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Porter Relishes Opportunity

Posted Jul 25, 2012

Entering his fifth NFL season, cornerback Tracy Porter has had the luxury of practicing against and learning from quarterbacks Drew Brees and Peyton Manning.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In five years in the NFL, Tracy Porter has had opportunities most cornerbacks dream of -- though for some it might be more of a nightmare.

For four years in New Orleans, Porter practiced against a perennial Pro Bowl quarterback in Drew Brees. Now in his fifth season in the league, the cornerback has quarterback Peyton Manning to stare at across the line.

"Going against two Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks, having them on your team, battling against them, that’s something that everybody would dream of that plays this game," Porter said. “I’m always looking forward to going against an offense with a quarterback of that nature."

Porter sees it as nothing but a benefit, even though it has meant -- and will mean -- occasionally spending practices getting picked apart by the offense.

"It forces you to really practice and lock in, watch film and be on top of your technique," he explained. "You don’t want to go out to practice and have these guys seeing you out of position. They see things before they happen, those Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks. They can potentially see you out of position, and you don’t want to get the ball thrown at you that often in practice. So you have to really be a professional. You have to take it to another level."

In New Orleans, that meant spending part of practice on the sideline asking questions.

If Brees completed a pass at Porter's expense, the cornerback would ask how to avoid that mistake in the future.

"He was really helpful in telling me, ‘You were too high, so I threw it on the back shoulder,’ or, ‘You were too low, so I threw it over your head,'" Porter said. "We just helped each other like that.”

Porter laughed and said luckily that type of conversation didn't happen all that often, but he stressed that he won't hesitate to have the same type of dialogue with Manning in Denver.

Having Brees or Manning across the line of scrimmage can make practice a stressful time. But having the lines of communication open is beneficial, and Porter said it makes the game "that much easier."

"Going against quarterbacks like that in practice can be extremely hard," he said. "But once you’re there on Sunday, Monday night, it’s just you’re out there having fun.”

"That's how we all get better."