DAVIE, Fla. -- Back from a benching, Joey Porter lacked his usual bluster.
"It was a coach's decision," Porter said. "There's nothing else to talk about."
Porter has endured a frustrating season, and it's unclear whether his role will be reduced in Thursday's game at Carolina. Slowed much of this year by a sore right knee and hamstring, he has only 2.5 sacks after leading the AFC with 17.5 last year.
"It's never about me," he said. "It was proven last week it's not about me. As long as we're winning, everything will take care of itself. I learned that a long time ago. It's not about what I'm doing."
"They did a great job to step into a role and not having any setback," linebacker Akin Ayodele said. "It was a great challenge for them, knowing the guy they were taking the role from."
But Sparano also defended the production this season by Porter, saying that while his sack total is down, he has improved in other phases.
"That's a credit to Joey," Sparano said. "When you can teach an old dog a new trick and get something out of him, he's letting his coaches coach him, and that's a positive."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press