Steelers: Joey Porter to be with coaching staff vs. Chiefs

ByJeremy Fowler ESPN logo
Friday, January 13, 2017

PITTSBURGH --Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter is returning to the team a day after his assault charges from an alleged altercation at a Pittsburgh bar Sunday night were dropped.

Porter, the Steelers' outside linebackers coach, spent four days on team-administered leave but will be part of the coaching staff for the divisional playoff game Sunday at Kansas City, the team announced.

"We have reviewed the available information regarding the incident that took place on Sunday night," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. "We have also reviewed the communication from the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office indicating the intention of that office to withdraw all but the summary offense charges. As an organization, we have great respect for the job the City of Pittsburgh Police perform for our community. We also respect the fact that there are ongoing legal proceedings stemming from the incident. We will await the outcome of the legal process and communicate further with the NFL regarding the personal conduct policy before making any further decisions on potential discipline."

In a separate statement issued by the team, Porter -- who was accused in a criminal complaint of picking up a bouncer after being denied entrance into the bar and grabbing the wrists of an intervening officer -- said he is "grateful" to return to the Steelers.

"I regret that I was involved in an incident that could have been a distraction to our team," Porter said. "Most importantly, I regret that I touched the police officer and I sincerely apologize for that action. Thankfully, no one was injured.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. decided to drop charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and defiant trespass after viewing surveillance video of the incident, according to The Associated Press. Summary public drunkenness and disorderly conduct are the only charges supported by the surveillance, Zappala said.The two citations each carry fines up to $500 and 90 days in jail.

Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that the "standard of decorum" for NFL coaches should be high and that the Porter arrest would not be a distraction for the team.

Porter, who played eight of his 13 NFL seasons in Pittsburgh, is in his second year as a Steelers position coach.

He has had multiple run-ins with the law in the past, including a 2010 arrest for suspicion of drunken driving and an accusation of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. Those charges, filed in his hometown of Bakersfield, California, were eventually dropped.

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