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fordfixer
05-29-2010, 12:59 AM
Polamalu return overshadowed by Big Ben

Published May 28, 2010
http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2010/05/2 ... d-big-ben/ (http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2010/05/28/polamalu-return-overshadowed-big-ben/)

PITTSBURGH

He has rejoined the Steelers with a different view of football and life.

No, not Ben Roethlisberger. I'm talking Troy Polamalu.

With all the offseason attention surrounding the disgraced Steelers quarterback, Polamalu's return to the practice field has gotten overshadowed. It shouldn't. Polamalu is just as important a factor in Pittsburgh's 2010 success as Roethlisberger's imminent return following a four- to six-game NFL suspension.

The Steelers lost all seven games last season that were decided by a touchdown or less, missing the playoffs and a chance to defend their Super Bowl title. Polamalu played in only one of those defeats. The Steelers won the other four games he started before the strong safety was permanently sidelined by the second of two knee injuries.

Coincidence? Hardly.

"Five of our games were three-point losses," Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said after a recent minicamp. "You're basically talking one play in each of those games. A playmaker is probably going to make the difference in those games.

"Troy is a playmaker. He's a splash guy."

And a changed one following what could have been his final NFL season.

Polamalu initially injured his medial collateral ligament during a season-opening win against Tennessee. Polamalu heard a "pop" when his left leg bent inward as he tried to recover a blocked field goal.

"I knew what happened as soon as it happened, but not to what extent," Polamalu said. "I actually thought it was a little worse than what it was."

The worst was yet to come. After missing four games, Polamalu now admits he rushed back into the starting lineup before he was completely healthy. Polamalu reinjured his MCL and damaged another ligament a month later during an 18-12 loss to Cincinnati. He wouldn't play again in 2009 - and for good reason.

"If I would have sustained any type of injury like I sustained the first week, I would have blown out my knee," Polamalu said. "Then you're talking about career-ending type things."

That would have proven disastrous for the 29-year-old Polamalu and the Steelers. It already was bad enough that LeBeau had to scale back the creative schemes he uses when able to deploy Polamalu in different spots and roles across the field. Poor communication between Polamalu's replacements and the rest of the secondary compounded the problem. The NFL's top-ranked defense in 2008 slipped to No. 5 and surrendered almost a touchdown more each game.

"He's the main cog. Everybody knows that," Steelers free safety Ryan Clark said of Polamalu. "This defense looked totally different when you don't have Troy - and it's not just the hair."

Polamalu's flowing mane - combined with his second Super Bowl ring and fifth Pro Bowl appearance in six NFL seasons - led to his biggest commercial endorsement to date with Head and Shoulders shampoo. But being unable to play kept the soft-spoken Polamalu from letting such exposure and success get to his head.

"It was very humbling," said Polamalu, who was coming off a 73-tackle, seven-interception campaign. "I take things for granted. To sit out as long as I did, it sucks but you learn how to really appreciate the little things."

Polamalu was so eager to resume practicing that he joined teammates for offseason workouts before the NFL draft. Polamalu usually spends the entire spring training in California to remain with his wife and infant son.

"Honestly, there's nothing that can ever replace family time," Polamalu said. "It's kind of disheartening every time you leave them. But once you get here, it's awesome because there are such great guys. We all get along really well. Now that we have a lot of familiar faces back from the past, it makes it even better."

Polamalu is referring to Pittsburgh reacquiring or re-signing teammates from previous Super Bowl teams like linebacker Larry Foote, cornerback Bryant McFadden and wide receiver Antwaan Randle El. But the biggest name back in the locker room after a brief absence is Roethlisberger, who was cleared to return Thursday after undergoing NFL-mandated counseling for sexually charged off-field improprieties.

Asked whether there will be an even greater onus placed upon Pittsburgh's defense in Roethlisberger's absence, Polamalu said, "Honestly, we've never really thought about that. We've always felt that we've been a defense that has to choke people out to win games anyway. Whether Ben is there or not, we're not going to place any extra burden on ourselves.

"Obviously, he's been a big key to our success in the past but we don't really worry about what's going on with the other side of the ball during games. We just figure that if we handle our business, we win games."

That becomes much easier for the Steelers when an early favorite for 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year is wreaking havoc.

"He makes us different," LeBeau said. "He's one of those rare players who can be at every level of the defense. He can be at the line of scrimmage, at the 'backer area and he can make plays deep. It gives you so much flexibility. There's almost no limit to the things you can ask him to do and get done in a game.

