Porter: More players “scared to pull the trigger”

Posted by Darren Urban on October 20, 2010 – 4:11 pm

While the issue of the NFL creating harsher penalties for the existing helmet-to-helmet and unnecessary hits rule got started yesterday (when Adrian Wilson and others talked about it), the topic certainly hadn’t gone away Wednesday. And not surprisingly, veteran linebacker Joey Porter — who has never shied away from unfiltered opinion — gave his.

“Now you can’t hit anybody hard,” Porter said. “Don’t hit hard anymore. Just tackle. There is no more hitting hard. (But) that’s what this game is about. It’s a gladiator sport, guys getting hit hard, big plays, but you are taking it to, just tackle. You can’t have the hard, impact hits anymore. Just watch. The game is going to change. Some of these guys don’t even get $50,000 in their game checks and you have to pay a $50,000 fine.

“You’ll see more points, more guys scared to pull the trigger to make the big play. Lot of guys will start to lose their jobs because you’re not making the tackles you’re supposed to make and the coaches look at you because you’re turning down the hit … it’s just going to get crazy. It’s going to get real crazy.”

Porter predicted more missed tackles and “a lot more knee injuries.”

“Guys will start hitting low,” he said. “You went away from concussions to more torn ACLs because guys are not going to give away money for the big hit.

“Now a lot of the third downs will be caught, because some of those plays, you go to hit a guy to break up the play, and now, you can’t hit around the head or chest area because that’s what receivers do when they catch the ball, they cringe like that (Porter pretended to cradle a ball and duck his head here) and the defender has to go lower.”

Porter had more to say.

“It was already bad for the defense when they made all the rules, like the quarterbacks and you couldn’t touch them, so we should just go out and play flag football and make it like that because $75,000 or $50,000 for hits,” he said.

There was no place in the game for “super dirty” plays, Porter said, but the plays in which an offensive player ducked his head right before impact does concern him. “How is that the defender’s fault?”

“This game is about hitting people. if this isn’t what you want us to do, why do you have us training since March? We are out working, OTAs, so on game day, we are ready to play, and now you are telling us how to play and we can’t tackle like we used to tackle. How does that make sense?”

Coach Ken Whisenhunt also talked about it (although not nearly as much). Whisenhunt said there has been discussion with the players in “doing it right,” like not launching into an opposing player.

“I certainly agree with the NFL in trying to protect players,” Whisenhunt said. “Player safety needs to be addressed. But this game is about collisions. They will happen sometimes. If the ones that can be helped, that can be physically controlled, if they can be eliminated, I think the game will be better for it.”

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34 Responses to “Porter: More players “scared to pull the trigger””

  1. By Cards4Ever on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    Why is Porter talking about hitting someone? He hasn’t hit anyone all year!

  2. By Macc Loco on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    well i grew up during the hard hits Ara Ronnie Lott was my favorite Defensive back i patterned myself after him when i played we love to see the hard hits if you take that away you will put professional football in the grave yard.

    I agree with Joey Porter you will end up playing flag football and who’s going to watch that! They get paid millions of dollars to take those hits.stop the crying go use a tampon or something and shut the hell up and play football.

    Go Cards

  3. By Phoenixraven1 on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    I’m sorry I like ths big collisions! Come on the Romans didn’t feel sorry for the gladiators getting eaten by lions or axed by a superior opponent? It’s what the fans want! We pay to see touchdowns an big hits!!! Let them play…

  4. By Pat on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    Porter and the rest of them need to learn how tackle, in the open field, cleanly. It’s been many years since anyone has been able to do that. When I see an open field tackle, it’s rare, it becomes very obvious. Players like DRC play matador defense unless they can blow someone up from the blindside. Then they strut around like tough guys, but duck the head on clean tackle. Man up and play the game right.

  5. By brad oneill on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    I think maybe hits like this contribute to brett favre sending text messages to hot sideline reporters.

  6. By CardinalSwagger on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    Let’s see how this sunday goes… Hopefully no stupid penalties even though I wont be suprised if their is.

    Man can’t wait for sunday, I miss my Cardinals!

  7. By Safford Todd on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    Someone needs to get some sort of a petition started to get Goodell out of there. If it’s a dirty hit like Harrison so often does then ya fine the heck out of’em. Adrian Wilson gets fined for totally legal hits. It *$#%es me off!

  8. By Pheenic Cromartie on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    I don’t see why this is a problem. Hitting a player cleanly happens much, much more often that hitting a player and giving them a concussion every gameweek, so I don’t see why the players are concerned. Maybe the NFL can have all the players go through a one-day class on how to hit cleanly or something.

