Skip to content

NFL morning after: The unappreciated Jay Cutler

Bears quarterback Cutler is pressured by Vikings defensive end Griffen during the first half of their NFL football game at Soldier Field in Chicago Reuters

If you don’t like Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, you’re not alone. A poll of fans conducted last season found that Cutler was one of the Top 5 most disliked players in the NFL.

And if you’re looking for reasons not to like Cutler, you saw one when the Bears beat the Vikings on Sunday: Cutler committed one of the dumber penalties of the day when he ran out of bounds and then threw the ball at Vikings cornerback A.J. Jefferson. Throwing the ball at an opponent is an automatic 15-yard penalty, as every NFL player should know. Yes, Cutler can be an idiot sometimes.

But if you don’t think Cutler is a good quarterback, well, you’re wrong. Cutler’s abilities were on display in Sunday’s 28-10 win over the Vikings, but they were even more on display in the way the Bears completely fell apart without him a week ago against the 49ers. And Cutler’s importance to the Bears is on display in every game he misses: In the last three years, in games Cutler both started and finished, the Bears are 26-9. In games Cutler either missed entirely or was knocked out because of an injury in the first half, the Bears are 1-8.

No, Cutler doesn’t put up the kinds of numbers that the NFL’s elite quarterbacks produce, but Cutler doesn’t have anywhere near the kind of offensive talent surrounding him that the NFL’s elite quarterbacks have. The Bears have had one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines for Cutler’s entire tenure in Chicago, and they only got a high-level wide receiver for the first time this year, when they traded for Brandon Marshall.

I believe it’s that Chicago offensive line and that Chicago receiving corps — as well as, yes, acting like a jerk at times by doing things like throwing a ball at an opponent — that has made Cutler one of the most underappreciated players in the NFL. This is a good quarterback, playing on a team that appears headed toward the playoffs, in the NFL’s second-biggest media market, and he should get more credit than he does.

Cutler has a great opportunity, however, to change the way he’s regarded over the next couple of months. With the Bears right in the thick of the NFC playoff race, Cutler has the chance to do what he didn’t do when a knee injury knocked him out of the NFC Championship Game a couple years ago, and play the best football of his career on the biggest stage. I think Cutler is going to open some eyes in December and January. And maybe by February, he won’t be unappreciated anymore.

Here are my other thoughts on Sunday’s games:

Robert Ayers was the toughest player in the league on Sunday. Ayers, a backup defensive end for the Broncos, found out late on Saturday night that his father had died suddenly. But instead of heading home right away, he decided to stay in Kansas City to be there for his team against the Chiefs. Ayers played and played well in a 17-9 win in which the Broncos’ defense shut down the Chiefs’ offense, then was awarded a game ball in the locker room afterward and headed home to tend to his family.

Jared Allen got away with a brutal cheap shot. While his teammate Antoine Winfield was returning an interception, Allen launched himself directly into the head of Bears offensive lineman Lance Louis, delivering a hit that knocked Louis out of the game. Allen said after the game that he thought the hit was legal, but he’s wrong. That’s a blatant penalty that the officials somehow missed, but the league office won’t. Allen is in for a big fine.

The Chiefs got too cute. Kansas City’s opening drive against Denver was running smoothly, with an emphasis on running: Out of the Chiefs’ first nine offensive plays, eight of them were runs, and those eight runs produced 48 yards. So what on earth were the Chiefs thinking with the play they called on third-and-3 in the red zone? Instead of running it again, the Chiefs called a bizarre trick play on which running back Peyton Hillis took the snap, ran to his right, then turned around and threw it to quarterback Brady Quinn. Hillis’s pass showed that there’s a reason he’s not a quarterback: He threw an ugly duck that didn’t even get close, falling to the ground a few feet in front of Quinn. That was a dumb play call that stopped a promising drive.

Something has to be done about the officials, Part 1. Everyone saw the horrendous call on Thanksgiving in which the officials somehow ruled that Texans running back Justin Forsett had run 81 yards for a touchdown, even though he was obviously down after just eight yards. But on Sunday not as many people noticed that the opposite mistake was made in the 49ers-Saints game: San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree caught a pass, got hit, put his hand down to steady himself and kept running, about to break a big play — except that the officials whistled the play dead, wrongly thinking Crabtree had been down. If we can’t count on the officials to get it right on a call as fundamental as whether or not a player was down, what can we count on them to get right?

