Mike Tomlin on Joey Porter: ‘Being in the NFL is a privilege, not a right’

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t sound like he’s exactly chomping at the bit to bring Joey Porter back to the team following an arrest for assault.

Porter was arrested in Pittsburgh at a local pub on Saturday night after the Steelers beat the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card Playoffs.

The arrest followed an alleged assault on the establishment’s doorman and an alleged incident with a police officer in which he put hands on him. He’s being charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, resisting arrest, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct (more on that here).

On Monday, the Steelers placed Porter on leave while they investigate the incident and prepare for an upcoming Divisional Round matchup on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Speaking at his Tuesday press conference, Tomlin addressed the situation. He said it was disappointing to learn about Porter’s arrest and said the team is giving the ordeal the “attention it deserves,” per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk.

He also said, “Being in the NFL is a privilege, not a right.”

Tomlin doesn’t believe Porter’s arrest and temporary dismissal will have a negative impact on the Steelers as they prepare for the Chiefs. He said the incident won’t “change what’s expected of us or our preparation” for the game Sunday.

But it absolutely will have an impact, at least in the fact that one of the team’s key coaches (outside linebackers) won’t be there in meetings this week or on the sideline to coach up his guys.

Still, the Steelers are doing the right thing by placing him on leave and at least making it appear there could be more lasting consequences pending their investigation on Porter.