    Just keep hitting cleanly and you’ll make the big plays and do what you’ve always done. On 3rd Down, if you’re going to stop a pass, and have to tackle the player, tackle them like you always do, stop the play, but do it cleanly. No problem whatsoever.

  9. By Casey on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    RE: Porter


    So if this defense goes out and gives up another 40+ this week in Seattle (or the next week, etc.), will this be the excuse we hear?

    Wow, how quickly they already seem to have forgotten the mantra leading up to the game against the Saints: “Just shut up and do your job.” We are sick of excuses from this defense. If this Seattle game becomes the 3rd game out of 6 in which they don’t show up, I think we can go back to these comments by Porter as being the early signs of what was to come…

    And I agree with Cards4ever, Porter hasn’t been in position all year to hit anyone hard enough to warrant a fine, so he has nothing to be worried about (except pre-emptively excusing another sub-par performance of his own).


  10. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    Porter spouts off…
    If not about Kellen Winslow, Tom Brady, George Bush, Levi Jones, etc., it’s about police brutality, being an “innocent” bystander in a shooting,not being able to play at full force….
    If it gets the guy jacked up to play and doesn’t splinter the team, than so be it.
    But from this fan’s view, and considering his lack of impact so far, it’s tiresome.

  11. By Big Red on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    I bet Dieon Sanders would like to be playing now, since he never made a tackle. His the worst db that ever played in making the hit. How could he even be 34 on the list of 100 best players. He was a joke, all the guys used to laugh at him when he played. A-Dub now thats a beast.

  12. By aitchem on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    Several good points raised by Porter. Offensive players do, naturally, lower their heads when contact is expected. Which in turn can just about guarantee helmet-to-helmet contact. And who will get flagged for that? The defender.

    Second, I think he’s right re: an increase in knee injuries due to players getting hit lower. It’s logical.

    Third, the most basic one in my opinion – it’s a contact sport. The real beauty of this game is the marriage between violent contact and finesse. You take away the contact, you might was well stick to watching Dancing with the Stars.

    I’ve been around long enough that I remember seeing Daryl Stingley get hit and paralyzed by Jack Tatum. Hits on defenseless players is not my definition of acceptable contact. But I think now the NFL is going too far, and they’re not only shooting themselves in the foot, they’re blowing it off. The contact is the heart and soul of the game.

  13. By Gary on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    I call for Roger Goodell’s resignation! Sure, helmet-to-helmet(leading with the helmet/spearing) hits are already in the rules – penalties and fines are a result of such a hit. Unnecessary roughness is already in the rules, penalties and fines to boot. However, the NFL is going way too far with this stuff – as a result of four people suffering concussions this past weekend. Two were from James Harrison, a hard-hitter by nature. Joshua Cribbs was out of the wildcat and a ball carrier at the time of the hit. The hit was legal. However, the hit on Mohamed Masssquoi should have resulted in penalty under the defenseless receiver rule. These guys are big, strong, and physical players. It is simple physics. You have two players running at full-speed at one another, massive collisions are bound to happen. A receiver ducking his head to lessen or avoid a collision is not the fault of a defensive player, bottom line. Why doesn’t Goodell, with his infinite wisdom, tell the offensive guys not to duck their heads? I agree with Porter, more ACL/MCL injuries are in the foreseeable future! Get ready younger players, opportunities are coming your way! Taking the sport away from the sport will result in loss of fan-base, to an extent. The NFL needs to let these guys play football, the way it is meant to be played…there are too many rules anyways.

    I am looking forward to Sunday. I am anxious to see how the Cards do against Seattle. If everyone does their job and plays consistently, the team will win! Go Cards!

  14. By Mack on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    Off-Topic Darren


    Breaston tore his meniscus right? And so did Jerimichal Finley right?
    Why is Breaston Expected to be back so soon and Finley out for the season?
    Is their a different severity to these injuries? like Finley tore his completly and Breason only tore his minorly? I dont know much about knees but i did dislocate my left patella twice by tearing the PCL once just a little then the second time i tore it completly off the kneecap.

  15. By Darren Urban on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    Mack —

    RE: Injuries

    There can be a difference. Beanie also tore a meniscus and was out only a couple of weeks. I don’t know the severity of any of them, but obviously, Breaston is in a much better place than Finley.

  16. By Chuck on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    I agree with Joe Paterno, who weighed in on the subject this week.