Something has to be done about the officials, Part 2. Remember during the lockout, how everyone complained that the replacement refs were dragging out the games by taking way too long to make their rulings? No delays from the replacement refs were as bad as the ridiculous delay late in Sunday’s Ravens-Chargers game. After Ray Rice made an amazing play to turn a short pass into a first down on fourth-and-29, the officials delayed the game by a whopping 10 minutes to watch a replay and re-measure the spot of the ball, only to discover that it had been correctly ruled a first down on the field all along. A 10-minute delay late in the fourth quarter of a close game takes all the energy out of the building. Make the call and move on, refs.

Anyone want to help Charlie Batch out? With Batch, the Steelers’ 38-year-old third-string quarterback, pressed into duty on Sunday, the Steelers needed to get big games from their running backs. Instead, Pittsburgh’s four running backs — Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman and Chris Rainey — combined for just 49 yards on 20 carries, while fumbling six times. Mendenhall and Rainey had two fumbles apiece, while Dwyer and Redman each had one. The Steelers’ eight turnovers were the most for any NFL team in one game since 2001, and the Steelers were upset by the Browns.

Jim Harbaugh made the right decision. Colin Kaepernick is a better quarterback than Alex Smith, and if anyone doubted it before, no one should doubt it after Kaepernick led the 49ers to a big win at New Orleans on Sunday. Harbaugh was wise to bench Smith in favor of Kaepernick, who is now 2-0 as a starter with wins over the Bears (playing without Cutler) and Saints. With Kaepernick under center, the 49ers are going to be a tough team to beat in January. Although if they meet again in the playoffs, I like the Bears’ chances with a healthy Cutler.

Permalink 51 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Chicago Bears, Features, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
yo

Who had the best individual performance this weekend?

KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15: Running back Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is tackled by inside linebacker Ramik Wilson #53 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

Monday’s PFT Live will spend plenty of time looking back on the divisional-round weekend. So the question of the day, not surprisingly, will do the same thing.

And here it is: Who had the best individual performance of the weekend?

The choices are below. Pick one, make your case in the comments, call us out for omitting other potential options.

And then tune in for the show, which starts at 6:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Radio and then slides over to NBCSN for a two-hour simulcast.

Guests include NBC’s Mike Tirico and Bob Kravitz of WTHR in Indianapolis.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Rams will turn attention to possible front-office improvements

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 01: A Los Angeles Rams fan in a Jared Goff super hero type outfit gestures during the game with the Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) Getty Images

Now that the Rams have a new head coach, other changes could be coming to the organization.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Rams will now look at ways to improve their front office. While searching for their latest coach, the Rams obtained feedback from various persons. They will study how to implement the changes.

Don’t be surprised if they add to the front office, supplementing G.M. Les Snead, possibly with someone who would occupy a higher position on the organizational chart.

Making an addition to the front office more likely is that COO Kevin Demoff will now be focusing more on getting the stadium built on time and within budget, and less time working on football matters.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Kelce tees off on officials, late holding call

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25:  Tight end Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs enters the field during player introductions prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium on December 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

After the Chiefs lost to the Steelers Sunday night, 18-16, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce wasn’t shy in sharing his feelings about the penalty that negated the two-point conversion pass that would have tied the game.

The Chiefs had scored on a Spencer Ware run with 2:43 left to come within two points. Quarterback Alex Smith found Demetrius Harris wide open on the ensuing two-point play, but Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher was flagged for holding Steelers linebacker James Harrison.

The Chiefs backed up 10 yards and tried the two-point conversion again, and Smith’s pass intended for Jeremy Maclin was incomplete.

After the game, Kelce said the holding call was “horses**t,” per the Kansas City Star, and said the official who threw the flag “shouldn’t be able work at Foot Locker.”

Per ESPN.com, Kelce singled out referee Carl Cheffers and said Cheffers “shouldn’t be able to wear a zebra jersey.”

Kelce had five catches for 77 yards but didn’t have a great night. He dropped a pass in the third quarter that would have put the Chiefs inside’ the Steelers’ 15-yard line, and later on that drive Kelce was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for pushing Ross Cockrell after a play.

Permalink 35 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Chiefs hold, so Steelers hold on

KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Running back Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers tosses the ball forward after gaining a first down against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) Getty Images

A two-point conversion that would have tied the game was negated by penalty, and the Steelers then killed the clock and held on to beat the Chiefs Sunday night, 18-16.

The Chiefs had scored on a Spencer Ware run with 2:43 left to come within two points. Alex Smith found Demetrius Harris wide open on the ensuing two-point play, but Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher was flagged for holding Steelers linebacker James Harrison. The Chiefs backed up 10 yards and tried the two-point conversion again, and Smith’s pass intended for Jeremy Maclin was incomplete.

