Tomlin On Porter: The NFL Is A Privilege, Not A Right

Mike Tomlin opened up his Tuesday press conference with a brief statement on Joey Porter, who was placed on leave by the team yesterday.

“To be involved in the National Football League is an honor and a privilege, not a right, and we should respect it as such,” Tomlin told reporters. “Obviously, that was breached in this circumstance and there’s consequences to be suffered because of it.”

He said coaches are always held to a higher standard when it comes to issues like these.

“In this league, we’re all held to a standard of decorum. But coaches, front office people, executives, even moreso. And rightfully so. So obviously, we’re treating this with the attention it deserves.”

Tomlin said the issue would not be a distraction and the team has overcome many of them before. Specifically, he pointed out not having their defensive quality control coach last week after their was a death in his family.

“We’re not overly concerned with this being a distraction for us, to be quite honest with you. It’s our job to deal with and overcome distractions and things that pop up from time to time.”

Of course, the Steelers have had their fill of off the field storylines this season and have come out the other side. Whether it’s Martavis Bryant’s or Leveon Bell’s suspensions of Ladarius Green’s concussion saga, Pittsburgh has done a good job of – to steal Tomlin’s phrase – tuning out the noise from outside sources.

Tomlin said there was no timetable for Porter to return. It’s unclear if the team will wait for the legal system to play out before making a decision. If so, it’s reasonable to think Porter will not be on staff for the remainder of the playoffs.

He did not rule out Porter even returning for the Chiefs’ game but if he isn’t available, Tomlin said Keith Butler will coach that group. Butler served as the team’s linebackers coach from to 2003-2014 before ascending to the defensive coordinator, replacing Dick LeBeau.

“If he’s unavailable, Keith is going to do that, and I’m sure he’s excited about the opportunity. For eight years prior to being the coordinator, he coached linebackers here. For many years, he coached all four.”

Tomlin said he expects Butler to be “fired up” about the chance to coach his former group.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • capehouse

    I’ll ask the obvious question. Who is the Steelers defensive quality control coach, and what exactly do they do?

  • Wayne’O

    Glad to see Tomlin and the Steeler brass is carrying this situation in such a professional manner. The standard is the standard…………………Now off to KC.

  • StolenUpVotes

    Time to come home Kevin……time to come home…..

  • LucasY59

    Defense doesnt have one, Coach Mitchell is the D-Line/Asst Head Coach so he could possibly do something like that (whatever it is that that person would do?) Butler and Tomlin probably function in that role to some degree as well

    the Offense has Shaun Sarrrett as a “Offensive Assistant” so he could be the “quality control” guy for that side of the ball, but I think he also does most of his work with the O-Line (and again the OC and HC have a bigger influence)

  • Alex Kozora

    Steven Meyer. Duties vary but a lot of it can be prep work/scouting teams ahead of time, the team you’re playing in two weeks, and any special assignments or studies that need to be done.

  • LucasY59

    where did you find that? I looked on the team site not listed with the staff…

  • LucasY59

    Found him on the FO link, but even there he is just listed as “coaching assistant”

  • SouthernSteel

    Kinda sounds like Porter’s time with the Steelers is over…..

  • Alex Kozora

    Tomlin said it during his presser. That was the example he used. I didn’t know for sure until today either.

  • Alex Kozora

    The fact Tomlin wouldn’t even rule Porter out this week might suggest that he’ll stay.

  • Levi Pollard

    This is the Steelers, not the Browns. The team and the NFL will discipline Porter, but not likely to let him go.

  • Big White

    Come on Alex. That is all in the presentation of due process. In fact you made the case with your reference to Bell and Bryant. I can appreciate the optimism though.

  • Big White

    I know right? Particularly after taking the Steelers name with him into Canton.

  • Dan

    I’ve joined in Tomlin bashing in the past for various things, but I’m starting to like him more now. He has been handling the PR part of the job pretty well.

  • Alex Kozora

    I’m saying “might” not that it will. But there was no reason to say Porter might be back this week. I don’t think any of us are expecting it.

  • Xclewsive

    Joey at home hopefully being regretful. I believe Joey Porter has done a great job with molding Dupree/Chickillo.

  • Jim Garland

    Dupree, yes. Chickillo? No way do I want to see that guy lining up anywhere but on special teams. The defense began ballin’ when Harrison and Dupree started playing every snap at OLB. With Jones and Chickillo at OLB, our season would’ve ended two weeks ago.

  • Garrett Hunt

    I have a feeling in the back of my head that Butler has been disappointed in the coaching job Porter has done. Maybe this gives him a chance to walk in the room and address all the shortcomings he sees without disrespecting Porter. Butler has been adjusting to his relatively new role as DC but should have a good grip on that by now, and can handle both jobs for 3 more games.

    Who knows this is probably waay off base. I have no idea how good of a coach Porter is. Just a thought.

  • nutty32

    Full story hasn’t come out, but no way should he lose his job over this. He got drunk and ran his mouth. Unless he hit somebody, give me a break. Suspension is more than enough.

  • nutty32

    I believe QC is the entry level job that pays about $25k/yr for 80 hr weeks reviewing, charting and cutting film into a form more convenient for the team. Sounds like a dream job.

  • Ni mo

    Porter was the one who suggested to get jones out and put Harrison in not butler dumb ass

  • dany

    He brought the most out of Chickillo, imo. Not like the guy has the talent those two have. While rehabbing Dupree and limiting Harrison, Chickillo did much better than anticipated. Jarvis on the other hand…

  • Steeler-Drew

    Although I like the thought of K. Green coming here Porter deserves a second chance. I was a big Porter fan while he was a player. And couldn’t help but praise him after the Bengals playoff game. I’m sure it was a combination of alcohol and getting embarrassed in front of friends. With that said that doesn’t excuse how he disrespected the Police Officer. He basically forced the Police Officer into arresting him. I’m sure there is a good chance the assault charges will probably be dropped and possibly the resisting arrest charge leaving him with a few summaries. Hopefully he learns from this and does the right thing and walks away if there is a next time.

  • Hypo Cycloid

    I agree if this was his only transgression. He has had previous issues and the ownership may decide to move on.

  • Hypo Cycloid

    I’d hire Greene just for the next few games if need be. I’m sure he could slide right in as far as coaching techniques and some video stuff. I know it may take a while for him to learn the ins and outs of this defense, but he wants to be here and could prove useful.

  • Hypo Cycloid

    From how Tomlin was talking, I’m not sure if the team will keep him. I am all for second chances, but he has a couple issues in the past. If Rooney feels like this is a continuing problem, look for Porter to be out of work. I believe this is out of Tomlin’s hands now. However, even if Porter is given a second chance next year here, I would still hire Greene just for the remainder of these playoffs.

  • Steeler-Drew

    I’m not sure. I listened to the press conference and Tomlin didn’t even rule out that he would not be available for the Chiefs game. But I do agree its’s out of his hands. I’m not sure if they will take his past issues into account since they were not as a coach. I don’t think it was a fireable offense but can’t help but think that Greene could do wonders with Dupree.

  • Xclewsive

    Chickillo was a DT at Miami! He’s created some splash (Chickillo) since he’s been in the lineup. Is Chickillo a everydown player? No. He is a capable backup 3-4 OLB

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    I think the Rooney’s are going to take a dim view of the repeated shenanigans from Porter. I’ll be surprised if he’s with the team next year.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Buds been making some good hustle plays but he’s still by and large locked into the running up the arc routine.

  • StolenUpVotes

    Dude should have retired a Steeler