    Paterno: Remove the huge face mask and replace it with a single metal face guard or none at all.

    Ditka also had something to say. (I’M SHOCKED!!!): Play without helmets OUCH!!!

  17. By Ben on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    Roger GODell is single handedly ruining football.

    1. Took away all draft parties
    2. Trying to make and 18 game season
    3. Trying to put a team in Europe
    4. Always jumping to crazy conclusions without any research.
    5. Probably 100 more reasons, can’t even think of one good thing this guy has done.

    GODell needs to be fired. I understand that the NFL is a business and he needs to maximize profit. But the fans made this sport what it is. And everything this guy does goes against what the fans want.

    The day GODell is no longer involved with the NFL things will start to get better, just wait and see.

  18. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Oct 20, 2010 | Reply

    So Joey – you aren’t capable of hitting a guy hard unless you launch your head into his? Is helmet-to-helmet contact the only way to hit hard? Spoken like a thug with a box of rocks for a brain.

  19. By Jeff Gollin on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    A couple of random thoughts –

    1. It was pointed out that Ronnie Lott (known for his woo-hits) used a technique where he led with his chest instead of his shoulder, forearm or helmet.

    2. Maybe the rule should be narrowed to where it applies to “outcomes only” – i.e. If there is a huge borderline hit requiring the victim to leave the game for one play, one series, one-quarter or more, one or more game or more or an entire career, there will be automatic escalating consequences.

    Fair or unfair – if the player doing the hitting knows that he will be held accountable even for “accidents”, perhaps he and others will be more careful.

    3. On crossing patterns or deep seams, wouldn’t a huge hit on the ball be at least as effective as a huge hit above the shoulders?

  20. By Joe on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    Bigred sanders recorded 2.9 tackles a game compared to lets say rod woodson has an average of 4.1 not that much of a diffrence espcially if you add in the fact that he had alot more int and passes defended on avg than woodson everyone plays to there strengths guys like woodson blow peple up guys like sanders run back int for touchdowns

  21. By Joe on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    The only thing this is going to change is more defenders will start making a play on the ball instead of the body. I see alot of plays today where a defender could have easiely went for the batted down pass or even int but they like that highlight reel ro much so they just blow the reciever up and hope he drops it

  22. By OLdude on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    I can’t help but see how overwhelmingly AGAINST this new mandate the fans and players seem to be. Television commentators , former players, everyone seems to be be unhappy with this new ruling from “on high”. The way I see it this kind of knee-jerk reaction is one that Goodell should review and reconsider. When the reaction to anything becomes so obviously negative by such a large majority of everyone concerned, maybe the commissioner needs to concede a mistake and either modify or just flat out retract his ruling and admit that in the interest of player safety (and potential litigation) he over reacted. He might even find his popularity and respect gain a few “points” by admitting he too is fallible.

  23. By brad oneill on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    instead of fining a player a set amount the fine should be a percentage of the game check. the union could work out what a fair percentage would be with the ownership and that would give them some practice working out the big issue coming up around the corner.

  24. By Matt in Philly on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    I agree with CASEY. Sounds like Porter is building in an excuse for a let-down this weekend. This is not the type of talk I want to hear from one of our starting guys on defense. I either want to hear nothing, or hear that they are going to continue to do whatever it takes to help the team win games.

  25. By Dre on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    Porter cracks me up…the guy must lead from the back, the far back.

    Is this what they meant last week when Dockett and A*dub echoed the chant “shut up and do your job.” I have to say Joey Porter is the biggest disappointment of all the new acquisition this year and that includes OB….I hate to include OB but I have to since he will be a non factor this year.

    I have to admit, I was kind of excited about the swagger Porter might bring to the team, now I just want to say Porter “shut up and play.” He has his nerve to get on a league topic about hits when he doesn’t put fear in anyone.

    He hasn’t put any pressure on the QB. He is non-existent in the run and he can’t drop back in cover. He has one sack to his credit in five games.
    Porter if you get a fine for a illegal hit….heck I will pay it.

    Has Porter retired early or what…he’s the reason way we need to go get Merriman. So far Porter, Cody Brown and OB have been bad decisions. And it only leaves room to wonder about this Will Davis kid. If the guy isn’t seeing much action right now, with the lack of production from Porter…how is his progress coming along?

