Joey Porter RE Anthony Chickillo RELATED
Joey Porter:Anthony Chickillo is a guy we picked up from Miami. I think he adds depth to our pass rush situation. You can never have enough pass rushers in the way the game is being played now from the outside linebacker position. I think he's going to add a lot of depth to us. He gives us some switch up opportunities to move us around. I think he's a good pick. I'm looking forward to doing business with this guy. I'm happy we got him. We just made our outside linebacker tree a little deeper.
Re: Chickillo not having a permanent position:
He's one of those big guys that shows capability to do it. He played a little inside. He played a little outside. How we're going to use him, I think he can fit the system with what we're going to do with him. We'll work with him when he gets here. We'll find out his strengths and his weaknesses. What we're trying to do right now is solve a problem that we didn't do last year. We didn't put enough pressure on the quarterback. We're addressing situations that we need to fix.
Did he drop into coverage at all in college?
No but we're trying to go forward. We're not asking if he can drop back in coverage. If we have a guy that's going to come in and get sacks for us, we'll take that. We have enough outside linebackers. There are certain situations we want to play him in. If we want to play him in rush downs, we'll play him in rush downs. We're going to find out his strengths instead of focusing on his weaknesses.
Re: Playing him in the nickel package:
I think he's a big enough guy to where we'll find somewhere for him to play. The way the game is played now, everyone is trying to spread you out in these king formations where they're putting four and five wide receivers out there on the field to where you have to meet that with having people to get to the quarterback. Now does he fit in our nickel package and we move him inside and have some speedy guys outside? That's something I'm pretty sure we'll work with and see what he does best. I've seen him on tape rush from a lot of different positions inside and out. Has he stood up before? No. But it's something that I think he can do. It's something that won't probably come naturally to him. But it didn't come naturally to me when I played defensive end in college. Whenever you're taking these type of guys, you're already hoping on the upside. I think he's going to be a guy that we're willing to take the chance to see if he can do it.
View photos of Pittsburgh Steelers 2015 6th Round Draft Pick, linebacker Anthony Chickillo.
Did you feel like you needed two outside backers in this draft?**
I was going to be happy with whatever pick we got that was going to make us better on defense. I'm not the one in there making the picks, but I do agree with it. I love the pick that we got. You never can have enough pass rushers, especially in the way the NFL is being played now. When I played now, I think it was more about being able to stop the run and being able to play both. The way they're playing the game now, it's a track meet out there. You have to put pressure on the quarterback. I feel like if we had done that last year, we would've been a little bit better. I think we're addressing some of the problems we had. He adds depth helping us get to the quarterback. I'm happy with that.
Re: How these linebacker picks fit in with the guys already on the team:
The guys that we already have on the team know their roles and know what they do best. Whenever you're drafting a guy like Bud Dupree in the first round and picking up a guy like Chickillo late in the rounds, we're trying to address the situation to what we have is good but we can always be better. I think that's what we're doing with this pick.
Is Chickillo a self-starter?
He's always showing up on the field. He plays with a real live motor. I think I know what we're getting from how hard he's going to play when he's out there on the football field. It won't be a question of how hard he will play. I know we're going to get an energy guy that can get to the quarterback. Finding his true position is what we're going to be doing right now when we get him. I'll find out how he feels standing up and what he does best. Does he like the left side or does he like the right side? I'll find out where he's comfortable at and we'll play him at that. We're not going to focus on the things we already know coming off the top what he can't do. As a coach I think you try to look for the guys and see what they do best and put them in the situation to help you win. Trying to help you win, you have to find out what he does best. We're going to find out what he does best and put him in a situation to do well.
Are you encouraged with all that Jarvis Jones has done this offseason?
Yes. I've been encouraged with Jarvis. I think Jarvis has had a good offseason. He's getting stronger. He's doing some things that he knows he needs to do to get better for this year. He's not naïve to know what he's done so far. It doesn't meet his standards and he knows there's a lot more in there. I thought Jarvis was playing good last year until he got hurt. So it doesn't bother me on how it ended last year with Jarvis. I still think he is one of the better linebackers in the league and he will be that. It just hasn't happened yet.
Did Jones come in last week?**
Yes. He was in and out.
Is there any coincidence that both of your outside guys are bigger guys?
These kids are just bigger guys period. These athletes are just coming out much bigger guys. Jason Gildon was a bigger guy when I first came into the league. He was around 260 (pounds). (Dante) Fowler (Jr.) is 260. Bud (Dupree) is 270. I think the outside linebacker position, we're getting bigger athletes that can do it. (Lamarr) Woodley was a 275 pound guy that played the position. (James) Harrison played at 260 before he started to lose weight. I think it's ok. I think if you can run and do what we ask you to do, if that's the weight you like to fight at, I'm fine with that.
