DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Soaking in the sun on a sweltering South Florida day, Joey Porter was holding court, lamenting the media again and blasting away at all things football.

What, nothing controversial this season?

“Model citizen,” he joked. “Just chilling.”

After making 17½ sacks last season, the Miami Dolphins Pro Bowl linebacker has more fuel behind his motormouth than ever. Whether his play matches his rhetoric again, one thing is for sure: The trash-talking, headline-making, in-your-face linebacker hasn’t changed with age.

“I’m going to be me regardless,” said Porter, now 32. “They’re going to get on me regardless. If you’re a guy that’s brash and you talk, we tend to not want to see him do so good so we can shut him up. That’s just how it go. But then when he do good, we’re not going to want to pat him on the back too much because that means he was right.”

Porter’s had countless rants.

He made a bold prediction before a game at New England last September, saying the winless Dolphins would beat the undefeated Patriots and then openly criticized Tom Brady’s replacement, Matt Cassel. He called Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall “soft” after a win in Denver, and bemoaned the media as “pen pushers” after a win against Buffalo.

Sure, Porter has misfired plenty. In 2007, Miami was 0-3 when he guaranteed a victory against Oakland. The Dolphins lost 35-17 and soon found themselves in meltdown mode toward a 1-15 season.

Opponents often find the yapping irritating, a vulgar voice that’s in their ear all game week. To his teammates and coaches, Porter’s rants are usually met with a laugh.

But even Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder, himself not afraid to speak his mind, admits that Porter’s comments sometimes leave him thinking, “Did he really just that?”

“A lot of times. And I’ve said some stuff,” Crowder said. “I love it. Joey is going to be Joey. No matter what’s going on, he’s going be Joey. He’s going to say what he feels, and he’s going to say what’s in his heart. And I love it.”

Porter’s time in Miami has been a tale of two seasons.

In 2007, he was perhaps the team’s biggest bust. Porter signed a five-year contract with $20 million guaranteed and had only 2½ sacks through the first 13 games — all losses for Miami — and finished with just 5½ sacks.

He was rejuvenated last year under the Bill Parcells regime, playing as a pass-rushing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense similar to what made him a Pro Bowler with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His 17½ sacks last season were a career high and the most for a linebacker in franchise history.

Besides the on-field production, Porter injected a mean streak into a team that desperately needed some swagger. He may often go too far, like when he refused to come off the field late in a home loss to the Patriots last season, but even his coach appreciates the enthusiasm.

“I think every team needs one of those guys on the team,” Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. “Joey is an upbeat, high-tempo guy that you like to have in your corner. And I am glad he is in my corner and not playing against him.”

A lot will be expected of Porter again this season.

Especially with the return of former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Jason Taylor starting on the opposite end. Porter doesn’t have a sack through three games this preseason, and he already believes his critics are ready to pounce.

“I know what I’m judged off of at the end of the day,” Porter said. “If this was going on Week 4 and I only had one sack, I already know how y’all would be doing me. Let this be Week 4 and I only have one sack, I already know what time it is.”

Porter already stirred things up when he came out and challenged the Patriots in the offseason. He declared that the road to the AFC East title will come through Miami again, and the Dolphins are the “champions until proven otherwise” even if New England has a healthy Brady back.

Making such comments is not something Porter said he looks to do. It just happens. But he admits there will be plenty to come this season.

Miami only hopes there’s more sacks than yacks.

“It’s not like, ‘Hey, let me get on TV.’ I’ve been on TV before,” Porter said. “Now somebody says something to me, yea, that’s me. I’m going to do that.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.