Joey Porter

Steelers Not Bringing Back LB Coach Joey Porter

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced the team will not be renewing outside linebackers coach Joey Porter‘s contract, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes

“I have informed outside linebackers coach Joey Porter that we will not renew his contract,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement. “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.”

On the surface, the move seems like an odd one, seeing how the Steelers led the league in sacks in each of the past two seasons and finished third in 2015, Porter’s first year on the job. One possible explanation is the move could’ve come from above Mike Tomlin, with an ownership looking to send a message, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

Florio notes that nowhere in Tomlin’s statement does the coach say that he initiated the move and cites Bruce Arians’ retirement in 2012 as precedent for such a move.

However, Porter has been a distraction off the field during his tenure. In 2017, the former Steelers linebacker was arrested for public drunkenness and assault, but the charges were dropped. In the past postseason, he also got into it with cornerback Adam Jones during a game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Notes: Steelers, Falcons, Raiders

Former Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler is now the club’s defensive coordinator, so a pair of assistants have received promotions to fill the hole on the staff. The Steelers announced today that Jerry Olsavsky will coach the team’s inside linebackers, while Joey Porter will coach the outside linebackers, according to Both coaches played linebacker for the Steelers before coming back to coach with the organization.

Here are some other coaching notes from around the NFL:

  • We heard earlier this week that Seahawks assistant Marquand Manuel was expected to follow Dan Quinn to Atlanta, and Vaughn McClure of confirms that news today, tweeting that Manuel signed his two-year deal to join the Falcons. He’ll serve as the club’s defensive backs coach and senior defensive consultant. McClure gives credit to his colleague Josina Anderson for the report.
  • After announcing earlier today that Ken Norton Jr. would be their new defensive coordinator, the Raiders are filling out the defensive staff under Norton. University of Miami defensive line coach Jethro Franklin will be headed to Oakland to accept the same job with the Raiders, reports Thayer Evans of (via Twitter).
  • Central Michigan University has hired Lions special teams coach John Bonamego to be their new head coach, reports Hondo Carter of (via Twitter). It will be Bonamego’s first head coaching opportunity.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

AFC Links: Pitta, Bills, Ward, Titans

Tight end Dennis Pitta reached a five-year contract agreement with the Ravens back in March, but had been considering filing a grievance if the team franchised him, says Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. Like Jimmy Graham, Pitta spent most of his snaps last season playing in the slot or split out wide, rather than on the offensive line. Based on today’s ruling, which went against Graham, Pitta was likely fortunate to avoid such a dispute, since he lined up in the slot for the majority of his snaps, and arbitrator Stephen Burbank determined that Graham was playing tight end in instances when he lined up within four yards of offensive linemen.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Terry and Kim Pegula have hired Steve Greenberg, managing director of elite investment bank Allen & Company, to represent them as they pursue a potential purchase of the Bills, reports Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. The current Buffalo Sabres owners are among a number of likely bidders with interest in buying the franchise.
  • Having moved to Cleveland to Denver in the offseason, new Broncos safety T.J. Ward has noticed a difference between the two teams, as he tells David DeChant of “Nothing against Cleveland but this is a winning culture,” Ward said. Of his goals this season, the ex-Brown added: “We’re just expecting to win. That’s it. That’s the only expectation.”
  • After spending the first six years of his NFL career in Denver, linebacker Wesley Woodyard joined the Titans on a four-year contract this offseason, and he likes what he sees in Tennessee so far, writes Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean.
  • Longtime Steelers linebacker Joey Porter will work this season in Pittsburgh as a defensive assistant, and former teammate Larry Foote tells’s Scott Brown that he fully expects Porter to become an NFL head coach eventually.

North Notes: Browns, Suh, Porter, Bears

After announcing several front office moves earlier today, the Browns will add one more new executive, according to’s Adam Schefter. Schefter reports (via Twitter) that former Chiefs VP of player personnel Bill Kuharich will join the Browns to assist new GM Ray Farmer. Kuharich and Farmer worked together in Kansas City.

With a new group of decision-makers taking over football operations in Cleveland, several players’ futures could be affected. We have details on those possibilities, as well as updates on a few more AFC and NFC North teams, so let’s dive in….

  • The Browns have a much more realistic chance of re-signing star center Alex Mack, according to Ian Rapoport of, who says (via Twitter) that Mack appeared to be a sure thing to depart in free agency under the old regime. Rapoport adds (via Twitter) that receiver Greg Little was certain to be waived by the old regime, but may be retained for another season by the new decision-makers.
  • After Schefter reported that Jay Z and Roc Nation Sports would advise Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh in some capacity, fellow scribe Darren Rovell added that Roc Nation would represent Suh for both contract negotiations and marketing. We had heard back in January when Suh fired his previous agents that Jay-Z was expected to be involved in the 27-year-old’s new representation.
  • Longtime Steeler linebacker Joey Porter had been hired by his old team as a defensive assistant, and figures to work with the current group of linebackers in Pittsburgh, tweets Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest.
  • The Bears aren’t likely to use their own franchise tag this offseason, but they’ll be keeping an eye on which other teams around the league designate franchise players, since it could affect their free agent pursuits, writes John Mullin of