Should Pittsburgh Steelers defensive assistant and former outside linebacker Joey Porter ever become a head coach in the NFL, you can credit his former teammate Larry Foote as being the first to go on record and predicting it would happen.
“I think he’s going to be a head coach in this league one day,” Foote told recently told ESPN.com, according to Scott Brown. “I think he has that ‘it’ factor to be a head coach if he stays the course. He has an enthusiasm and excitement that you can’t teach, you can’t develop, you’ve just got to be born with it and I’m excited. Hopefully he grows from the coaching side, X’s and O’s, organization and stuff like that. But shoot, he’s on the fast track because he can lead men, he can get men to run through a wall.”
Porter, who was hired this past offseason after spending one season at Colorado State as a graduate assistant coach, was brought on board to help get the best out of the Steelers young linebacker group that includes 2013 first-round draft pick Jarvis Jones, who regestered all of one sack during his rookie season.
Porter has taken Jones under his wing since arriving in Pittsburgh and has the respect of his protégé.
“He brings it every day like he’s a player and guys respect that,” said Jones of Porter. “When the linebackers hit the field you can see the energy and positivity and that’s what we need and that’s how we’re going to continue to get better.”
Foote also believes Porter is a perfect fit as a coach in the NFL because of several other traits that he has that have carried over from his playing days.
“That’s the thing about Joey, he has one speed,” said Foote, who signed with the Arizona Cardinals during the offseason following his release from the Steelers. “The game is changing. You need coaches coming in with that energy. A lot of players can feed off the coaches’ energy and what a perfect guy to do it.”
Porter talked about his coaching style following one of the June offseason practices.
“I’m going to coach like I played,” he said a few weeks ago. “I’m going to coach with my emotion. I love to get after it, but I’ve got a lot of great coaches that I get to learn from.”