Joey Porter Jr. Sounds off on Meeting With Mike Tomlin, Steelers

Getty Joey Porter Jr. hypes up the fans.

Very few prospects have been tied to a franchise more than Joey Porter Jr. has to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The hype surrounding him landing with the team his father played for is massive.

So when Porter took in a Top-30 visit to his old stompin’ grounds of the South Side facility, it was unlike any of the NFL team meetings that followed.

Porter said on an April 7 appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, that the first thing that goes through his head when considering the fact he could be suiting up for the black & gold in September is the one who came before him.  “The history of my dad and everything he’s done for the sport and the Steelers. That just comes to mind.”

“I’m more laid-back and calm off the field, but when I’m on the field, I definitely have [my dad] in my game,” he shared. “I love to talk trash. I feel like that’s part of my game, and it brings Joey to the floor a little bit.”

Though he played it off like his visit with the Steelers was like all the others, it had to hit a little differently. “They talked to me about that a little bit and what I can bring to the table. It was a great conversation.”

Porter’s session with Tomlin wasn’t quite like the other prospects who meet the legendary head coach. While incoming rookies over the past 16 years have swooned over meeting Tomlin, the cornerback said he “can’t even count” the number of times he’d met him.

Porter spent many times at the Tomlin compound. He was “great friends” with his son Dino Tomlin and the two had played high school ball together at Pittsburgh’s Shady Side Academy.

So this was more than just a professional visit to discuss where he’d fit in with the black & gold. “It was great,” he said of the meeting with Tomlin. “I hadn’t seen him in a while, obviously because I’ve been at Penn State taking care of business, same as him. It was a good reunion to see him and some of the staff there. I’ve been going there since I was a kid. I saw a lot of old faces. I already know the facility. It was a great visit.”

More Than Joey Porter Bloodlines for the Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s more than bloodlines that attract Porter to the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s in the market for a cornerback after Cameron Sutton joined the Detroit Lions in free agency. Though their corresponding move was to sign seasoned All-Pro Patrick Peterson, the position needs an injection of youth and elite talent.

Porter certainly fits the bill. In his four seasons at Penn State, he logged 113 total tackles, 20 passes defended and one interception. He was named a second-team All-American in 2022 following his redshirt junior season. In his final season with the Nittany Lions, he had 11 pass breakups in 10 starts, missing two games because of appendicitis and bowing out of the Rose Bowl to prepare for the draft.

The very first question posed to Porter at the NFL Scouting Combine was about the prospect of playing for his dad’s old team. “I think it would mean a lot to my family,” Porter said. “Been in the Pittsburgh area a while, staying home would mean a lot.”

Joey Porter Jr. Drafted by the Baltimore Ravens?

Joey Porter Jr. was fresh off his Top-30 visit with the Baltimore Ravens, a team he’s said he has no “ill will” toward, during his Rich Eisen Show appearance. “That’s more my dad and his whole rivalry with them,” he said at the Combine. “I just love the game of football. If I end up there, that would be a blessing.”

The mere thought of Porter being drafted by the loathed enemy Ravens hurts in the heart a little bit. But if he’s the board at No. 17 and the Steelers pass on him, there’s a slim chance he’ll be ripe for the taking where with Ravens are at No. 22. Cornerback is a top need of the Seattle Seahawks who sit at Nos. 5 and 20. But anything can happen.

In an April 5 presser, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh relished the thought of a player named Porter in the purple and gold.

“Seeing Joey Porter Sr. a Ravens fan, that’d be great for all of us.”

Speak for yourself.

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