Following the Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday night win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Marielena Balouris of WTAJ reported on Twitter that linebackers coach Joey Porter received a game ball from the team in the locker room. That report, however, is now being refuted.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Porter did not receive a game ball and Steelers public relations director Burt Lauten appears to be backing-up his report.
So why is that such a big deal? Probably because some people took issue with Porter potentially receiving an award for being on the field late in the game and being at the center of an incident that ended with Bengals cornerback Adam Jones being penalized 15 yards for going after the Steelers coach.
That penalty, which was tacked on top of another 15-yard infraction by linebacker Vontze Burfict for his illegal hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, put Pittsburgh well within in field goal range and kicker Chris Boswell immediately drove home the eventual game-winner with 18 seconds left in regulation.
Porter, who purportedly was on the field to check on an injured Brown following the hit by Burfict, likely said a few things to some Bengals defensive players that didn’t sit well. After purposefully being bumped from behind by Bengals defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry, Jones attempted to take a swipe at Porter and that drew the personal foul penalty.
On Monday, Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said that Porter is “an embarrassment to the coaching profession” and that in the past he’s asked the Steelers coach not to talk to his defensive players. When told that Porter reportedly received a game ball for his late actions Saturday night, Guenther took a shot at the entire Steelers organization.
“Well,” he said, “then that goes to show you what kind of organization they’re running.”