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Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Updated: November 5, 9:51 AM ET
Porter recycles some old trash talk

By Chris Forsberg
ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter has never been short on opinions, but on the heels of a trash talk-fueled triumph over the AFC East rival New York Jets Sunday, maybe, just maybe, Porter dialed it back a touch in advance of this week's clash with the New England Patriots.

While Porter didn't deliver any new bulletin board-worthy material during a conference call with the New England media Wednesday, he did expound on a number of hot-button topics, such as Spygate, his being a dirty player, and the notion that the road to the division title will go through Miami.

This somewhat kinder, gentler Porter even passed on the opportunity to pounce when a reporter asked for his thoughts on potentially lining up opposite a rookie left tackle (Sebastian Vollmer).

Joey Porter
Miami's Joey Porter (12 tackles, 2.5 sacks this season) usually backs up his bravado on the field.
"It's not really about being a rookie or whoever is in there," said Porter. "I'm looking forward to the game. It's New England week. If [Matt Light] was in there, I'd be looking forward to that. So whoever is over there, I'm going to bring my game and be ready to play. That's all I can do at this point in time, be ready to play."

Reminded of his comments last year about then-Patriots backup quarterback Matt Cassel ("I just know he's not a Tom Brady," Porter said), the veteran linebacker wouldn't bite.

"You have the answer to that already," said Porter. "You want me to say what you want me to say, like you want me to answer that question. You [want me to] answer the question [with what I] feel about Cassel, trying to say the same thing about him. And then, 'Joey Porter's talking about the backup.' You go ahead and fill in the blanks, because I'm not falling for none of the little tricks. I'm not going to sit up here and give you something to talk about.

"If that's what this conversation is going to be about -- fishing -- you guys can come down to Miami because we've got some good lakes you gotta fish in."

Coach Tony Sparano told his troops following Sunday's win that he preferred the Dolphins do their talking on the field. Porter appears to be buying into it, at least for the moment, with Miami two games behind the Patriots in the AFC East. Keeping with the fishing theme, Sparano said he doesn't have to reel Porter in.

"I don't let anyone go and do their own thing," Sparano said when asked if he gives Porter more freedom to speak his mind because of the way he plays on the field. Porter had a career-best 17.5 sacks a year ago.

"Joey's one of my captains. I do believe Joey gets it. He does a great job of speaking our language that way. Every team has a couple of players that are kind of out front. Joey's one of those guys out front. My opinion is that the media creates a lot of this. At the end of the day, Joey's been a good soldier for us."

Blaming the media for the trash-talking and all that has come of it through Porter's career is a stretch. Just last week, Porter got in a pregame shoving match with Jets safety Kerry Rhodes that led to the teams being separated before kickoff. And that wasn't the first time Porter's had his feathers ruffled before the coin flip; he took umbrage with the Patriots walking through the Dolphins' stretching lines before last year's game in Foxborough.

On Wednesday, Porter echoed one of his most famous lines, which was born out of that incident.

"Let's all be honest, they don't like me and that's fair," said Porter. "I don't like them, and that's fair. It's not like it's a divorce happening. We were never married anyway."

Porter touched on a few other sensitive subjects during a 10-minute Q&A with reporters: