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hawaiiansteel
07-08-2010, 12:11 AM
Positional rankings: Safeties



Today, we debate the top safeties – both free safeties and strong safeties.

Andy Benoit’s top five

5. Nick Collins, Packers

4. Brian Dawkins, Broncos

3. Darren Sharper, Saints

2. Ed Reed, Ravens

1. Troy Polamalu, Steelers


http://sports.cbsimg.net/images/nfl/photogallery/polamalu_06302010.jpg


The safety position has become the lynchpin to so many of the complex defensive schemes we see in today’s NFL. Versatility is key. On that note, Polamalu is the most valuable defensive player in the NFL. He is a thumper against the run, he has fantastic range in coverage and, wherever he is on the field, he’s a first-class playmaker.

Polamalu’s presence is what enables Steelers defensive coordinator D!ck LeBeau to be aggressive in his scheme. We saw last season that when Polamalu is out of the lineup, the Steelers D can be reactionary.

Reed makes the list on the assumption that his bum hip won’t be a major issue come September. He may be the best centerfielder in NFL history. Sharper is an interception machine and, more importantly, a leader. Without his stability in the New Orleans’ secondary last season, we’d have a different defending Super Bowl champ right now. Dawkins turns 35 this season but hasn’t lost a step. Amazing. Collins has become a regular at the Pro Bowl. His instincts have improved every year, plus, he’s not a bad tackler.

Josh Katzowitz’s top five

5. Bob Sanders, Colts

4. Bernard Pollard, Texans

3. Brian Dawkins, Broncos

2. Ed Reed, Ravens

1. Troy Polamalu, Steelers


Well, it’s hard to argue against Polamalu. He’s the safety who scares every QB in the league, and you could really see the impact on his team when he was injured last season. The frenetic, sideline-to-sideline impact Polamalu made simply wasn’t there.

As long as Ed Reed is healthy and returns to play – he recently said he’s about 35 percent healthy, which doesn’t sound promising – he’s No. 2. Not much to be said about Dawkins – one of the top safeties in NFL history. Pollard flies under the radar because he spent his first couple years in the league with Kansas City and he hasn’t been a Pro Bowler, but he’s amassed 289 tackles in the past three seasons to go with four interceptions and three fumble recoveries in just 13 games last year. Was it coincidence that, when Pollard signed with Houston, the Texans’ total defensive yards and defensive rushing yards decreased dramatically? I don’t think so.

Sanders hasn’t played much the past few years because of knee and arm injuries, but, at the age of 29, he’s still in his prime and still has the talent that led him to two Pro Bowls and the 2007 NFL’s defensive player of the year honor. Yes, he’s not healthy very much, but when he is, he’s one of the top guys in the league. I like Nick Collins as well and I think his stock is rising, but I just don’t think he’s a top-five guy yet.


Josh’s final word

Yeah, I had reservations about Sanders, because he’s played eight games the past two years, and how can you call a guy a top-five safety when he’s played so little?

You’re right about Harper. The guy can flat-out tackle, he’s a force when he crosses the line of scrimmage and gets into his opponent’s offensive backfield, and he’s coming off a heck of a year.

It’s funny, though. Three guys on my list (Polamalu, Reed and Sanders) are coming off major injuries. Two guys on your list are at least 34 (Sharper and Dawkins), Reed is 31 and Polamalu is 29. Which tells us what exactly? I don’t know. Maybe they just don’t make Hall of Fame safeties like they used to, or maybe the younger safeties are just extremely mediocre. Either way, enjoy the safeties on our list for as long as they’re playing. Some of them won’t be around much longer.

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

http://nfl-facts-and-rumors.blogs.cbssp ... eContainer (http://nfl-facts-and-rumors.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22475988/22895536?tag=pageRow;pageContainer)

Steelers>NFL
07-08-2010, 07:59 AM
No surprise here.

Oviedo
07-08-2010, 08:41 AM
Let's hope LeBeau quits using him as a mad scientist's toy and lets him stay back in a more traditional DB role. Playing him on the LOS is asking for another injury. If they play him on kick blocking teams then someone should be fired.

Troy is at the age where they need to use him smarter especially with his history of injuries and the subsequent inability of the defensive scheme to operate with him out.

BradshawsHairdresser
07-08-2010, 08:52 AM
Let's hope LeBeau quits using him a mad scientist's toy and lets him stay back in a more traditional DB role. Playing him on the LOS is asking for another injury. If they play him on kick blocking teams then someone should be fired.

Troy is at the age where they need to use him smarter especially with his history of injuries and the subsequent inability of the defensive scheme to operate with him out.

$$$$
He may be the best, but that doesn't do the team any good if he's hurt and can't play.

cruzer8
07-08-2010, 10:12 AM
Let's hope LeBeau quits using him as a mad scientist's toy and lets him stay back in a more traditional DB role. Playing him on the LOS is asking for another injury. If they play him on kick blocking teams then someone should be fired.

Troy is at the age where they need to use him smarter especially with his history of injuries and the subsequent inability of the defensive scheme to operate with him out.

LeBeau stopped using him so much at the LOS in 2008 and everything was fine. 2009 was a freak injury. Take him off the FG block team (which is the regular D) and you're inviting opposing teams to try something sneaky since the best playmaker on D isn't on the field.

ikestops85
07-08-2010, 10:49 AM
Let's hope LeBeau quits using him as a mad scientist's toy and lets him stay back in a more traditional DB role. Playing him on the LOS is asking for another injury. If they play him on kick blocking teams then someone should be fired.

Troy is at the age where they need to use him smarter especially with his history of injuries and the subsequent inability of the defensive scheme to operate with him out.

