When you think of a tall, rangy, physical cornerback, the first person that comes to mind is none other than former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback and Hall of Famer Mel Blount. Standing at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, Blount was a physical specimen in the 1970s. His size and speed was a real rarity for that era. I mean, he was so good at pressing receivers that they league barred contact with wide receivers beginning five yards beyond the line of scrimmage in 1978. It was appropriately called the “Mel Blount Rule.”
Blount was on 93.7 The Fan’s Cook & Joe Show on Wednesday to talk about his annual all-star celebrity roast on May 5 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Hotel. This year’s honoree will be Troy Polamalu. Jerome Bettis will be the master of ceremonies. But Ron Cook made sure to ask Blount about Steelers’ second-round pick Joey Porter Jr., who’s also a tall, rangy, physical cornerback. Porter is probably the Steelers’ biggest cornerback since Blount.
“Well, I can tell you this. If he got any of his dad’s intensity and desire, he’s going to be OK,” Blount said. “I haven’t seen a lot of him other than the tapes they showed when they drafted him. But you had heard all through during the season that he was going to be a high draft pick or maybe a (first-round) pick.”
Like the rest of Steelers Nation, Blount thought Porter landing with the Black and Gold was destiny after he fell out of the first round, and the Steelers were slotted with the first pick in the second round at 32nd overall.
“When the Steelers traded up, the first thing that came to me was, they must have traded up to get Joey Porter Jr,” Blount said. “And then they took the kid from Georgia. There was no question in my mind that with them having the first pick in the second round, I knew, I just felt, they (were) going to get him because he was still available. I think it’s a great pick. We obviously need help in the secondary. Hopefully he can come in and be a great player for us because when you draft guys one, two and three, you really need those guys to come in and make a contribution.”
Porter is hoping to create his own path with the Steelers, and not be viewed as just a legacy pick because of his dad.
“It’s going to be my flavor to it,” Porter. said. “It’s me, it’s not him. He understands that it’s my time to shine. He did what he had to do, and it’s my time right now. I’m going to get the fans’ attention with that, and I’m going to play hardball.”
With dropping out of the first round, Porter says he’ll carry a chip on his shoulder and use the slight as extra fuel. He also plans to bring a blue-collar approach to the Steelers’ defense, which I’m sure will make Blount proud.
“This is Steelers defense,” Porter said. “This is what we’re about. Hard football, we’re going to smack you in the mouth. We’re going to play aggressive, and I feel like that fits my game style. I’m going to get in your face, I’m going to talk a little trash, but we’re going to play.”