Why Joey Porter Should Not Be Fined
We all know the story by now: after Antonio Brown was nearly knocked out with a vicious hit by Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict, a series of events transpired which lead to another 15 yard penalty on Bengals CB Adam “Pacman” Jones.
The penalties put the Steelers into position for the game-winning field goal, so naturally, the losing side had it’s share of complaints, including accusations from Burfict and Jones about Pittsburgh linebackers coach Joey Porter, his presence of the field and things he may or may not have said.
On his weekly radio show, Ben Roethlisberger was asked about Porter, a defensive coach, being on the field when an offensive player, Brown, was injured:
“Honestly Joey comes out there to help AB off the field.”
“It think it makes a lot of sense that Joey’s out there. Offensive coaches aren’t going to go out there, because they’re, we’re trying to draw up plays, for the next, for ya know, the next play, to move the ball down the field.”
“So Joey’s still a passionate guy, he’s a young coach, he’s gonna be able to help, if he needs to carry him off, help get him off the field. I think it makes a lot of sense that Joey’s out there to, ya know, help a player off the field.”
Aside from the practical reason, logically, a football team is an extended family and when they see a teammate go down, they’re going to be concerned. However, the Bengals will have you believe that a coach has no place out there, despite Cincinnati’s coaches being on the field at the same time.
It’s also important to note that Porter didn’t start the altercation which ensued. Vontaze Burfict can be seen hovering over the area near the injured Brown. Say what you might, that Burfict had any legitimate concerns or that he was there to instigate, no matter the reason, that is not a time or place for an opponent, particularly one who had just injured the opposition, to be in that “hot zone.”
Furthermore, the video below details how Porter came face-to-face with a group of Bengals defenders, by Burfict’s involvement with Brown and the trainer, to two different Cincinnati players joining the fray from a distance:
- Watch as Wallace Gilberry comes from a distance and bumps Porter from behind, into the group of Bengals defenders.
- Watch as Pacman Jones, who was nowhere near Porter and the rest of his Bengal teammates, comes from a distance to hit Porter, and subsequently, make contact with a game official. (It’s Pacman’s distance, in a rowdy, noisy environment, which has me seriously doubting that he heard anything he claims he did. He wasn’t within earshot of anyone in that “huddle.”)
(Video courtesy tallemong on YouTube)
Regardless of your personal feelings toward the parties involved, the video clearly shows no wrong doing by Porter. Therefore, the league should not levy any punishment toward the coach.
Edit: After some discussion about this article, I felt it necessary to make another fine point. Bengals RB Giovanni Bernard was injured, similarly with a concussion, earlier in the game. For the Bengals players and fans complaining about a coach, Joey Porter, being on the field, they really should look in the mirror:
(I apologize for not being able to credit the original source of this image, as it was provided to me via Facebook.)
The circles above represent a Cincinnati coach, trainer or maybe even someone lucky enough to have a sideline pass! To cite rules about when coaches can and cannot enter the field of play is quite hypocritical.
However, that’s not the critical analysis of this situation: notice the Steelers stay away from the injured player and do not attempt to make any contact with him, the coaches or the trainers on the field. That’s a major difference between this situation, and what happened with Gilbery, Burfict and Jones placing their hands on an opposing coach.