The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t hesitate to get a familiar face when they drafted Joey Porter Jr.
Besides his Steelers pedigree and his ties to coach Mike Tomlin, his work ethic, God-given athletic traits, and fit were just too good to ignore.
However, it’s not like everything was just given to him.
Talking to Richard Sherman for his podcast, Porter admitted that even though he knew Tomlin his entire life because he was best friends with his son, they both understood that they had to make it all about business; it wasn’t personal (via The Volume on Twitter).
"The respect was earned, and then he just let me be me"
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) December 1, 2023
Porter even stated that Tomlin didn’t acknowledge his presence when he watched him at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, not even a nod.
Of course, the part about doing the background work and whatnot was easy, but Tomlin also needed to see whether Porter wanted it enough or not, and it’s been more than evident that he does want it.
Porter earned his right to start when he made the most of the injury that got him on the field.
Some might’ve thought that having a familiar face there would make him relax and just go through the motions because he thought things would be handed to him.
Instead, it only made him work even harder because he knows how Tomlin is.
Now, he’ll look to continue making his coach, his father, and the fans proud every single time he sets foot on the field, hopefully in a Steelers uniform for the remainder of his promising career.