METAIRIE, La. — Roman Harper will likely get in touch with former New Orleans teammate Tracy Porter this week but it’s not the reason you would think.
“I got to get some tickets from him,” Harper said.
Jabari Greer, meanwhile, is making sure he doesn’t hear from his friend.
“I’m definitely looking forward to seeing him again,” Greer said. “It’s going to be a personal battle out there. I know he’s going to want to play well and I’m going to also want to play well.”
There are no hard feeling between Porter and the Saints, who let the cornerback walk in free agency after drafting him in the second round of the 2008 draft. In four seasons in New Orleans, the Port Allen, La. native recorded 227 tackles, one sack, seven interceptions and 44 passes defensed.
In 2009, the regular season of New Orleans’ Super Bowl campaign, he had a career season, finishing with 69 tackles, defending 20 passes and coming up with four interceptions.
He was better in the postseason, coming through with two of the greatest plays in Saints history, first intercepting Brett Favre in the NFC championship game, then intercepting and returning for a touchdown a pass from then-Colts quarterback Peyton Manning to seal the Super Bowl win.
The pick-six of Manning all but made Porter a household name.
“You have 100-plus million people watching the only game on TV,” Porter said. “I know it beat out ‘Mash,’ it broke the record, so you have everybody watching. For me to make that play, it did make me a household name, but that was four or five years ago. I’m trying to get another one right now.”
Yet, Sunday night won’t hold more significance to the former Saints defensive back than the Broncos’ previous game against San Diego.
“It doesn’t mean that much more, but it is going to be a weird feeling playing against my former team,” Porter said this week. “I know a lot of those guys on the team, so I’m going to be excited. But at the end of the day, it’s no different; we still have to line up and play football.”
It’s not that the Saints let Porter go because they didn’t respect what he could do on the field. But he Porter missed time in each season for various injuries and New Orleans wasn’t ready to come near the one-year, $3 million contract he signed with Denver.
Still, they know just what he can do on the field from having him around.
“He has got the quality of all the really great corners,” Saints acting head coach Joe Vitt said. “He has got catch-up ability. If he gets beat quick, he can catch up and make a play. He has got length where he can knock the ball down. Tracy knows (what) we think of him.”
So far, Porter has proven to be a quality pickup for the Broncos. He has 21 tackles and an interception return for a touchdown, the pick off coming in the season opener to seal Denver’s win over Pittsburgh.
He didn’t play in Denver’s come-from-behind win over San Diego after team physicians required him to stay behind because of an illness. He practiced Wednesday, however, and should be ready to go for Sunday night’s game.
“(I’m feeling) great,” Porter said. “Had a good day’s practice (Monday). It feels good to be back out there after the bye week, after missing last week. I’m ready to go.”