"It feels pretty good to see him out there moving around."

Wallace108
05-29-2010, 01:05 AM
Troy's return may have been overshadowed by Ben according to Fox News, but certainly not by us!!! We're quite aware of how important he is to the defense.

RuthlessBurgher
05-29-2010, 01:06 AM
Yeah, but Pete Prisco said that he's overrated. I'm gonna trust ol' Petey on this one. :wink:

Preacher
05-29-2010, 01:32 AM
Well,

at least we didn't have to sit through an entire spring and summer of a hundred and one non-medical opinions about Troy's knee.

I also hope Troy starts taking care of himself on the field a bit more. While I love the high-flying, dive over the top Troy that we see, that kind of abuse is destructive to a body. With Troy heading towards 30, he's going to have to start choosing his poison.

A 90% Troy is much better than anyone else at 100% over the next 6 years.

hawaiiansteel
05-29-2010, 01:34 AM
Yeah, but Pete Prisco said that he's overrated. I'm gonna trust ol' Petey on this one. :wink:



if Pete Prisco or Mike Florio say something is true, it must be true! :roll:

Wallace108
05-29-2010, 01:35 AM
Well,

at least we didn't have to sit through an entire spring and summer of a hundred and one non-medical opinions about Troy's knee.

I also hope Troy starts taking care of himself on the field a bit more. While I love the high-flying, dive over the top Troy that we see, that kind of abuse is destructive to a body. With Troy heading towards 30, he's going to have to start choosing his poison.

A 90% Troy is much better than anyone else at 100% over the next 6 years.

I couldn't agree more, Preacher. He doesn't have to make a play ... just being out there changes how teams attack our D. But he has to be out there ...

smokin3000gt
05-29-2010, 01:21 PM
I think there will be a collective sigh of relief every time Troy gets up from the pile. I hope he doesn't re-injure it this year.

Polamalubeast
05-29-2010, 01:30 PM
If Polamalu is healthy, the steelers will become a dominant defense.

Polamalu is a special player!

stillers4me
05-29-2010, 01:31 PM
I think there will be a collective sigh of relief every time Troy gets up from the pile. I hope he does re-injure it this year.


Really hoping that's a typo. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/Smileys/chuckle.gif (note the return of :chuckle:)

It's ok with me that Troy is being overlooked. Everybody I talk to in Cinci is so overconfident, saying that our defense is old and how they are going to "sweep the division" again. (Bengals fans are so cute...they learned a new phrase last year).

Add Aaron Smith back into the equation and we are going to sneak up and scream.....WE'RE BAAAAAAACKK!

Prok
05-29-2010, 01:37 PM
Yeah agree we Steelers fans NEVER let Troy be over-shadowed. If he stay's healthy last year we make the playoffs.

Injuries happen every year though. No team can afford to lose their best players. If we stay healthy we should contend.

Polamalubeast
05-29-2010, 01:46 PM
Yeah agree we Steelers fans NEVER let Troy be over-shadowed. If he stay's healthy last year we make the playoffs.

Injuries happen every year though. No team can afford to lose their best players. If we stay healthy we should contend.


It was amazing how we have seen that Polamalu had a big impact on the steelers.

The performance out of the defense against the Raiders( :wft ) and Packers was the worst since the 2002 playoffs.


The 4th quarter against the Raiders were embarrassing. :HeadBanger

smokin3000gt
05-29-2010, 01:51 PM
I think there will be a collective sigh of relief every time Troy gets up from the pile. I hope he does re-injure it this year.


Really hoping that's a typo. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/Smileys/chuckle.gif (note the return of :chuckle:)



lol! Thanks for the heads up.. Wishing injury on Troy is certainly no way to make friends.

PS. Thanks for reviving http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/Smileys/chuckle.gif

I don't think there should be a message board without.

smokin3000gt
05-29-2010, 01:52 PM
Yeah agree we Steelers fans NEVER let Troy be over-shadowed. If he stay's healthy last year we make the playoffs.

Injuries happen every year though. No team can afford to lose their best players. If we stay healthy we should contend.


It was amazing how we have seen that Polamalu had a big impact on the steelers.

The performance out of the defense against the Raiders( :wft ) and Packers was the worst since the 2002 playoffs.


