PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr. has only been shadowing the top opponent wide receiver for a weeks now. But he’s been thinking about doing it — and very specifically thinking about doing it against Seattle Seahawks star DK Metcalf this week — for a long time.
“When I just first seen it on the schedule,” Porter said.
The allure is understandable. Metcalf is one of the better receivers in the NFL. But Porter has done that. He’s followed DeAndre Hopkins, JaMarr Chase, Amari Cooper and Tee Higgins around the field these last few weeks.
Metcalf is certainly a star, but Cooper and Chase both have more yards this season. The allure of this particular matchup is not just about the ability of the individuals, though. As they say in boxing, styles make the fights. Metcalf is 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and has been well-known since even before he got to the NFL for his freakish physique.
Porter has quickly become known for his length and physicality — seemingly a perfect foil for what Metcalf brings to the table.
“DK is definitely one of those guys that’s different from the rest,” Porter said. “Like every matchup, I’m ready for it. I’m looking forward to it. Especially this one, this is a big one. Everyone has been talking about it. I’m not going to lie, I had this circled on my calendar. Man, I’m just ready to work.”
There’s also the respective mindsets. Porter lead the league in pass interference penalties. Metcalf was ejected for a game for starting a brawl with — of all people — San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner earlier this season.
49ERS-SEAHAWKS GETS CHIPPY 😳
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 10, 2023
“He’s an aggressive guy,” Porter said. “He likes to get physical. He puts hands on dudes. I know that and I’m just excited for that. I’ve been looking for that. Everyone says I’m a physical guy. I’m ready for that.”
It’s a big week for the team, as the Steelers have essentially another must-win game after dropping three straight to start December. But even with those team stakes, Porter hasn’t been able to shake the hype for his individual matchup — even at home.
“Outside, the media, everybody,” he said. “My mom and dad are talking about it.”