  26. By hebrew on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    darren i am a former season ticket holder from the big reds days in st.louis. I only get to see them once a year now,when they come to st.louis to stomp the rams Howlet reminds me of Terry Metcalf. Breaston reminds me of mel gray, but I don’t see any Ottis Anderson,Dierdorf,or Jackie Smith look a likes on this team. I am still the Big Reds # one fan. I believe we will make the playoffs. Those early injuries may have been a blessing in disguise. Go Big Red!!!!!

  27. By Big Red on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    Joe, I know DS used to return punts. But thats not what the subject was about, What I mean was making tackles. If he had someone coming at him he would always lay down in front of the runner, pretending to make the hit. There is no way you can compare him with Woodson. Woodson was also returning punts when he started in his first years in the NFL and in college. I would take Woodson over DS anytime. Speaking of DB’s what about are very own Aeneas Williams, now he was a tackler. Also, no comparison with AW. DS just a showboat.

  28. By Dre on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    Big Red

    Re: Deion Sanders

    I think Deion would be the first to admit he didn’t like tackling, as he said “it was a business decision.” What Deion did was completely take away a team best WR and If a team tried to throw the ball to the WR he was holding, he was all about the pick 6. QB’s wouldn’t even look to Deions side, now that is fear or respect….however you chose to look at it.

    Deion is one of, if not the best cornerback in the HISTORY of the NFL and you say he was a joke…a statment like that only questions your knowlegde of football.

  29. By Staff Sergeant TIm Roberts on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    I can see both sides of this. One as Safety and one as a worker trying to keep his job. However, I do agree with Porter. Why play the sport if you’re afraid to hit somebody. I play flag football when I can, while its not the NFL by any means, I still hit my opponent when needed to make our team win. I don’t rememebr the amount of times I’ve been leveled or leveled somebody by playing just flag. Now were telling people to play an already violent sport like they were playing cards.

    The point is, why ask these guys who are doing what they need to to play in the league to stop making these kinds of hits? While I do agree that thier safety is very important and concussions should be taken seriously, but now we’ve made it so that they are afraid to make a game changing play. They know the risks associated with the sport and any hit (whether its a big one/small one or a game changer) could likely be their last. Its a known fact!!! Football is a violent sport and not a volleyball game. It was meant to punish people on both sides of the ball and its also why people retire in their late 30’s.

    These guys are paid for their plays. Everybody knows this, so why change things around so that coaches take and eyeball their teams and worry about whether or not they’re gonna make that hit? Makes no good common sense to me. It seems (to me anyway)that people are worrying about the right things but for the wrong reasons. To me, this seems like a stupid idea and it needs to be looked at again. Stop worrying about the “What if’s?” and play ball. If you don’t go full out, you will get hurt. Thats also a known fact. Don’t get me wrong, safety should be first and foremost on people’s minds, but c’mon. Its football. You don’t play it to be safe, or watch it because its safe. You watch for those teeth rattleing, bone jarring hits. Thats why its watched

  30. By Voice of Reason on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    This year’s Joey Porter isn’t coming close to administering those kinds of hits, and he should. The guy used to be intimidating, but not anymore.

    You still have it, Joey? Let’s see it against Seattle.

  31. By Big Red on Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    Dre, I guess everybody has there own opinion on different players. I guess I was used to watching players like Larry Wilson,Mel Blount,Richie Petibon,Sam Huff, Gale Sayers, Pat Fisher, Roger Wehrli,George Atkinson, Donnie Anderson,Cliff Harris,Jake Scott etc… my opinion still stands the same. I never said he wasn’t a good player, what this was all about was his tackling and I repeat myself, he never was an aggressive tackler. What I meant, he was a joke in tackling. Everybody has there own opinion and I respect each and everyone. Knowledge I have alot, partner. Now let’s just concentrate on are Cardinals winning this sunday and the West Division title. GO CARDINALS!!!

  32. By Voice of Reason on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply

    OK, I have to ask — I actually referred to Porter as Josephine in my earlier post, but it was changed to Joey. Why? The moment he starts playing like Joey rather than his grandmother, he’s Joey again.

    By the way — if you think I’m trying to incite him to play with a little chip on his shoulder (to the extent he reads this stuff and cares a lick about it), you’re right.

  33. By Darren Urban on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply

    Voice —

    RE: Porter

    It was changed because while you can criticize if you want, there is only so much disrespect I will tolerate. It’s easy to slam hidden behind a keyboard and without a name. You may not like the way he has been playing, but I am sure he has earned the right not to be belittled like that.

    You’ve always been good to this point, but I will warn you like I have everyone else — next time, I won’t approve the comment. I’ll just delete it.

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