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Pittsburgh Steelers welcome Joey Porter back as assistant defensive coach

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced early on Tuesday that they have hired former-player Joey Porter to be an assistant defensive coach. Porter was an outside linebacker who was drafted by the Steelers in the third round (73rd overall) in the 1999 NFL Draft. This will be Porter's 14th season in the National Football League and his first as an NFL coach.

View a photo highlight reel of Joey Porter's NFL career
View a photo highlight reel of Joey Porter's NFL careerPhoto by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Joey Porter returns to Steelers as a defensive coach after a winning career as a player
Joey Porter returns to Steelers as a defensive coach after a winning career as a playerPhoto by Harry How/Getty Images

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made a statement about Porter, saying, "We are excited about having Joey back with the Steelers' family. Joey spent a number of years with Pittsburgh as a player, and now he's back to assist the coaching staff. We look forward to his efforts and contributions."

Playing years

Porter was a defensive star, earning himself the name 'Big Snack' for his tenacity. Porter started 171-of-188 career games. He played with the Steelers from 1999-2006, then spent time with the Miami Dolphins (2007-09) and Arizona Cardinals (2010-11).

Porter recorded 98 sacks, 721 tackles (552 solo), 25 forced fumbles, 12 interceptions, nine fumble recoveries, one safety and three touchdowns in his career. As a member of the Steelers defense, he recorded 60 sacks putting him at fifth in franchise history in that statistic.

Porter was the only NFL player in history to have registered at least five sacks per season between 2000-10, earning him the honor of being selected to four Pro Bowl trips (2002, 2004, 2005 and 2008). Porter was named an All-Pro four times and was a member of the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 2000s. Porter was also on the Steelers' All-Time Team that was announced during the 75th anniversary year (2007).

Porter also started in all 10 post-season games he played in with the Steelers, helping Pittsburgh to seal a victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.

Possibilities

It remains unclear as to whether Porter's hiring comes in light of current assistant defensive coach for the Steelers, Jerry Olsavsky's interview recently with the Buffalo Bills as their linebackers coach. The Bills hired Fred Pagac, but the questions now surround whether Olsavsky is looking for a move from Pittsburgh. There has been no indication so far that Olsavsky will not remain with the team at this time.