Steelers part ways with linebackers coach Joey Porter
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have parted ways with outside linebackers coach Joey Porter.
The team announced Friday that Porter’s contract would not be renewed. The move is the first of what could be several coaching adjustments by the Steelers after Pittsburgh failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
The 41-year-old Porter, who spent 13 seasons in the NFL before going into coaching, joined the Steelers as a defensive assistant in 2014 and was promoted to outside linebackers coach in 2015. His tenure with the team was marred by an incident in January 2017 when he was arrested following an altercation with a bouncer at a bar. Most of the charges against Porter were later dropped.
Coach Mike Tomlin called the decision to fire Porter “difficult.”
Play by Pittsburgh’s outside linebackers was uneven during Porter’s tenure. Though T.J. Watt finished with a career-best and team-high 13 sacks, the development of 2015 first-round pick Bud Dupree has been slow. Longtime Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison also became problematic in his final season with Pittsburgh in 2017, eventually getting released due in part to insubordination.