The Steelers play at New England next Sunday in the AFC Championship Game.

The Steelers won in Kansas City without scoring a touchdown. Steelers kicker Chris Boswell set an NFL postseason record with six field goals, and after scoring on their first drive the Chiefs didn’t find the end zone again until the final three minutes. The Steelers’ biggest third-down conversion of the season came on a 7-yard Ben Roethlisberger pass to Antonio Brown with 1:53 left.

The Chiefs were out of timeouts, and their season ended when Roethlisberger then took three knees. Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell ran for 170 yards, breaking the team playoff record of 168 he set last week.

Bell ran for 101 yards in the first half as the Steelers dominated. The Chiefs didn’t get a first down from late in the first quarter until their second possession of the third quarter, leaving themselves to chase when their offense finally showed signs of life over the final 20 minutes. The Steelers finished with 389 total yards; the Chiefs had 227.

The Chiefs scored on their first drive of the game on a 5-yard Smith pass to Albert Wilson. The Steelers led 12-7 at halftime and 15-10 after three quarters.

Smith finished 20-of-34 passing for 172 yards. Roethlisberger was 20-of-31 for 224 yards, and Brown caught six passes for 108 yards.

Permalink 71 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Chris Boswell sets NFL postseason record with six field goals

KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Kicker Chris Boswell #9 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is congratulated by teammate  Jordan Berry #4 after a successful field goal against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

Chris Boswell has kicked a playoff record six field goals, and the Steelers hold an 18-10 lead over the Chiefs in the final 10 minutes.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got up limping following a sack just before the sixth field goal, but that’s happened before and Roethlisberger tends to be OK. He’s been pretty good, and the Steelers have moved the ball all night but keep settling for field goals.

Le’Veon Bell has matched his team playoff record from last week with 168 rushing yards.

The Chiefs have kept it within one score, though, despite not getting a first down from late in the first quarter until their second possession of the third quarter.

Permalink 21 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Steelers continue to push Chiefs around

KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15: Tight end Jesse James #81 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is tackled inside linebacker Ramik Wilson #53 of the Kansas City Chiefs and teammates Steven Nelson #20 and Defensive back Daniel Sorensen #49  in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

Chris Boswell has kicked five field goals, and the Steelers hold a 15-7 lead over the Chiefs in the third quarter.

The Chiefs are struggling to move the ball. The Steelers are moving it and are over 300 total yards but keep settling for field goals. The Chiefs went four series between first downs before getting one via penalty in the third quarter.

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell has 150 rushing yards, 18 short of the team playoff record he set last week. Boswell’s five field goals match an NFL postseason record.

In the first half the Steelers outgained the Chiefs, 275-106.

The Chiefs got their only points and the game’s only touchdown on their first drive on a 5-yard pass from Alex Smith to Albert Wilson.

Permalink 29 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Tornado warning forces players, fans to stay put at AT&T Stadium

c2qfe0pxaaigumw

Any Cowboys who hoped to make a quick exit from AT&T Stadium after a painful 34-31 loss to the Packers were blocked from doing so by Mother Nature.

A tornado warning in the Dallas area has led security at the stadium to have people shelter in place away from windows until the storm makes its way through the area. That’s kept fans in the stands and it’s brought a couple of Cowboys players back out to the field.

Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News reports that quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott are back where they spent the final moments of their rookie seasons. They are watching the goal posts get taken down, which is never all that fun unless you’ve just beaten your biggest rival in a college football game.

There are reportedly 14,000 people without power as a result of the storm, so we’ll hope that everyone stays safe even if they may have to stay somewhere they’d rather not be for a few extra minuts.

[Photo via David Helman of DallasCowboys.com on Twitter]

Permalink 18 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Steelers dominant, but settling for field goals

KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Free safety Ron Parker #38 of the Kansas City Chiefs tackles tight end Jesse James #81 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in after a catch for a first down in the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Steelers dominated most of the first half but they only hold a 12-7 lead at halftime.

Chris Boswell has kicked four field goals, three from inside 40 yards, and the Steelers have to hope that their inability to get in the end zone doesn’t eventually come back to haunt them.

In the first 25 minutes the Steelers outgained the Chiefs, 213-94. At halftime the yardage differential is 275-106.

Before the third Boswell field goal, a diving Eric Berry interception on a pass that was deflected high into the air by Frank Zombo kept the Steelers out of the end zone after Ryan Shazier’s interception set them up in Kansas City territory.

