I didn't get to watch a lot of Miami Dolphins football this year, but my first reaction to bringing in Joey Porter, like most people, is a negative one. He had 9 sacks last year and 17.5 in 2008, but there is a lot more to the story as his ProFootballFocus stats show and fellow SB Nation writer for the Dolphins website, The Phinsider, Matt Infante, can attest.
In regards to on-field performance, what's the reason Joey Porter had a steep decline in performance from his 2008 year? His PFF stats show consistently poor performance in pass defense...what are his strengths/weaknesses after this year? (Redskins will be switching to a 3-4 this year)
Phinsider: The main reason for Porter's decline is simply his age. His body has a lot of wear and tear on it that has caused him to lose a step or two. He'll still look brilliant in little spurts. But the consistency isn't there anymore. He's also always been a one-trick pony and is a liability against the run. Last season, teams made it a point to run to Porter's side because he rarely made a play at the point of attack. So in a nutshell, I think Porter's best role is as a situational pass-rusher. It would keep him fresh and limit how often teams can exploit is weakness in run support. However, that was part of the problem with Porter and the coaching staff last year. He didn't want to be a part-time player.
Porter was suspended for 1-game by the team and reportedly had clashes with the coaches and refused to come off the field. Is this true and what light can you shed to his behaviors/motives?
Phinsider: All media reports indicate that it is indeed true that Joey would refuse to come off the field when the coaches attempted to bring in a replacement. He simply felt like he was too good to not be on the field - which was wrong. After the season, Porter went on many radio stations and threw his teammates under the bus by saying how he was the best linebacker on the team and that there was no need for him to be replaced - even for young pass-rushing specialist Cameron Wake. Porter wants no part in helping along young players - and he made that very clear. His suspension, though, (as reported by multiple South Florida papers) was due to Porter telling coaches he was too sick or hurt to practice and then being seen out on the town that night even after coaches let Joey leave practice to go home early. But this is just part of the baggage when you bring in somebody like him.
Did other teammates support him or alienate him?
Phinsider: From what I could tell, it seems like most of the players stayed out of it. But there were some who did support Joey. By support, I mean publicly declaring they hoped Joey would remain on the team for the 2010 season. But there was never any shot of that happening. Even before Joey's comments, it was becoming clear that Porter would be let go this offseason. So while guys like Channing Crowder did publicly support Joey, there was no way the Dolphins could have brought him back after throwing his teammates under the bus like he did.
One other note. I don't want this to come off as sour grapes, but if Joey was actually as good as he thinks he is, then why aren't teams rushing to sign him - or at least invite him in for a visit? It's been a while now and Porter has made just one visit - and it was to one of his former coaches in Pittsburgh. Yet they didn't even offer him a contract. That has to say something, right?
So, if the Redskins did sign him, it should only be in a limited pass-rushing role. This doesn't make sense for the Skins since:
a.) The Redskins need a full time ILB. It's clear Porter cannot be that every down LB.
b.) 100% chance he would be salty about coming off the field. Who needs this distraction on the sidelines? With a full overhaul in coaches and 25% change in roster, team chemistry will take time. We don't need to make it any worse with Porter's antics.
Here are his stats from last year:
Update: And if that's not enough, Levi Jones and Porter have a HUGE beef with each other (via Steinberg...video of them fighting in a Vegas casino...hilarious stuff).