The 4th quarter against the Raiders were embarrassing. :HeadBanger

I remember all the 4th quarters being embarrassing on the defensive side.

stillers4me
05-29-2010, 01:53 PM
I think there will be a collective sigh of relief every time Troy gets up from the pile. I hope he does re-injure it this year.


Really hoping that's a typo. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/Smileys/chuckle.gif (note the return of :chuckle:)



lol! Thanks for the heads up.. Wishing injury on Troy is certainly no way to make friends.

PS. Thanks for reviving http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/Smileys/chuckle.gif

I don't think there should be a message board without.
I stole about 150 smileys yesterday and they are all safely tucked away in my photbucket album.

Prok
05-29-2010, 02:02 PM
I think there will be a collective sigh of relief every time Troy gets up from the pile. I hope he does re-injure it this year.


Really hoping that's a typo. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/Smileys/chuckle.gif (note the return of :chuckle:)



lol! Thanks for the heads up.. Wishing injury on Troy is certainly no way to make friends.

PS. Thanks for reviving http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/Smileys/chuckle.gif

I don't think there should be a message board without.
I stole about 150 smileys yesterday and they are all safely tucked away in my photbucket album.

Ya did good. I consider it a good contribution to our new home.

:D

HeHateMe
05-29-2010, 02:47 PM
Well,

at least we didn't have to sit through an entire spring and summer of a hundred and one non-medical opinions about Troy's knee.

I also hope Troy starts taking care of himself on the field a bit more. While I love the high-flying, dive over the top Troy that we see, that kind of abuse is destructive to a body. With Troy heading towards 30, he's going to have to start choosing his poison.

A 90% Troy is much better than anyone else at 100% over the next 6 years.
Troy has only had one season where he has missed alot of games. The guy gets a bad rap for being injury prone. He is no Bob Sanders.

ALLD
05-29-2010, 02:54 PM
Well,

at least we didn't have to sit through an entire spring and summer of a hundred and one non-medical opinions about Troy's knee.

I also hope Troy starts taking care of himself on the field a bit more. While I love the high-flying, dive over the top Troy that we see, that kind of abuse is destructive to a body. With Troy heading towards 30, he's going to have to start choosing his poison.

A 90% Troy is much better than anyone else at 100% over the next 6 years.
Troy has only had one season where he has missed alot of games. The guy gets a bad rap for being injury prone. He is no Bob Sanders.


It is just that his style of play at genius level is much riskier and exposes him to a greater chance of probable accident.

HeHateMe
05-29-2010, 03:09 PM
You mean like the one on special teams last season? Who'd have thought that a 300 lb lineman would land on his leg. Total freak accident and not his fault. What about our DUMB QB who continues to dive head 1st? That is a self created hardship and can be avoided. There is a slide rule (feet 1st) to protect him. He uses that rule and we beat the Ravens and are in the playoffs. Troy is a warrior is beyond criticism, he does all the right things for the Steelers. He bleeds black and gold.

papillon
05-29-2010, 03:11 PM
Well,

at least we didn't have to sit through an entire spring and summer of a hundred and one non-medical opinions about Troy's knee.

I also hope Troy starts taking care of himself on the field a bit more. While I love the high-flying, dive over the top Troy that we see, that kind of abuse is destructive to a body. With Troy heading towards 30, he's going to have to start choosing his poison.

A 90% Troy is much better than anyone else at 100% over the next 6 years.
Troy has only had one season where he has missed alot of games. The guy gets a bad rap for being injury prone. He is no Bob Sanders.

That's because with him the defense is very good and without him they are pedestrian; so, when he misses games it seems like he's out more than he really is.

Pappy

SanAntonioSteelerFan
05-29-2010, 05:52 PM
Well,

at least we didn't have to sit through an entire spring and summer of a hundred and one non-medical opinions about Troy's knee.

I also hope Troy starts taking care of himself on the field a bit more. While I love the high-flying, dive over the top Troy that we see, that kind of abuse is destructive to a body. With Troy heading towards 30, he's going to have to start choosing his poison.

A 90% Troy is much better than anyone else at 100% over the next 6 years.
Troy has only had one season where he has missed alot of games. The guy gets a bad rap for being injury prone. He is no Bob Sanders.

That's because with him the defense is very good and without him they are pedestrian; so, when he misses games it seems like he's out more than he really is.

Pappy

"Pedestrian" - like last year when our D was walking around a lot as the ball was snapped, trying to figure out what to do? Arrgghhh!!

BTW - It is nice to have all you new guys here, and I dig all the new sig banners!!