Seems like all we’ve heard this off-season from the Arizona Cardinals is how they’ve lost key contributors from their successful teams from the past several seasons. First it was the retirement of Kurt Warner. Then it was the trade of exodus of free agents Karlos Dansby and Antrell Rolle along with the trade of Anquan Boldin. Those are four key guys to lose, no matter how you look at it. The Cardinals will save significant salary cap space in future years because of it, but the production has to be replaced as well as the leadership that those three brought to the table. Enter linebacker Joey Porter, who Arizona signed a 3-year deal to join the Cardinals. I’d say it’s a good move by the Cardinals. Porter, who played for Pittsburgh for many years before joining the Miami Dolphins for the past three seasons, still can be a force rushing the passer at 33 years of age (happy Birthday by the way, Joey!). And he’s always been at his best when people doubt him – which many do because of his age and because of his diminished playing time in Miami last year.
Porter joined KTAR in Phoenix to talk about why Arizona is a great fit for him, how he’s excited to be reunited with Ken Whisenhunt, how his trash talking helps inspire him and his teammates on Sunday, and how he has a chip on his shoulder to prove to himself that he can still play the game at a high level.
On why he ultimately signed with Arizona:
“It was a good fit. It was a great fit for me, my family, the way that new D-coordinator Billy Davis told me he was going to use me, just reuniting with Coach Whisenhunt – I knew how he runs things around there. And I wanted to be close to home and I wanted to go to a team that I could help that was already winning. I just wanted to be a part of a puzzle that was already there, and Arizona was the best fit for me.”
On his legendary trash-talking:
“That’s just the competitor in me. I love to compete. You grew up where I grew up in Bakersfield, California, you grow up knowing how to talk and you better do it fast, know what I mean? It’s just one of those situations where I’m never going to back down to anybody. Just let them know you’re here when you’re on the field or basketball court or no matter where you’re at. It’s just the presence that I bring. And I try to do it every time I’m out there – that’s my chip on the shoulder to keep me going.”
On if Whisenhunt talked to him about toning down his trash-talking out there:
“No, when he had me out there he knew exactly what he was getting. He know he’s getting a guy that’s going to be fired up on gameday, that when it’s time to fire up the troops I’m going to make the main guy to the last guy on the roster – when we come out of that tunnel on gameday, they can be whoever they are during the week, but on gameday we’re going to be trained assassins. He knows how I’m going to have a battery in everbody’s back, and he knows what I bring from a leadership standpoint. I’ve never played on a team where any teammates had any negative things to say about me. As far as locker room stuff, it’s going to be perfect. I’m just going to bring that little extra energy along with Dockett and A-Dub and those guys out there. I’m just going to add my part to the puzzle and make the defense better than it was last year.”
On if he has a chip on his shoulder because of the way that his time in Miami ended last year with him not getting as much playing time as he thought he should get:
“No, what the Dolphins did, it was a business decision. I’m not mad at them for anything they did. I had three good years out there. The first year was bad because we lost so many games, but the last two years were good. I’m going to play with a chip on my shoulder for the simple fact that I love to go into a season any time someone doubts me. I’ve got to prove to myself that my game is still where I think it’s at. I have no ill feelings towards Miami. I feel like I went out there and did what I was supposed to do. I didn’t disappoint anyone there as far as playing football. But the chip on my shoulder now is hearing analysts saying ‘does he still have it?’ So that always gets me motivated and keeps me going.”
On what he’d say to those who wonder if he has much left in the tank at his age:
“All they have to do is come to the stadium every Sunday. Come to the stadium. If you don’t come to the stadium and just watch it on T.V., you’ll have plenty of time to decide if he has it or not. Around this time in December and January, we’ll see if he has the same feelings.”