The Steelers have been a little greedy with the pass instead of feeding the ball to Le’Veon Bell, who had 101 rushing yards on 18 carries in the first half. Antonio Brown has 101 receiving yards.

The Chiefs got their only points and the game’s only touchdown on their first drive on a 5-yard pass from Alex Smith to Albert Wilson.

Permalink 19 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

2003 sexual assault allegations against Vance Joseph resurface

ENGLEWOOD, CO - JANUARY 12:  Vance Josepf addresses the media after being introduced as the Denver Broncos new head coach during  a press conference at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre on January 12, 2017 in Englewood, Colorado.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) Getty Images

New Broncos head coach Vance Joseph was accused of sexually assaulting two women at the University of Colorado in 2003, allegations that resurfaced after he was hired in Denver last week.

Joseph was not arrested or charged, but the Boulder Daily Camera reported this weekend that the a woman talked to police about the incident during a 2004 investigation into widespread corruption within the Colorado football program, where Joseph had been a player and then an assistant coach.

The Broncos have acknowledged that they knew about the allegations, noting that no charges were brought against Joseph and police did not question him.

A woman told police that she and a friend had been drinking and smoking marijuana with Joseph, and that when she went to bed, Joseph took off his clothes, got into her bed and was “touching her all over with his hands and rubbed his body against her,” according to the police officer’s report. The woman said she pretended to be passed out, and Joseph left the room. The next morning, the woman said, the other woman told her that Joseph had gotten into her bed and done the same thing to her until she told him to “get the hell out.”

The women declined to press criminal charges.

Not long after that, Joseph was suspended from Colorado’s coaching staff and then left the school. The university’s then-president has said Joseph was being investigated for sexual harassment in connection with a different incident in which he had sex with a trainer in a campus athletic facility.

Permalink 28 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Steelers keeping Chris Boswell busy, missing opportunities

KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15: Kicker Chris Boswell #9 of the Pittsburgh Steelers scores the first points of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs kicking a field goal from the hold of teammate punter Jordan Berry #4 in the first quater of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) Getty Images

Chris Boswell has three field goals, and the Steelers hold a 9-7 lead over the Chiefs in the second quarter.

The Steelers have moved the ball and have to hope settling for field goals won’t come back to bite them later in the game. The Steelers have nine first downs and just as many points about 20 minutes into the game.

The Chiefs have the game’s only touchdown on a 5-yard Alex Smith touchdown pass to Albert Wilson on their first drive.

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is off to a strong start and has rushed for 56 yards on his first 11 carries.

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jared Cook: It was a perfect throw by Aaron Rodgers

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Jared Cook #89 of the Green Bay Packers makes a catch past Morris Claiborne #24 of the Dallas Cowboys in the second half during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Packers are headed to Atlanta for the NFC Championship Game next Sunday thanks to some last-second heroics by tight end Jared Cook and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Facing third-and-20 with the score tied and 12 seconds left in regulation, Rodgers rolled to his left and fired a strike to Cook down the sideline. Cook made a remarkable sliding catch that one official initially ruled out incomplete, but another correctly ruled as a catch with Cook getting both feet in while controlling the ball.

Mason Crosby hit a 51-yard field goal on the next play for a 34-31 win. Cook undersold things by answering “probably not” when asked if he’s ever made a more important catch as it is hard to beat his play when it comes to the difficulty of the catch matched with the magnitude of the moment. Cook threw some light on the other end of the connection after the game.

“I knew it was good,” Cook said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “It was a perfect throw by Aaron.”

Rodgers made more than one perfect throw on Sunday and Matt Ryan did the same in Saturday’s Falcons win, which suggests we’ll be seeing a lot of offense next Sunday.

Permalink 29 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Albert Wilson touchdown gives Chiefs early 7-3 lead

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 20: Wide receiver Albert Wilson #12 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arrowhead Stadium during the fourth quarter of the game on November 20, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chiefs hold an early 7-3 lead on the Steelers after both teams scored on their initial possessions.

Alex Smith threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Albert Wilson, capping a six-play, 55-yard drive, to give the Chiefs the lead.

The Steelers got what they wanted on the game’s first drive until they got inside the Chiefs’ 10-yard line, then settled for a 22-yard field goal by Chris Boswell.

The Steelers went 66 yards in 11 plays. Le’Veon Bell ran three times for 25 yards on the opening drive.

The Chiefs started at their own 45 because the Steelers didn’t want to kick to Tyreek Hill. On the touchdown pass to Wilson, Hill was the decoy and Smith rolled out and found Wilson open.

