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Tracy Porter Talks OTAs

Q: How'd you feel out there today?

Porter: Felt pretty good. A little rusty to start, hadn't been out there in about a week or two, but that's going to happen. You're back to playing football; that's something I enjoy. I expect to be rusty, and I felt pretty good afterwards though.

Q: Did you have to hit the ice tub right away when you got off the field?

Porter: No. The guys in the training room, they did a great job preparing me. They actually put me through more torture than practice. I would rather practice hurt than do rehab. They got me in good shape and I was ready to go, but at the end of the day, nothing prepares you more than actually getting out there and getting full-time reps with the one against the ones.

Q: What was hurting you? Was it the calf?

Porter: It was the calf.

Q: And did you hurt that last Tuesday, I guess it was?

Porter: Monday.

Q: Is it close?

Porter: I'm good. I'm good.

Q: With DJ Hayden out, did Dennis Allen express to you about they really needed you out there because of being shorthanded?

Porter: No. I think we have about 20 DBs on the roster. I'm exaggerating a little bit but with DJ being out, we had enough guys to fill that void. We had guys to step up and fill the space when I wasn't there, DJ wasn't there. And it's OTAs, it's not like it's training camp. These reps are important, but we have a long season ahead of us. So he wants us to gradually get back in it and go if you're 100 percent.

Q: Have you got much of a chance to talk to DJ with everything that's happened?

Porter: Yeah, he came out to practice. We visited him, talked to him. He has high spirits. He really appreciates the support that we show him in the secondary. He's our guy; we're going to take care of him.

Q: What's the deal with No. 24? Going to keep it?

Porter: I was wondering who was going to ask that. Next question.

Q: Are there negotiations commencing?

Porter: Next question.

Q: Is it a situation - I mean you've had No. 22 your whole career, now you're attached to 24?

Porter: That's a difficult thing to answer, but there's always an open door to negotiating. It's not something that I'm doing purposely. I'm not trying to make [DB Charles Woodson] wear No. 49 or anything like that. Everything has to work itself out and hopefully it will and we can tell you from there. But it's not a big deal right now; it's not like we have a game tomorrow. We have until September to get this done.

Q: Hypothetically, if you were listening to negotiations, what would it take?

Porter: I don't know. I really don't know. I have to think about that one.

Q: They had you returning punts and working inside too…

Porter: Man, I've caught punts since I've been in the NFL. I've had a few opportunities to catch them in the games, not many— not as many as I wanted to. It's something that I really enjoy doing. I did it throughout my college career as well. It's something that I just continuously do. And as far as playing in the slot, DA [Dennis Allen] is going to use his guys and make them as versatile as possible. I played the slot with him when I was in New Orleans, so he knows that I'm familiar with the defense as well and he knows that I can play the slot. It's something that he's basically giving me the opportunity to do, as well as playing corner.

Q: Is that something you think is going to typify the secondary? Charles Woodson, obviously has played almost everywhere there is play, and you're playing inside and outside. Do you see a secondary where a lot of guys can be doing a lot of different things?

Porter: Yeah. That's the entire NFL but more so our team. The more you can do, the more opportunities you're going to have to be on the field. We have guys that can play more than one position, like if I can play MIKE linebacker, then there might be a package right here to go in there and play MIKE linebacker. Like I said, [Allen] just wants to use his guys and use as many guys as he can. We have a 53-man roster that is going to be shaping up pretty soon and the more a guy can do, the more he can help the team, the more he can produce, the more opportunities he's going to get to be on the field.

Q: What's it like seeing Coach Allen as the lead guy? The last time you saw him he wasn't in that kind of a role.

Porter: It's not surprising, but then again, I kind of chuckle a little bit because he's grown just like I've grown. He went from an assistant coach to the secondary coach to the defensive coordinator and now he's the head coach. I've grown from a guy that he's drafted to being one of the older guys in the room who he looks to to be a leader on this team. So, we've kind of grown together and, like I said, back in New Orleans we knew he was going to be a defensive coordinator one day as well as a head coach. But the opportunity came sooner than we thought and he's really taken those opportunities and he's really relishing his moments. He's a guy that I'd love to play for any day.

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