View Full Version : Porter leads NFL in sacks, chatter

10-31-2008, 06:59 AM
Porter leads NFL in sacks, chatter

By The Associated Press
Friday, October 31, 2008

DAVIE, Fla. -- Former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter wants it all - the Defensive Player of the Year award, the return trip to the Pro Bowl and the single-season sacks record. He also wants the silence of his critics - or, as he calls them, "Pen Pushers".

A year ago, after signing with the Miami Dolphins, he was considered one of the worst free-agent signings in NFL history. Now, he is leading the league with 10.5 sacks, on pace to topple Michael Strahan's single-season record and an early contender for just about every defensive award.

"I got nine more games to go out and do something that hasn't been done before," Porter said Wednesday.

Porter already has matched his career high with nine games left and is on pace to get 24 sacks. That would break Strahan's record of 22.5 with the New York Giants during the 2001 season and provide even more fuel for the constant Miami motormouth.

"At the pace he's going right now, how could he not?" Dolphins cornerback Will Allen asked.

Porter was perhaps the biggest disappointment on last year's 1-15 Dolphins. After signing a five-year contract with $20 million guaranteed, he had only 2.5 sacks through the first 13 games - all losses. He finished with 5.5 sacks.

Even then, the trash-talking, headline-making linebacker seldom kept quiet. He often complained that then-coach Cam Cameron's 4-3 defense was inept and unsuited for his style, and that his sore right knee was the reason he didn't produce.

Then again, maybe he had a point.

At age 31, Porter has been rejuvenated by the Bill Parcells regime, playing as a pass-rushing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense similar to what earned him Pro Bowl status with the Steelers. He still remains the loudest, most vulgar voice on a young Miami team trying to find its swagger.

"I'm talking, but at the same time I'm working," Porter said. "At the same time, I'm still talking, though."

His recent production in Miami is finally matching his rhetoric.

Porter forced one fumble, recovered another and had two sacks - with one producing a safety - in Miami's 25-16 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

He's lifted a young defense the way another Miami pass rusher, Jason Taylor, used to do for the Dolphins. And he's all but erased any thoughts that Miami would miss the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

"It's reminiscent of Jason a couple years back," defensive end Vonnie Holliday said. "When we needed a play, he stepped up and gave it to us."

Porter's honest - and sometimes too open - opinions have often caused a stir. But Parcells, who has been known to jettison players he deems too chatty, has yet to muzzle Porter.

Before the game at New England in September, Porter said the winless Dolphins would beat the undefeated Patriots and then openly criticized Tom Brady's replacement, Matt Cassel.

"I just know he's not a Tom Brady," Porter said then. "So, if it's not Tom Brady, it shouldn't be that hard."

After the Bills game, Porter didn't hesitate to take a joking shot at reporters, calling them "Pen Pushers" after some wrote last year he was washed up.

For the moment, Porter has a chance to keep making noise both on and off the field as he pursues Strahan's record. But perhaps the one thing he won't predict is how many sacks he'll have this season.

"Whatever they keep leaving out there," Porter said. "You can't put a number on it. It's one of those situations, I can honestly say I've never started out like that."

Porter has a long way to go before any real talk of breaking Strahan's record has merit.

Mark Gastineau's record stood for 17 years until it was overtaken, and many argue Strahan's mark comes with an asterisk: Green Bay's Brett Favre appeared to lay down and give his friend a sack in the final game of the regular season. But Porter might not have a problem, either.

Miami's last game?

Against Favre and his current team, the Jets, at Giants Stadium.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

10-31-2008, 11:21 AM
I'm happy for Porter. I have always loved that guy. He plays the game the way it is supposed to be played. He will always be a steeler in my mind. I miss the vocal leadership he brought. I am hoping Woodley will eventually take that role.

Also....your sig is awsome!