to do to us. When you can know that you're just going to go out there and do your same thing no matter what, you can always play at your best; you can play fast, you can do the things that you want to do because you're going to play the defense the way you want and you don't have to make too many adjustments. I think that's when we're at our best-when we're playing the way we want to play.

GVB: What does it say about this team that you've been able to weather the injuries and the problems you've had? Guys have stepped up.

Porter: That's the biggest thing so far this year. Some guys have stepped up for us and they will continue to step up. I think we prepare ourselves in a manner to where, even if you're not starting, you practice as if you are a starter. That's come back to help us this year.

GVB: Another challenge this week against the Jets. As you see it, the keys against the Jets? Curtis Martin's having a great season so stopping him is probably going to be a key for you, but they've got other weapons, too.

Porter: Yeah, they've got other weapons but they always start with the running game. If you can't stop the running game, it's gonna make it tough for you stopping anyone. So you wanna start with stopping the running game as much as possible and do that and put the game in Chad Pennington's hands and see if he can beat us with his arm.

GVB: Thanks a lot.


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