Q&A: Joey Porter

Joey Porter tried, but he couldn't quite clear the air during a locker-room interview with a group of reporters on Wednesday. The Steelers' linebacker touched on a number of topics before ordering everyone away.

Joey Porter, linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers

How big of a loss would Jonathan Ogden be for them?

I don't know. I mean, you want to go into every game with all of your guys.

In your words, what would they lose?

They like to run behind him a lot, so they'd definitely lose that. They want to run behind him all the time but that wouldn't be there. I don't know what their depth's like but whenever you lose your All-Pro tackle it's going to affect you a little bit because there's a reason why he's All-Pro.

Is he the best you've gone against?

Yeah, he's up there. I thought Boselli was good when I played against him early in my career. There are a lot of guys out there. Ogden's more than just a big old ogre, a big old guy, so you've got to really be ready to work when you're going against him.

How different do you expect this game to be from the last time you played them?

Last time we were out there we got embarrassed. We definitely want to get our chance back to return the favor on how it happened to us last time we were down there. It's a big game for us for all the right reasons, so we're definitely looking forward to it.

How would the loss of Ogden affect what you do?

It's not going to affect what we do. We're going to do what our game plan calls for. Our game plan isn't going to change because they're missing an offensive lineman. I mean, he's probably a big part of their offensive line but it's not like McNair's out or Jamal Lewis is out or a skill-position player. I never seen Ogden carry the ball or nothing like that. I mean it's going to hurt them a little bit because he's the best offensive lineman they have but it's not going to change what we do at all.

Was that your worst loss?

Yeah, just because of how it happened. I feel like by the time we made our adjustments the game was far out of reach. We came out the second half and played a lot better on defense, but at that point in time we put our offense in the situation to where we want to be in: You know they have to pass the ball so all you have to do is blitz every play. So for them it was feast or famine. Their defense was blitzing every play and they know we're going to pass the ball. So they were putting us in all kinds of tough situations to where it was third-and-19 and they were sending everybody; first down, they were sending everybody because they know you can't run the ball when you're down 17-0 in the third, fourth quarter. This gives us a chance to go out there and show we're a better team than we did that Sunday we played them.

How easy is it to get on a roll defensively when you put a team in a bad situation?

Starting fast. I think they scored on their first two drives or something like that. They scored quick and it put our offense in a situation where we had to get on the scoreboard fast and it didn't happen. We started stressing and trying to make plays that take us out of our game plan. I think our game plan is pound, pound, pound, keep it third and medium, pick up the first down and keep the drive alive. But how we went out there, came out flat and let them jump on us, it just kind of escalated after that.

What does it say about this team that you're still alive after a 2-6 start?

We're going to try and do our part. We know it's far-fetched, but at the same time until they tell us we're out of it we'll keep playing like we know how to play. We have the biggest game of the year right now with Baltimore coming into our stadium. It's going to be a big game.

What does it say that Willie Parker made the Pro Bowl?

Oh man it's well-deserved. What he did for this team and what he's done all year, we knew he was a for-sure in. He has the stats to prove it. I was happy to see him not get snubbed.

Are you disappointed you didn't get in?

No. I didn't have the year I feel like I could've had. But at the same time it didn't happen for me. It doesn't bother me that much. I've been over there before. I think a lot of outside linebackers played good this year, though. I think there are a lot of guys who played real good, so the guys that made it definitely deserved it.

Do you expect Baltimore's trash-talking to be unbearable?

Did somebody fart or something, man? Ooh, man, that's bad.

It broke up our conversation with Ben two minutes ago.

Oh, wow. (Shakes head) Now, what did you say?

Since they've got the division wrapped up, do you expect their trash-talking to be unbearable on Sunday?

Aw man, that smell's unbearable. (Shakes head again) I don't want it to be one of those games where they're setting down certain people because they feel like they've made it. That would make me mad more than anything. If we go out there and win the game, I don't want to hear that we didn't have so-and-so in the game. That's not what I'm looking for. I want you to put your best people on the field and let's go, because in a rivalry game, when you're trying to get some revenge, there's no time for excuses, so whoever they have out there we're going to be gunning and playing our best football.

They need this game, don't they?

That's what we're looking for. They're going to put their best guys out there and we're going to have ours. We have everything to gain and we're going to go out there and play like it and definitely save face on what they did to us the first time.

Do you need a signature win after playing a bunch of wins against backup quarterbacks of teams that had bad records?

I don't know how to take that. Are you saying we ain't played nobody?

Certain people would say that.

I'm finished. I'm finished.


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