In the first of possibly several coaching changes this offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers have dumped OLBs coach Joey Porter. Officially, the team is announcing it as a non-renewal of Porter’s contract.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 4, 2019
Porter was hired in 2014 as a defensive assistant before being promoted to OLBs coach the next year. Porter and Tomlin have maintained a close relationship during their Steelers’ careers but it wasn’t enough to save his job. Though T.J. Watt took a big step in his sophomore season, Bud Dupree never developed the way the team thought after drafting him in the first round.
Porter spent only one year coaching before Mike Tomlin added him to the staff. He began his coaching career at his alma mater, spending 2014 at Colorado State.
Tomlin issued this statement on Porter moments ago.
“I have informed outside linebackers coach Joey Porter that we will not renew his contract. 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.”
Porter played eight seasons with the Steelers, drafted by the team in 1999, and finishing with 60 sacks in black and gold. For his career, he finished with 98. He made the Pro Bowl four times, including one All-Pro team.
The Steelers will now look to fill their vacant outside linebackers position. Dave Bryan has floated the possibility of Kevin Greene. Though still with the New York Jets, given their head coaching change, Greene may be looking for work soon. We’ll have a full post with candidates in the next couple days.
For what it’s worth, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says more changes to the defensive side of the ball are expected. He doesn’t specify any further what those moves could be.
The #Steelers have begun making changes on the defensive side of the ball, announcing that LB coach Joey Porter won’t return. There are expected to be others.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2019