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Porter shrugs on Sanchez, says Dolphins still in it

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Joey Porter wants the rest of the AFC East to know the Miami Dolphins aren't dead yet.

In fact, Porter still insists the division goes through Miami despite its 1-3 start.

Porter, one the NFL's brashest orators, views Monday's game against the boisterous New York Jets in Land Shark Stadium as a put-up-or-shut-up showdown.

"This conference isn't big enough for too many bullies," Porter told reporters Thursday at the team's training facility in Davie, Fla. "There can only be a certain amount of bullies on the playground at one time before they fight and find out who the real bully is.

"So, you know, we feel like the AFC East still runs through Miami, and they feel a different way. So you're going to have two bullies in the parking lot that are going to get down Monday."

Porter didn't seem the least bit impressed with Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who committed four turnovers last week.

"He’s still a rookie," Porter said of Sanchez. "He made some plays, won some games. I still feel like we’re going to have some opportunities to get the ball away from him.

Porter sounded like he did last year before the Dolphins faced New England Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel for the first time. The Dolphins were 0-2 and facing the 2-0 Patriots, a team that looked strong despite Tom Brady's absence. The Dolphins unveiled the Wildcat that game and demolished the defending AFC champs.

"It’s not like Sanchez is sitting back there, having Drew Brees-type numbers," Porter said. "When they win, they run the ball. When we win, we run the ball. There it is. ... We’re going to have to put our big boys pads on and be ready to play physical.

"They’re not going to put the game in Sanchez’s hands to pass 35, 40 times. We know that."

The Jets are tied with the Patriots atop the AFC East at 3-1. But the Jets jolted the Patriots in Week 2.

The Dolphins are coming off their lone victory, an annihilation of the Buffalo Bills. That makes the defending AFC East champs 1-0 in the division.

A victory over the Jets on Monday night would bunch the standings and potentially pull the Dolphins within a game of first place.

"If we'd have won the games we were supposed to win, we could be sitting up there, but we didn't," said Porter, who has been battling a hamstring problem but is expected to play Monday. "We did it to ourself.

"We are where we are. We have nobody to blame. We’re 1-3. We haven’t done anything for you guys to be writing amazing stories about us. They're [3-1]. So at this point they deserve the ink they've been getting.

"But at the same time this is a division game, and you come to Miami to fight us for a division game. We'll be there for the fight. You can count on that."