What was the most weight that you played at?
250 (pounds). That was my perfect fighting weight for me. But that was for me. I thought I was quicker than some. That was my fighting weight. That was good fighting weight for me. Bud, fighting weight for him is 270, and he can run at 270. So I'm not going to make you drop any weight or do anything different. If you feel like you're locked in and throw your best pitch at 270, why change it?
How much are you looking forward to working with Bud Dupree?
I'm looking forward to working with Bud. I'm looking forward to working with (Anthony) Chickillo. I'm looking forward to working with the guys that we already have here in the building. I just think when you add depth, you make it a better group because now the competition is set so high. And we're not naïve to the situation. There are only going to be four spots, maybe five. So the competition in my room just got that much stronger and that's how you like it. When you got those guys in the room and they're counting the numbers, you're going to get some good effort out there on the football field. You would love to have that in every position and I know my room now just went from seven to eight and they know how many spots you're really going to keep. The competition just raised the bar a notch higher.
Re: Chickillo seeming like more of a high-motor guy than a physical tools guy and can you get it done with more heart than anything else:
I mean heart can take you a lot of places. I wouldn't put him into a box and say that he doesn't have any tools in his box. I think he just did what Miami had him do in that system. It's hard to judge a guy in college because sometimes you have to look at the tape. And when you're a football guy you have to know exactly what they're asking him to do. Why are you doing this? So I used to always, like when we had those visits, I watched film with the guy before I judge him of what he did on tape. I ask him, why were you doing this? To make sense. If I see something on tape I didn't like maybe the system is asking him to do that. Sometimes they're just doing what they're told to do for that system. That doesn't mean that they can't do something else. So what Chickillo was asked to do in their system, he moved around a lot. That's probably how Miami used him. Now how we're going to use him is going to be different and I think he is going to be ready to make that change and do what we are asking him to do.
How different are your duties this year with your new title?**
Because I know if the outside linebackers don't go out there and get sacks you all are going to give me the blame and I love that. Last year I didn't have that blame. I was just an assistant. I was just a guy that was out there helping. But now, if we don't produce the numbers, I'm fine with that (responsibility). Look at me. So I'm going to teach them everything I can and put them in a position to go out there and be ready to play on Sunday. Like I said, the beautiful thing about it now (is) every time you add a guy in there, there is no time for anybody not to be working hard. The room is going to be intense. We just took another first-rounder. We have two first-round outside linebackers with a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year in that room. The competition is going to be set at a high level and I'm going to expect everybody every day to come to work with their hard hat on. They're going to have to get after it because there are only so many spots that we can keep because we have a deep middle linebacker group with a deep outside linebacker group now. They're going to be scratching and clawing for some playing time.
Will you have to monitor James Harrison's snaps?
I wouldn't say monitor it but anybody that gets to that age, if I wasn't as hard-headed as I was when I played my snaps should have been monitored. But I was in a different mindset and thought I could play every play. When you get to a certain age you really can't. Your mind will tell you you can. But Harrison is going to be a better player for us if I keep his snap count down to 25 snaps. I'll get the best James Harrison I can out of him instead of trying to make him play like he was 25 (years old and) 60 snaps a game. He knows where he is. I know where he is. We have that relationship that he knows. I told him already, the James Harrison [of before] is over. He's going to play his role and his role is going to be effective. He knows what we're asking out of him and he's going to be ready to answer the bell.
What was his reaction when you told him that?**
He knew what it was. I just told him, 'You know you're not going play the whole game like that anymore.' His things are just as long as you pull me out (and) tell me when and how I'm playing before the game instead of going into the game not knowing. If you go into the game knowing what your situation is there's really nothing to argue about. But if you go into a game not knowing what your situation is, then you run into situations. Me and him have not only a coaching relationship, but we have a relationship because this is a guy that played up under me and our relationship and our bond is solid. I just tell him exactly what it is. 'Hey man you're 37 (years old) with me.' He always says, 'No you're not.' I say, 'Yeah you're just a couple months younger than me. I'm 38 and you're 37.' He isn't going to be able to play 60 snaps any more [laughing]. He can't argue with that. He knows where he's at.
How many snaps could you play?
I have two snaps left in me. Because I'm stuck at 98 sacks. I have two snaps left in me [laughing].