Steelers won’t renew Joey Porter’s contract

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The Steelers aren’t making a change at head coach after failing to make the playoffs this season, but they have announced a change to their coaching staff for the 2019 season.

Head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement that outside linebackers coach Joey Porter’s contract will not be renewed. Porter played for the Steelers from 1999-2006 and has been on their coaching staff since the 2014 season.

“I have informed outside linebackers coach Joey Porter that we will not renew his contract,” Tomlin said. “These are difficult decisions when it comes to someone like Joey who has meant a lot to this organization as both a player and coach. I want to thank Joey for his coaching efforts over the past five years on our defensive staff. We wish him the best in his future coaching career.”

Multiple reports indicate that Porter’s departure may not be the last from the coaching staff and the changes may indicate that the messy end to the 2018 season has increased the heat under Tomlin heading into the 2019 season.

Porter’s tenure as an assistant coach may be best remembered for an on-field confrontation with former Bengals cornerback Adam Jones in a January 2016 playoff game. Porter came on the field after wide receiver Antonio Brown was injured by a hit from Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict and Jones was penalized for shoving him after they got in each other’s faces.

The penalty helped the Steleers move into position for a game-winning field goal. Porter was later fined $10,000 by the league and the NFL issued a tweak to the rules that barred assistant coaches from going on the field for any reason after the incident.

23 responses to “Steelers won’t renew Joey Porter’s contract

  1. Great players don’t tend to make great coaches. For one they are rich and don’t see the motivation in working 60 hour weeks for less money than they earn on interest on their money made from playing and they also don’t understand how to coach players up. They where naturally gifted and don’t understand how some players can’t just do what they did.

  2. All that change that other fans keep saying needs to happen is gonna happen. All other fans were honestly suggestive in improving the Steelers, like they want us to win. Be careful what you wished for NFL Fans 🙂

  3. Well, it came early and with 8 new coaches coming maybe he can catch on with a new staff. From a business end when one of your peers are promoted above you, it sure changes the dynamic in a not a good way. James Harrison mocked Joey in LB meetings, even falling asleep. Weird dynamic.

  4. It wasn’t that long ago they decided not to renew Todd Haley’s contract too. I hope this move works out as well as that one did. Cleveland only got good on offense after they dumped Haley too.

    The underachieving of Bud Dupree and Jarvis Jones doomed Porter, in spite of how good TJ Watt has turned out. I don’t think this will be the only change Pittsburgh makes this off-season either.

    Go Steelers!

  5. Haha, not the defensive coordinator, secondary coach either. Our OLB’s and Heyward are the only ones that can even remotely play defense.

  6. The Steelers need a hard-ass/disciplinarian personality on that coaching staff. Someone who’ll put an end to the locker room drama. While Tomlin can motivate his players, it’s just not the same skill set. A hot head who leaves the sidelines isn’t what they need right now

  7. Probably one of only a select group of teams to have a specialized OLB coach. Not just 1 linebackers coach. Probably just a cost cutting measure since according to delusional Steeler fans he was a stellar coach.

  8. Joey Porter was essential to the Steelers’ Super Bowl XL championship team. He’s unquestionably a team-first guy. He’s coaching who he has to coach. Have to think Tomlin identified him as a problem in the team’s culture.

  9. This should have happened last year. A new secondary coach in 2018 and now a new LB coach in 2019. I hope Butler is paying attention.

  10. He will always be remembered for running out on the field picking fights with opposing players. Are the Steelers finally refusing to condone such dirty behavior?

  11. Tomlin goes on field in 2013. Porter goes on the field in 2016. Tomlin fires Porter 2 seasons later.

    Trademark/infringement cases take a long time to settle…

  12. I’ve always had a ridiculous affection for Joey Porter because of what he meant to the team as a player. As others have mentioned, there’s an irony in firing the coach of a defensive unit that played well while holding onto the coordinator and DBs coach, but we’ll see if scapegoating Porter helps the defensive backfield next season.

  13. Nofoolnodrool says:
    January 4, 2019 at 12:32 pm
    Great as a player doesnt always translate to being a good coach.


    Agreed, although would be pretty ironic if they turn around and hire Kevin Greene.

  14. I was hoping the headline was going to be “Steelers won’t renew Mike Tomlin’s contract”.

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