Porter’s guarantee draws a yawn


Miami linebacker Joey Porter’s guarantee that the Dolphins would beat the Raiders Sunday was greeted with shrugs of shoulders, half-smiles and indifference.

“It amuses me, I guess,” safety Michael Huff said. “I guess he’s just trying to fire up his own team. We’ll just play our game, whether he said it or not. We play Raider football, we’ll be fine.”

Porter, who signed a lucrative free agent contract with the Dolphins in the offseason after parting ways with Pittsburgh, as the reputation for being a big talker.

“I don’t worry about that. We know what he’s about, so it really doesn’t matter,” running back LaMont Jordan said. “You can talk as much as you want to, the bottom line is you have to go out there and play. With that said, I know those guys are going to come out fired up, but like coach Kiff says, it’s never about the other team. It’s always about us.”

More news and notes:

— Lane Kiffin wants to see Josh McCown limp around for another two days before he can be absolutely sure about his quarterback situation.

Or maybe he is waiting to see if the Raiders hire Mr. Miyagi of “Karate Kid” fame to slap his hands together and apply his magical healing powers to McCown’s fractured left toe.

“Josh didn’t go today so we’ll take another look at him in the morning and see if he can practice tomorrow,” Kiffin said.

McCown struggled against Denver with limited practice time. Would he be comfortable starting McCown if he missed practice again Friday?

“I’ll have to look at what happens,” Kiffin said. “I’ll have to see how he was the next day.”

Never mind . . .

— LG Robert Gallery made it through the entire practice, meaning it’s likely he will be able to start against Miami. Same goes for center Jeremy Newberry and linebacker Robert Thomas.

Kiffin wouldn’t say whether Newberry or Jake Grove would start at center.

“I don’t know yet,” Kiffin said. “I have to see how he responds to having a full day of work.”

Grove’s performance against Cleveland nose tackle Ted Washington, listed at 375 pounds but looking like 475, impressed line coach Tom Cable.

“Jake has done an awesome job filling in for Jeremy,” Cable said. “Last week was a perfect example. You’re playing a guy who’s the biggest guy in the league and he handled everything we asked of him and we were able to have a little success.”

— DE Derrick Burgess did not practice. Kiffin said the bye week will be taken into account regarding the health of all injured players.

“We always talk about all the different variables that go into the decisions that we make as far as knowing that a whole week is coming up,” Kiffin said. “There are two different ways to look at it. One is, you can get him to that week and rest him, or another one is, do you push your guy knowing (that week) is coming.”

— For the past two days, the Raiders offensive players wore black jerseys and the defense wore white. Even long-time Raiders employees can’t remember it ever happening before.

“You put them in jersey colors so they get used to what they’re throwing to for the quarterback,” Kiffin said. “We’re wearing black in Miami, so he gets used to throwing to black and gets used to white on the other side.”

Which doesn’t explain why the offense wasn’t in black last week, considering the Raiders wear black at home.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer