It took Jerry Porter eight years to get there, but he's finally where he thinks he should've been right from the start.
"I'm glad I got on the team. It's the team I felt I should've been on the whole time," Porter said of his new employer, the Jacksonville Jaguars
Porter was a second-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in the 2000 draft. He thought he should've been the Jaguars' first-round pick.
"They needed a third receiver so I felt I would be a natural fit for them," Porter said of the Jaguars, who were coming off a 14-2 season under coach Tom Coughlin, who did, indeed, select a wide receiver with the 29th pick of that draft. The Jaguars picked R.J. Soward.
Porter went to the Raiders with the 16th pick of the second round. The West Virginia speedster got off to a slow start in Oakland but then caught fire in the team's 2002 Super Bowl season, catching nine touchdown passes.
How would you characterize your years with the Raiders, Porter was asked?
"I wouldn't and I left them behind me. My first three years were great. After that it was a blur," he said.
Porter comes to the Jaguars looking for a new start in a place he'd like to have been his first start. He brimmed with enthusiasm during an interview with jaguars.com.
"They were a playoff team without me. I feel I can help with the parts of the team that need to be fixed. I want to help them be better than they were last year," Porter said.
What needs to be fixed on offense is at the "X" receiver position. The Jaguars haven't had a true "X" since Jimmy Smith was in his prime. Porter, it's speculated, was signed in high-priced free agency to be that "X" receiver.
"We talked about it. 'X' is the spot where we're going to start but we're going to move around so teams can't focus in on me," Porter said. "I'm on board with that. I don't have any problem with that."
The best thing about coming to the Jaguars for Porter is that he'll be fitted with a quarterback of legitimate star potential. Since the Raiders lost in the '02 season Super Bowl with Rich Gannon at quarterback, the team has had a revolving door at the position: Rick Mirer, Kerry Collins, Andrew Walter, Aaron Brooks, Daunte Culpepper, Josh McCown and '07 first pick of the draft JaMarcus Russell. The highest passer rating for a Raiders starting quarterback during that period was 77.3.
"I played against David in college. I've seen him grow as a player," Porter said. "The Jacksonville running game is pretty much second to none. I didn't realize how good Jones-Drew is until we played against them last year. Fred (Taylor) commands eight men in the box and that makes the play-action pass work that much more. It's going to create big holes in the defense to attack."
Porter, a workout warrior who will turn 30 in July, was on the losing sideline of a Super Bowl and wants to get rid of that bad taste.
"I want to play as long as I can. The Super Bowl is definitely the goal but I don't want to stop at one. I've had a taste. I've been to one. I'm anxious to get a chance to compete for it," Porter said.