Permalink 5 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Packers get the game-winner as time expires over Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Mason Crosby #2 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after kicking a field goal in the second half during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers wasn’t quite perfect, but Mason Crosby was.

The Packers kicker had to hit his game-winning field goal twice, but he nailed the 51-yarder twice as the Packers beat the Cowboys 34-31 to advance to the NFC Championship Game.

They’ll travel to Atlanta next week, but it will be hard to top this one for drama.

Crosby had hit a 56-yard field goal with 1:33 left, but Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey matched him with a 52-yarder with 0:35 left which seemed to point it toward overtime.

But that’s when Rodgers happened.

The Packers quarterback threaded one to tight end Jared Cook for a 35-yard gain on third-and-20, with Cook dragging his feet perfectly to set up Crosby’s kick with 0:03 left on the clock.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett used his final timeout to ice Crosby, but it didn’t work, as he nailed the second one cleaner than the first.

Rodgers was 28-of-43 passing for 356 yards and two touchdowns, with one rare interception. It wasn’t as clinical as he’s been lately, but he made the one play to Cook when he had to, breaking the hearts of the Cowboys and their fans after a 13-3 season, and what appeared to be a magical comeback by rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.

Trailing 21-3, Prescott brought them back to a 28-28 tie late in the fourth, with his own particular brand of special.

The rookie threw for 302 and three touchdowns, and ran for the two-point conversion to even it.

But he couldn’t match Rodgers, or at least didn’t have enough time.

Permalink 264 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Josh McDaniels conflicted about taking 49ers job

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14:  Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots looks on prior to the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

As the 49ers search for a new coach and a new General Manager, they have one overriding priority: Making sure the coach and G.M. will get along well.

One of the leading candidates to become the next head coach has one overriding priority: Making sure his next NFL head-coaching job will work out far better than his first one.

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is regarded as being the top candidate for the job. Some league insiders believe the job is his if he wants it. Indeed, one league source tells PFT that McDaniels has been reaching out to potential assistant coaches and urged them to remain available.

That said, others believe McDaniels is conflicted about the job. He has four young children, and there’s a strong desire to not uproot the family for a short-term stint on the other side of the country. As the Broncos coach in 2009 and most of 2010, McDaniels didn’t even two full seasons to turn around the Broncos. Given San Francisco’s recent trend of  parting ways with coaches (three left in roughly 24 months), there’s legitimate concern that McDaniels possibly won’t be coaching for an extended period of time.

Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan also is believed to be one of the top candidates, and Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable could emerge as a dark horse for the job — especially if he could be paired with someone from the Seattle front office in an anti-Baalke/Harbaugh arrangement that would stabilize the 49ers and pluck a couple of key pieces away from a top rival.

Another factor could be availability to be hired. Neither Shanahan nor McDaniels can get the job until the Falcons’ and Patriots’ seasons end, respectively. Cable can be hired now.

Permalink 69 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

NFL still reviewing Joey Porter case under personal conduct policy

CORRECTS THAT THE ALTERCATION WAS OUTSIDE A PITTSBURGH BAR, NOT A MIAMI BAR AS ORIGINALLY SENT -  Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach Joey Porter works with players during an NFL football practice, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, in Pittsburgh. Porter is back with the team in time for Sunday's playoff game in Kansas City after several charges were dropped following an altercation outside a Pittsburgh bar last weekend. The Steelers face the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC Divisional NFL playoff game on Sunday. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) AP

Steelers linebacker coach Joey Porter will work on Sunday night in Kansas City. Whether he will be missing any work in the future remains to be seen.

A league spokesman tells PFT that Porter’s situation is still being reviewed under the personal conduct policy. The Steelers initially placed Porter on leave but then reinstated him when the charges arising from an incident last Sunday night, which initially included aggravated assault, were reduced significantly by a local prosecutor, who has broad discretion when deciding on charges — and who ultimately will be subject to re-election in an electorate chock full of Steelers fans. (Just saying.)

Porter currently faces charges of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct only.

The league consistently has said that non-players are held to a higher standard than players. Given the high standard to which players are routinely held, incidents involving coaches and front-office executives typically are monitored closely by the NFL Players Association for signs of a double standard or other inconsistency in treatment.

Among other things, the league office could choose to place Porter on paid leave pending the resolution of his criminal case and/or the outcome of his internal review under the conduct policy. In theory, the NFL could implement paid leave at any point, including before next weekend’s AFC title game, if the Steelers prevail on Sunday night.

Permalink 10 Comments Feed for comments Back to top