The regular season is now over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking their practices at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now upon us, there is plenty left to be done.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the playoffs as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to playoff success, in which they are, at least supposed to be, among the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
Question: Should the Steelers organization allow Joey Porter to resume his coaching duties in time for Sunday’s game?
In the hours after the Steelers’ Widlcard Round victory over the Dolphins, outside linebackers coach Joey Porter—a former outside linebacker for the Steekers, who has been known to have a bit of a temper, and a run-in or two with the law in the past—managed to get himself arrested in an incident at a bar.
On the following day, the front office acted quickly in placing him on administrative leave, and placing the coaching duties for the position in the capable hands of defensive coordinator Keith Butler for the time being, who served for a long time as the Steelers’ linebackers coach, before the coaching job was divided into two separate position groups.
Porter was initially hit with some pretty significant charges, including aggravated assault and simple assault. A charge of terroristic threats was even a part of the initial arrest, but was quickly dropped. Yesterday, the other criminal charges were dropped, leading him only with misdemeanor charges of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, after the DA reviewed footage of the incident.
There was also a report yesterday stating that Porter was believed to be reinstated shortly and that he will resume his coaching responsibilities for the Steelers when they travel to Kansas City for a Divisional Round showing against the Chiefs.
But the reality is that, while the major charges were dropped, something still happened. Porter was in the wrong for something, and yet all he is going to miss as a result is a few days of mid-week practice and preparation—and, of course, the $25,000 that was the amount of his bail.
Should the Steelers mount some sort of discipline for Porter’s behavior as a member of the coaching staff, even if only to set an example to the entire roster, and the entire organization, as to what will and will not be tolerated? Or is it really not a big deal at all? Is there a right answer? Every case surely comes with its own set of circumstances.