Porter guarantees win

PITTSBURGH – It ain't easy being Peezy, particularly when your football team's 2-6. Better make that 3-6. Peezy says this one's in the bank.

"This week is bigger than any other week. It's the second half of the season," said outside linebacker Joey Porter. "We're 2-6. It's time to make no more excuses, so I'm going to put some of the pressure on my shoulder for us to go out there and get this victory: We will come back with a victory on Sunday."

Porter, or "Peezy" as he's called by his coach and teammates, did what his coach nearly did on Tuesday: guarantee a win over the New Orleans Saints.

"We have to win a football game," coach Bill Cowher said at his weekly press conference. "I have a sense that we will do that."

Cowher immediately caught himself and said, "We are going to attempt to do that. I am not making any guarantees about anything. I learned that a while back."

The Pittsburgh Steelers come into the game against the 6-2 Saints with a 2-6 record and a potential tempest brewing after running back Willie Parker questioned his teammates' motivation and trust for each other after Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos. Porter, often the source of controversial comments, wasn't about to condemn Parker.

"Everybody's entitled to their own opinion," Porter said. "I know that a lot of people probably don't sit well with some of the stuff I say. That's just his own personal feeling. If that's how he feels about it, the man is entitled to his own opinion. But the way we go out there and fight on defense, I know nobody on my side of the ball feels like that. We fight and scratch for everything out there on the football field."

On a roll, Porter jumped topics. He said plans to appeal a $15,000 fine the league laid on him for his personal foul against the Oakland Raiders. Porter was penalized and fined for what he allegedly said to a game official.

"I know I'm going to lose that one over time, but it's still weak," Porter said. "For them to try and want to fine somebody $15,000 – I mean, it's still a man's game. Cuss words and stuff are going to happen on the football field when you're frustrated. People use those words on the football field is just part of the every day habitat. So for them to try and make an attempt to fine me for that is definitely just because of who I am. It's definitely targeted after [number] 55: Let's get him; zero tolerance for him. They're going to try to make an example."

Porter said he didn't say anything to the official, and that he has witnesses.

"Right now it's my word against the ref's word," he said. "But I think I have some guys on the team that are stand-up guys that can go out there and let them know that I didn't say it, and whoever said it will stand up and say they said it, because I definitely didn't say it and that's kind of where we're at right now.

"I think he just flagged me for us talking to each other. It wasn't nothing directed to the ref, but he took it to the head office and tried to get me fined for it. But that's not the first time. They tried to fine me for having my sweats cut on the sideline when I wasn't playing. They tried to fine me for that. [New England coach Bill] Belichick cuts his sweats on his sleeves every game, now what's the difference? That lets me know I'm targeted."

Porter said he was approached after the Atlanta game by his trainer, who told him the league was looking to fine him if he cut his sweatpants again. Porter said he called the league office and was told there was nothing in the rulebook prohibiting that type of apparel, but still he was told not to do it again.

"I'm not going to change them because nothing in the rulebook says we can't do it. Until you fine Belichick, don't fine me. He cuts his sweater every game. For them to even come after me and make up something simple like that, that lets you know you're a target."

No, it ain't easy being Peezy.


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