Joey Porter was a fan favorite and one of the best defensive players in the league when he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first eight years of his career, and the menacing pass rusher filled up the stat sheet in a variety of ways. The Steelers have announced that their former right outside linebacker has joined the coaching staff, as he was hired as a defensive assistant coach.
Porter is expected to coach up the outside linebackers, and he should have some solid talent to work with. Jason Worilds is set to hit free agency, but I’m guessing the Steelers would rather keep him than LaMarr Woodley, who used to be a dominant pass rusher but simply isn’t getting it done anymore. Woodley’s older and more expensive than Worilds, who really broke out this past season.
But Porter’s most important task as a coach for the Steelers is helping last year’s top draft pick Jarvis Jones, who has all the tools to be a dominant 3-4 outside linebacker in this league. He rushes the passer, plays the run, and has enough athleticism to potentially drop off into coverage. Jones could have a James Harrison kind of impact if coached up correctly, and Porter could help the uber-athletic Georgia product fulfill his potential.
This is a good stepping stone for the 37-year-old, and Porter has a great opportunity to help both the franchise that he won a Super Bowl ring with and himself.