The first coaching decision of the Steelers coaching staff was made on Friday, as the team announced via their website that they will not renew the contract of linebackers coach Joey Porter.
“I have informed outside linebackers coach Joey Porter that we will not renew his contract,” Mike Tomlin said in a statement released by the team.
“These are difficult decisions when it comes to someone like Joey who has meant a lot to this organization as both a player and coach. I want to thank Joey for his coaching efforts over the past five years on our defensive staff. We wish him the best in his future coaching career.”
Porter was also a member of the Steelers from 1999 to 2006 as one of their most popular players, playing the outside linebacker spot as well as anyone.
He recorded at least nine sacks in four different seasons as a member of the Steelers, and was not brought back to the team after the 2006 season, Bill Cowher’s last as coach.
The inability for the linebackers to make plays late in games had to be a factor in the firing, as the team blew fourth quarter leads in four of their last five games, as they slumped from 7-2-1 to wrapping up the year at 9-6-1.
Defensive coordinator Keith Butler has one year left on his contract and doesn’t plan to resign according to reports.