Joey Porter was known as a quote machine as a player and that hasn’t tapered off as a coach. But instead of him using his words to motivate those around him, he’s become more technical and informational as a coach. Dubbed with the task of coaching up numerous young players on a defense that needs to increase their pass rush, few are more qualified than him.
‘You could put all your sacks together and you won’t have as many as me so you’re going to listen to me. You can put all your sacks together and I’d still have more than you, so why wouldn’t you listen to me when I’m trying to tell you how to get to the quarterback?” the new outside linebackers coach told Mike Prisuta of Steelers.com.
Porter points out this was a tactic Dick LeBeau would use, reminding his players of the Hall of Famer’s 62 career interceptions.
Porter gave a wonderfully detailed breakdown of what makes a successful pass rusher.
“Getting off the ball is definitely a key because if you don’t have a fast get-off you’re not going to get there. Sometimes you can get the fight over quick, like a knockout punch,” he told Prisuta.
A good first step is not the only key and Porter emphasized the importance of counter moves against tackles who can match a linebacker’s get-off.
“So if your best move is speed what are you going to do when you meet a guy that’s going to jump you out there for speed? You gotta have an inside move. He gets you for speed, you hit him with the inside move. Now, you’ve beaten him with speed, you’ve beaten him inside, now he doesn’t know what you’re going to do.”
That’s what allowed Porter to rack up 98 sacks, saying he would win with speed initially before countering with another move. He also borrowed a Mike Tomlin phrase, noting most rushers can’t be a “one-trick pony.”
He is coming into a room chalk full of young guys that are nowhere close to their potential. The only exception, of course, is James Harrison.
“Me and ‘Debo,’ he sees it his way and I see it my way. When you have a guy of his age you don’t mess with him…my other guys, they’re like sponges that want to get better.”
Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree will be the two young guys under the most pressure though don’t forget this is only Arthur Moats‘ second year as a 3-4 OLB.
Check out Prisuta’s full article for Porter’s crash course in pass rushing. It’s well worth the read, and we’ll link the article again.