Football talk has been revolving around the NFL Scouting Combine, and that is something that brings back great memories for outside linebackers coach Joey Porter.
Porter, who attended the Combine in 1999, loved the opportunity to get on a big stage and show what he could do in front of every NFL coach, general manager and scout, especially coming from a smaller school like Colorado State.
"I went to a small school and you finally get to put yourself on the same stage as these big names," said Porter. "You always want to know where you fare. Where you are. Is he that much better than me or are we on the same playing field? I always wanted to know where those guys stood. A lot of big name guys dropped out so I was bummed about that."
Porter turned a lot of heads at the Combine, enough to be taken in the third round, the 73rd pick overall in the 1999 NFL Draft, by the Steelers. He clocked a 4.68, which he jokes today he was probably faster than what they clocked him, bench pressed 27 reps at 225 pounds, and had a broad jump of 39 inches.
But he wanted to line those numbers up against others at his position, the cream of the crop, and not getting to do that was the one disappointment.
"A lot of guys that I wanted to compete against didn't test," said Porter. "And I was mad. I wanted their best against my best to be put out there at the same time. I wanted the top guys who were supposed to go in the first round to go out there and compete.
"My whole thing is what do you have to hide? It's just the 40-yard dash; it's just the bench press. It's the stuff we had been doing since we were little. Now we're going to do it in front of everybody. The real testing is at the Combine, it's the true testing. Pro days are good, but the test at the Combine is the one."