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Shot Through the Heart

Gabrielle D'Ayr for SBS

As if Pittsburgh doesn't have enough problems with their pass defense and a number of personnel changes on both their offense and defense in addition to switching over from a run-dominated offense to a pass-dominated offense, they've lost the heart of their defense.

In a random drive-by shooting, Joey Porter was, for once, in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sustained one bullet wound to the buttocks which lodged in his thigh and was removed the following Monday by Steelers' physician James Bradley.

Much like Jets' quaterback shuffle, the Steelers found themselves in need of a someone to fill the hole Porter's absence leaves. And it's a big hole. Considered to be one of the best all-around linebackers in the League, the numbers he put up last season tell the story. Porter played in all 16 games, led his team in tackles (89 total), had 9 sacks, 4 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries and a partridge in a pear tree. He was a busy guy.

I don't think you can replace someone like that. However, to fill the roster spot, the Steelers chose Erik Flowers, a first-round draft pick from Buffalo that ended up on the Texans discard list. A tweener (defensive end/linebacker) with a rather unremarkable record to date. Hmmm.

Well fortunately, also like the Jets, there is a light at the end of the Steel Tunnel: Joey is expected back in three to six weeks. I vote for three.

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Comment Currently, the Steelers report being 2 million under the projected salary cap of 75 million. A source from USA Today's website reports Flowers held a three year contract with the Texans at a base salary of $600,000 with a $2,650,000 signing bonus. his Cap Value is listed at $600,000. Steelers claimed him off waivers, so presumably they'll pick up the remainder of the contract.

Fri Sep 5, 2003 1:42 am MST by Gabrielle D'Ayr

Comment Hi, How much of a salary cost is the replacement for Joey? Zennie

Fri Sep 5, 2003 1:06 am MST by Zennie

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