PONTIAC, Mich. -- Steelers linebacker Joey Porter minded his
manners and said nothing derogatory about the Seahawks during his
first two days at the Super Bowl. That changed Wednesday after
Seattle tight end Jerramy Stevens effectively guaranteed a victory.
Porter said Stevens' remarks were all he needed to get him going
for the Super Bowl.
"I've been asleep all week but now I got woke up," Porter said
Wednesday. "I've got my first taste of blood and now I'm thirsty
for more. Until now, it was 'Watch what I say,' `I can't say this,'
`I can't say that,' `Don't do anything silly,' but I'm ready now.
"You look for the guys that say something that aren't supposed
to say nothing, and I feel like he definitely was out of pocket to
say what he said," Porter said. "I'm going to make sure he owns
up to those words."
Porter was agitated about Stevens' comments Tuesday regarding
Steelers star Jerome Bettis' much-publicized return to his hometown
of Detroit to try to win a Super Bowl in what likely is his final
"It's a heartwarming story and all that, but it will be a sad
day when he leaves without that trophy," said Stevens, who said
later he wasn't guaranteeing a victory but was only saying what he
Stevens also said Porter will have a difficult time whenever he
is matched up with Seahawks All-Pro tackle Walter Jones.
"He had a huge game in the AFC championship game coming off the
edge on the blitz," Stevens said of Porter. "I don't think he is
going to have such an easy day against Walt, though."
Porter said Stevens' remarks made it even easier to get himself
ready to play in his first Super Bowl.
"He's too soft to say something like that," Porter said.
"He's going to have the opportunity to back up his words. I'm
going to have the opportunity to back up my words. So it's
something I'm looking forward to and I'm ready to get going."
Porter also called Stevens "a first-round bust who barely made
some plays this season." He also said a player of Stevens' stature
"has a lot of nerve" to say what he said about Bettis.
Porter and Stevens had productive seasons. Porter had 10½ sacks
in the regular season and has three more in the playoffs. Stevens
had 45 catches and five touchdowns during the season and has eight
catches and another TD in two playoff games.
Porter's outburst was the latest in a series of strong or
inflammatory comments by him during these NFL playoffs.
He riled up the Colts during the divisional round by saying they
relied on tricks and wouldn't play smashmouth football, then
accused the NFL officiating crew of cheating the Steelers during
their 21-18 upset of the Colts. He was not fined for those remarks.
Steelers coach Bill Cowher subsequently cautioned Porter and
other players about making comments that opposing teams might use
for motivation. Cowher also called Porter's officiating comments
"ridiculous," and Porter subsequently had little to say before
Pittsburgh's 34-17 victory over Denver in the AFC championship
And what might Cowher think of these comments?
"I do what I have do to get myself going and he likes to see me
going," Porter said. "He knows once I get going, he knows what
kind of player he's going to get. That's going to make me play at a
Steelers players also were cautioned before the Super Bowl about
not saying anything that the Seahawks could use for motivation, but
Porter didn't seem to care.
"When a guy says something who lines up in front of me on every
play, I have to like that," Porter said. "He has to see me.
There's no way he can hide from me. We have to meet -- over and over
and over. ... I'll remind him every time I put him on his back."
Stevens found Porter's comments amusing.
"I think that will make it more exciting. That fuels the
fire," Stevens said. "He's an up-tempo guy and playing that way
is why football is fun."
Then, reflecting on what Porter said, he added, "He said I'll
be on my back?"
Stevens flashed a smile.
If his words make Stevens Public Enemy No. 1 in Steel City,
there's always the support of those close to him, right?
"My fiancee is from Pittsburgh," Stevens said. "She was born
there. She is on the right side, though. She knows who to cheer
"Her family and my family will be together at the game. I think
they are going to cheer for a good game. My family will be rooting
for [Seattle], but her family, they're lifelong Steelers fans, so
this is a dream come true for them. I can't tell them anything
about what they should do.
"I did tell them I got them the tickets," he added with a
smile, "so you have to root for the Seahawks. But that's just