Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Big Ben Shouldn't Lose Sleep over Porter's Criticism

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Big Ben Shouldn't Lose Sleep over Porter's Criticism

Article excerpt

I'm not sure if Ben Roethlisberger lost any sleep because of the barrage of criticism he took this offseason from former teammates, former opponents and a variety of NFL media types. "It was hurtful," he acknowledged last week.

I am fairly certain saying Roethlisberger slept like a baby over the weekend despite hearing that Joey Porter was the latest to pile on. Porter questioned Roethlisberger's leadership style by telling NFL Network, "It's clear he has the power, and how he uses it? He uses it for him."

Porter's comments made for quite a contrast from what Broncos Hall of Fame running back Terrell Davis said on the same show about his former quarterback, John Elway. "The one thing that I respected about John was that John had power, he had a lot of power, but he never abused the power. He never took advantage of being John Elway. That's how you endear yourself to teammates. When you have power, you don't abuse it. If you abuse it, you abuse it for the players."

What Porter didn't mention is that he has a history with Roethlisberger, an unpleasant one at that. It goes back to the 2005 season when the two were teammates and Porter called Roethlisberger out in the locker room. "If anything, it made me despise Joey," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2017.

A past grudge has to be the reason Porter stepped up now to slam Roethlisberger. What did he have to gain by doing it? The last time we saw Porter, he was a defensive assistant or the outside linebackers coach on Mike Tomlin's staff for five seasons before being fired in January, presumably because he failed to get much out of No. 1 picks Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree. The reason Porter kept his job so long is because he is Tomlin's friend, not just a co-worker. The firing was deserved. I have to think Porter wants to coach again. How is going after a current player going to help him? A coach has to be held to a higher standard than a player, right?

Porter has lost a lot of credibility with me since his playing days ended with the Steelers after the 2006 season. …

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