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Thursday, February 2, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Porter lashes out at Stevens' comments

Seattle Times staff reporter

DETROIT — The first true shots have been fired. Stay tuned; the war of words might not be over yet.

Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens and Steelers linebacker Joey Porter are front-and-center in this first big piece of bulletin-board material after Porter cracked back at Stevens for the Seahawk's comment on Steelers running back Jerome Bettis' return to Detroit, his hometown.

Stevens told a crowd of reporters at Media Day Tuesday that the return of Bettis is a "heartwarming story, but it will be a sad day when he leaves without that trophy."

Stevens was referring to the Super Bowl championship. He added that he was "definitely not guaranteeing" a Seahawks win.

That got Porter, long one of the most outspoken and controversial Steelers, into a rage. Porter responded Wednesday.

"I've been asleep all week, but now I got woke up," Porter said Wednesday. "I've got my first taste of blood, and now I'm thirsty for more. Until now, it was, 'Watch what I say. I can't say this, I can't say that. Don't do anything silly.' I'm ready now."

Porter was just getting started.

"I feel like [Stevens], out of anybody, should know his role," Porter said. "I mean, he hasn't done anything to make anybody fear him. Jerome is a walking Hall of Fame guy that everybody knows about. This guy [Stevens] was almost a first-round bust who barely made some plays this year.

"And he's going to have the nerve to say what Jerome isn't going to do? I'm going to make sure he doesn't have anything to do with the outcome of the game."

Stevens was asked about his comments from the day before during a news briefing Wednesday at the Seahawks' hotel in suburban Dearborn.

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"I wasn't trying to disrespect Pittsburgh, because I respect them a lot," Stevens said, "but we are not here to roll over for anybody. What I said yesterday, I meant it."

Porter said he plans to find Stevens on game day during warmups and that Stevens "can't hide from me."

"He has to line up in front of me, and I'll remind him of [what he said] every time I put him on his back," Porter added.

Bettis didn't seem upset about the whole thing.

"I can understand where he's coming from, because we think they're going to go home without the trophy," Bettis said. "That's just the nature of it. Somebody has got to win, and somebody has got to lose."

Josť Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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