PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers are equipped to navigate the leave of assistant Joey Porter following his Sunday night arrest because, as coach Mike Tomlin says, "It's our job to deal with and overcome distractions."
At his weekly news conference in preparation for the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round, Tomlin cited an incident last week with defensive quality control coach Steve Meyer, who suffered a death in the family. The staff allowed Meyer to handle family business during preparations for the Miami Dolphins.
"That wasn't common knowledge and wasn't viewed as a distraction. This is common knowledge and a public issue," Tomlin said. "So I see how it can be viewed as [a distraction]. But inside this building, it won't be. It will just be a myriad of things we have to deal with as professionals. ... It doesn't change what's expected from us."
Porter, a former Pro Bowl pass-rusher and current outside linebackers coach for the Steelers, faces charges of assaulting a doorman at a Pittsburgh bar and a police officer who intervened. The incident occurred a few hours after the Steelers' 30-12 wild-card win over the Dolphins. A criminal complaint stated Porter grabbed the doorman by the arms and lifted him off the ground sometime after being told he couldn't enter the bar.
"To be involved in the National Football League is an honor and a privilege, it's not a right. We should respect it as such," Tomlin said. "Obviously that was breached in that circumstance and there are consequences to be suffered because of it."
The team has no timetable for Porter's return, Tomlin said.
General manager Kevin Colbert issued a statement Monday saying the team will remain in contact with the NFL to follow personal conduct policy guidelines.
"At this time, we will move forward with our preparations for the Divisional Round playoff game at Kansas City," Colbert said.
Coaches and front-office executives should follow a "standard of decorum" associated with the NFL, Tomlin said. In Porter's absence, the Steelers will lean heavily on defensive coordinator Keith Butler, who has a background in coaching inside and outside linebackers.
"We're treating this with the attention it deserves," Tomlin said.