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After The Dust Has Settled ....


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From the website, here's what some Bengals are saying about Porter:

The Bengals certainly hope Porter has something coming. Especially after he reportedly got a game ball for goading the Bengals into the fatal penalty.

“If that’s true, that shows you the kind of organization they are,’ Guenther said.

On a play in the second quarter last month, Porter can be seen jawing at Bengals cornerback  Dre Kirkpatrickicon-article-link.gif  after a play on the Steelers sidelines.

“I asked him nice,” recalled Guenther when he approached Porter before the last game. “It’s going to be a clean game. Two divisional opponents. A play-off game. I told him I told my guys I don’t want any talking on the field or any B.S. on the field. Just do me a favor. Don’t talk to our players and we won’t talk to your players. Then in the heat of the battle he’s standing in the middle of the field. You tell me why he’s supposed to be out there. And he gets a game ball on top of it? You tell me.”

Guenther called Porter’s actions “a disgrace,” and hopes the league is looking into it.

“To me, that’s not what an NFL coach is. An NFL coach shouldn’t be talking trash to other guys,” Guenther said. “They’re supposed to be teachers. They’re supposed to be professionals.”

At this point, he thinks a fine is pretty useless.

“He gets a fine and I’m sure Mike Tomlin will pay his fine,” Guenther said. “And we’re sitting at home.”

Left tackle Andrew Whitworthicon-article-link.gif also unloaded on Porter Monday.

“I have a ton of respect for the Steelers,” Whitworth said. “Tomlin and I had a big hug at the end of the game apologizing for everything that happened.  I got a lot of respect for those guys. Joey Porter is not one of them. He’s not one of the guys I respect very much. He’s a guy that has always run his mouth. He’s always been disrespectful.  Before the first game he was at midfield wanting to fight. He’s a coach, not a player. He has to be held to a higher standard. I think the unprofessionalism he has shown is ridiculous. It really is.”

Guenther on Burfict's role in the game:

On Monday, Guenther could barely see Saturday's penalty as he kept running back the last play of the season on his screen. He says he does understand the league being sensitive about the head and neck area. But he also says he doesn't think Burifct had an intent to hurt Brown.

“I don’t know what the rules are anymore,” Guenther said. “I teach the guys the target area, but the minute they see bang-bang, it’s a flag . . . I’m with (Bill) Belichick. Review everything.”

Guenther reviewed this one back and forth. Burfict dropping into zone coverage. Opening his hips, driving to the ball and there is Brown leaping for an overthrown ball. Burfict lowers his shoulder. Brown ducks his head. Split-second, Guenther says. No time to pull up. They collide and Brown is on the ground for several minutes until he gets up and heads to concussion protocol.

 “Brown really extended out. (Burfict) really could have blasted this guy . . .  If he really wanted to, he could have stuck his elbow out. It wasn’t malicious. My opinion.  Other people are going to look at it differently,” Guenther said.

Here is how Guenther is looking at it. He runs it back and forth.

“Right now he realizes he thinks he might catch the ball,” Guenther said as Burfict is about to collide with Brown. “He thinks, “If he catches the ball, I’m trying to get the ball out, trying to dislodge it.’’’

“But the way the guy landed and lays down, there is going to be a flag.”

Guenther doesn’t know how Burfict could have played it much better. In fact, he’s more upset about the 15-yard flag after that 15-yard flag. The one where cornerbackAdam Jonesicon-article-link.gif was provoked into an altercation by Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter, whom, by rule, shouldn’t be on the field.

“I’m still looking for an explanation for that,” Guenther said.

Lewis, a member of the NFL competition committee, usually has these conversations about legal and illegal hits in the relaxed, tony venue of the annual March league meeting. Not in the aftermath of the most heart-breaking loss of his 13 seasons.

“He can’t have that kind of blow with the guy receiving the pass. (The call) was part of what football is now,” Lewis said. “You have to learn to play within the scope of what football is right now. When receiving the football, those guys are being protected. I understand, I’m part of why they’re being protected.”

Which gives you an idea of where the NFL is on this stuff. Knee deep in gray area with even Lewis and Guenther and the league unable to agree on what is a penalty and how severe it is.

One thing where there is no gray area is how important Burfict is to this defense.

“He willed us back into that game. He willed the team,’ said linebacker Vincent Reyicon-article-link.gif. “We all see it. He was willing us to that win.

 “I love playing with him. I love being on the field with him. I’ve said it before. He raises my play. He raises our level as a team. It wasn’t the most brutal hit of the game,” Rey said. “It wasn’t a helmet-to-helmet hit. It’s tough. The refs have a tough job. Things are so quick. But we have a tough job, too. You’re a step or two away from a guy and you have to determine how to hit him, how he’s catching the ball. Is he catching the ball? Is it going to be a first down? Such a bang-bang play.”

And as someone said Monday, if Burfict tried to hit lower, he’ll be accused of going for the knees.

“He’s going to get targeted by the officials. I understand that,” Guenther said. “That’s the funny thing about this league. If the game is over, everybody is talking about how good of a player Vontaze is. We all know he plays with an edge, but all this other BS would never have happed and that’s the shame of it.”

Finally, Marvin on control and Burfict:

 Obviously we’re talking for the most part aboutVontaze Burficticon-article-link.gif and Adam Jonesicon-article-link.gif. Adam is a guy who’s career you saved, and Vontaze’s career was started by you. What do you expect to see next year from those two players in this area?

            “Both players couldn’t be more heartbroken, literally to tears. Both of them. That’s the first step; to realize ‘I’m wrong.’ When you play linebacker and safety, you’re at the tip of the spear in the NFL now (in terms of being judged for hits). It’s a changing game, and unfortunately we had a guy (Shawn Williamsicon-article-link.gif) draw a penalty that was likely not a penalty in the game. Some things happened on the other side that were closer to penalties that weren’t called.
            “Everybody reacted to that, unfortunately. You’re keeping the calm and civility if we go through the game that way. For whatever reason, it didn’t shake out the right way. It’s a violent, physical football game, and we have to continue to do it the right way.”


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