If you think Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebackers coach Joey Porter’s arrest will become a distraction for the team, one of the players directly under his charge attempted to put any such notion to rest Monday.
Brian Batko for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette spoke to Steelers linebacker Anthony Chickillo about the Porter news, and although the second-year linebacker admitted to knowing little about the incident, he made very clear it has no bearing on the team’s ongoing playoff run.
“We’re a mature team, we got one goal in mind, so we’re focused on that,” Chickillo said.
Of course, Porter hasn’t had much of an opportunity to become a distraction yet, seeing as the arrest occurred late last night and most Steelers players haven’t been made available to the media since then. Furthermore, it’s unknown what if anything the organization will do to reprimand the coach, the fallout from which could create a firestorm or internal issues on its own.
In fact, Chickillo noted he had yet to even see Porter on Monday, a statement that could lead to speculation on its own.
With a trip to face the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs, the Steelers would no doubt like to sweep this under the rug quickly and quietly. The best way to do that might be Chickillo’s approach: ignore it and prepare to play a football game on Sunday.