Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter addresses the New England media during his conference call on Wednesday, November 04, 2009.
Q: Joey, do you have any reaction to the Sports Illustrated poll that has you the second dirtiest player in the NFL?
Q: Do you think it's fair?
JP: Not really. I'm not sure what you consider dirty. I don't have a lot of personal fouls, so I don't know what's considered dirty. I'm fine with the meanness and toughness if that's how they feel, but dirty is a different category. I don't hit people late and stuff like that. I guess it's something they came up with and voted me, so it doesn't really make me or break me. I'm not too much worried about it.
Q: Do you think it's a reputation thing?
JP: My reputation is far from playing dirty. I don't really get discussed as a dirty player. I play hard and stuff like that. But playing dirty? No.
Q: Do you think it's because some people don't like you and put you on the list?
JP: Oh yeah, I have a lot of people that don't like me. That's fair to say. I don't like a lot of people. It works both ways. It's nothing that's going to change my everyday me being in that poll - one, two, five, wherever they put me. Obviously, I'm on somebody's mind though, so that's cool.
Q: Why don't people like you, Joey?
JP: What's your name?
JP: I don't know, Karen.
Q: Are you looking forward to possibly facing a rookie tackle here in Sebastian Vollmer?
JP: It's not really being the rookie or whoever's in there, I'm just looking forward to this challenge. It's New England week. If [Matt] Light was in there, I'd be looking forward to that. Whoever's over there I'm bringing my game, I'm going to be ready to play. And that's all I can do at this point and time is just make sure I'm ready to play.
Q: Last year with Matt Cassel, when he was here, you said you'd treat him like a backup. Obviously, Vollmer is a backup as well. So how are you going to treat him?
JP: You have the answers there already. You want me to say what you want me to say. Like you want me to answer that question. You answered that question about how I felt about [Matt] Cassel, you're trying to get me to say the same thing about him so you can say, 'Joey Porter's talking about the backup.' You go ahead and fill in the blank. I'm not falling for none of those little tricks. I get mad when I want to get mad. Right now, [with] you guys, none of you guys I'm mad at, so I'm not going to sit up here and give you nothing to talk about because I'm mad at neither one of you media guys in that room. So if that's what this conversation is going to be about, about fishing, then you guys ought to come out here to Miami and we've got some good lakes we've got to fish here. You can come too, Karen.
Q: For a lot of years the Patriots were kind of the best of the division, you guys are the champs now. Have you kind of established that that division goes through Miami, or is it still up in the air because the Patriots were good for a number of years too?
JP: The division is how it works with anything you do. Division goes to the last champion - period. The last champion was the Miami Dolphins, so we have the [division] championship and until we lose it. It's ours to lose. You can't just crown the champions because they used to be the champion back in the day. That hardly makes any sense. It's what you did the last year. You're never judged on what you did a couple of years ago, it's what you're doing now. Last year, we were the champs and they don't crown another champ until this year and we're still the reigning champs until something else knocks us off that. So, yeah, just by natural thought you would think, yeah, [it] comes through Miami, they're the defending champs. You have to go beat them to take the championship from them. That's just how it works.
Q: Joey, I heard the word 'hate' a lot in that locker room after you guys beat the Jets, and how you guys felt about them. And I remember you saying it's always going to bring your best football out when you hate the other guy. You've played against the Patriots for quite some time whether it was with the Steelers or it was with Miami, what's your feeling towards New England?
JP: Same way they feel about me. So do you want me to say it first?
Q: I don't know if they like you.
JP: You know they don't like me. Everybody knows, let's be honest, they don't like me and that's fair. I don't like them and that's fair. So it's not like it's a divorce happening, we were never really married anyway.
Q: So you bring the same approach into this game as you would against the Jets last week?
JP: Yeah, it's good to have a healthy rivalry. And, like I've said, to have a rivalry we have to win some, they can't be one-sided. We split with them last year and the year before that they beat us twice. So this is my third year and [in this division] going up against them and we're trying to change the way it used to be. My feelings toward New England goes back further. It goes back to my Pittsburgh days, so I felt a certain way after some things came out, way back when. I was in Pittsburgh for some AFC Championships that I've lost to them a couple of times that come to figure out a month later why we lost. So, yeah, I have a natural hate for them - period. And that's just going to be with me forever. That's not ever going to change.
Q: Can you identify what you're referring to there, Joey?
JP: Nope. You can fill in the blanks. Y'all are smart guys over there.
Q: But you felt it cost you rings, then?
JP: Yeah, I mean we do this every year around this time I do this conference call. You know exactly what I'm talking about. And they know exactly what I'm talking about. And that's not going to change from my thought process on that situation.
Q: Joey, what's the difference going to be facing Tom Brady this year as opposed to Matt Cassel?
JP: Well, you have Tom Brady in the game who is their natural starter, who is their leader of the team. And it's Tom Brady [against] Matt Cassel - it's a big difference. Tom Brady, this is the fourth time, he is well-proven and then I went up against Matt Cassel his first time when he was just trying to figure out the game. They are at full power. They have all the guns and all the weapons. We got all the guns and weapons here, too, and that makes for a good fight.
Q: I don't know if you've been able to watch film yet. But having watched, I'm assuming you've watched Tom Brady. Do you notice any differences in him coming back off a year off with the knee problem?
JP: No, he still throws the ball. He's still accurate. He'll still pick you apart if you leave him time. I mean, looks like the same Tom Brady to me.
Q: Joey, how important to their offense is Wes Welker and what he does with the yards after the catch. How big of part of what they do is that?
JP: He's just a guy that can keep moving the chains. He'll catch a deep ball here and there, but that's not what they use him for. They use him for all the little screens and the crossing routes, just to get him involved in the game and lolly gag you to sleep, worrying you about where Wes [Welker] is at. And then they try you deep with Randy [Moss]. Then when you're worried about Wes and Randy, they'll pound the ball. Then after all of that, they'll throw some sinking routes to [Benjamin] Watson. I mean, they've got all the weapons, let's be honest. They've got the guys on their offense that can move the ball. Our job is to [disrupt] all this [and] don't let them feel comfortable like they feel. We don't want them to feel like they're at 7-on-7 in practice playing pitch and catch. We're supposed to make it hard for everybody to eat that day. And that's what my intention is. My intention is not to let Tom Brady have a nice day just sitting back there in the pocket, patting the ball, waiting for Wes to get open, and Randy to get open and those guys, we want to have somebody in his face, hitting him, getting him on the ground as many times as possible.
Q: What can you guys take from the game last year in Miami where they threw a lot of yards at you and Moss had the big game?
JP: Obviously, we played them different from the first time we did. They came and played us different. They came out and spread us out and that's not the type they went the first time. They ran away from the pound game. We kind of pounded them up the first time, so we kind of expected the same type of game and they switched up and went to the pass formation. And they just pretty much ... The game got away from us when they did that. That was then. This is a whole new year, whole new characters. They've got their main guy and we've got some different guys in different situations over here, but make no mistake we're ready for whatever they come with.
Q: Joey, one more thing kind of comparing that to then. Last year, you were 2-4. Obviously, at that point something happened because you guys turned around and won 11 games. Do you see similarities, even within the last couple weeks, beating the Jets and everything else, that maybe this team's starting to turn the corner the way that one did.
JP: Actually, we could have turned the corner a couple of weeks ago, but we keep doing little things not to finish the game. And that's what we did [against the Jets]. We're not exactly where we want to be, but we're heading in the right direction, I can say that. We're heading in the right direction, and if we play like we did last week and keep building on that we'll be OK.