LeBeau stopped using him so much at the LOS in 2008 and everything was fine. 2009 was a freak injury. Take him off the FG block team (which is the regular D) and you're inviting opposing teams to try something sneaky since the best playmaker on D isn't on the field.

:Agree

Keep using Troy the same as we did in 2008 when he had his best year. The man has an amazing instinct for where the ball is going so don't change a thing. Obviously nobody wants Troy hurt again but if you start putting restrictions on him you take away what makes Troy Troy ... if you know what I mean. :lol:

:tt2

Mister Pittsburgh
07-08-2010, 12:13 PM
I would of liked to have seen them move Troy to FS and just let him play CF and pick off passes. I fear at SS he is going to play about half the year if that this season and go down with another injury.

Oviedo
07-08-2010, 12:14 PM
I would of liked to have seen them move Troy to FS and just let him play CF and pick off passes. I fear at SS he is going to play about half the year if that this season and go down with another injury.


:Agree

cruzer8
07-08-2010, 05:32 PM
I would of liked to have seen them move Troy to FS and just let him play CF and pick off passes. I fear at SS he is going to play about half the year if that this season and go down with another injury.

Not a chance in hell that I'd want to see that. Once he's in his 12th season they can consider it.

Remember that play he made in the backfield on Chris Johnson of the Titans? Those things don't happen if he's as far back as a FS would be.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
07-09-2010, 08:41 AM
All this talk about moving him to FS, keeping him away from the LOS etc. is asking Troy to not be Troy.

Oviedo
07-09-2010, 08:53 AM
All this talk about moving him to FS, keeping him away from the LOS etc. is asking Troy to not be Troy.

The point is do we want Troy being the Troy on the field or Troy being the Troy in a sweatsuit on the sidelines. I prefer the former.

If reducing the physical toll on him keeps him on the field for all 16 games I want him to play back in a more traditional safety role and be a ballhawk versus playing a hybrid Safety/LB position.

cruzer8
07-09-2010, 10:24 AM
All this talk about moving him to FS, keeping him away from the LOS etc. is asking Troy to not be Troy.

Exactly. No reason to hamper his abilities by limiting his role.

SteelAbility
07-09-2010, 12:50 PM
Was there every any doubt? :Bow to Troy!!

aggiebones
07-09-2010, 04:16 PM
Unless I'm wrong, he doesn't get alot of injuries playing up near the line. He knifes through and flips RBs upside down. Not with terrifying hits, but with abnormally fast hits. Guys can't get a foot in the ground before he's on them. Its actually when he's roaming around in centerfield or in the flats trying to make a super play. Last year's injury seemed normal enough, just a bad step and got caught funny. Hopefully he keeps his legs under him a bit more and a bit protected from the freak rolling knee.

cruzer8
07-09-2010, 05:50 PM
Unless I'm wrong, he doesn't get alot of injuries playing up near the line. He knifes through and flips RBs upside down. Not with terrifying hits, but with abnormally fast hits. Guys can't get a foot in the ground before he's on them. Its actually when he's roaming around in centerfield or in the flats trying to make a super play. Last year's injury seemed normal enough, just a bad step and got caught funny. Hopefully he keeps his legs under him a bit more and a bit protected from the freak rolling knee.

He was bending over to scoop up the ball and a big, fat TE fell on his knee sideways.

Mister Pittsburgh
07-09-2010, 06:38 PM
I would of liked to have seen them move Troy to FS and just let him play CF and pick off passes. I fear at SS he is going to play about half the year if that this season and go down with another injury.

Not a chance in hell that I'd want to see that. Once he's in his 12th season they can consider it.

Remember that play he made in the backfield on Chris Johnson of the Titans? Those things don't happen if he's as far back as a FS would be.

I would take his ability to intercept a pass over his ability to stop a RB behind the LOS. Should we really be relying on our SS to make that play anyway? Don't we run the 3-4 so our LB's can wreak havoc by being freed up to make plays?

stlrz d
07-09-2010, 11:17 PM
[quote="Mister Pittsburgh":hbm01604]I would of liked to have seen them move Troy to FS and just let him play CF and pick off passes. I fear at SS he is going to play about half the year if that this season and go down with another injury.

Not a chance in hell that I'd want to see that. Once he's in his 12th season they can consider it.

Remember that play he made in the backfield on Chris Johnson of the Titans? Those things don't happen if he's as far back as a FS would be.

I would take his ability to intercept a pass over his ability to stop a RB behind the LOS. Should we really be relying on our SS to make that play anyway? Don't we run the 3-4 so our LB's can wreak havoc by being freed up to make plays?[/quote:hbm01604]

So if a LB isn't in position to make a play we shouldn't have someone else there either? Just let CJ ramp up to full speed and hit the open field?

The strong safety is on the field to help in run support and in the passing game. And we've got one who is excellent at it. It changes our D entirely (for the worse) to have Troy do nothing but sit back and play center field. I'm glad Tomlin and LeBeau aren't foolish enough to make that mistake. I can just imagine all the outcry from the same people who want this if they did it and Troy isn't making plays like he does because he's not in position to make them.


Strong safety

The strong safety tends to be a bit larger and stronger than the free safety. However, the word strong is used because he is tasked to handle the "strong side" of the offense, the side where the tight end lines up. The strong safety tends to play closer to the line and assist in stopping the run. He may also be responsible for covering a player, such as a running back or fullback or h-back, who comes out of the backfield to receive a pass. A strong safety's duties are a hybrid of those belonging to a linebacker and those of the other defensive backs, in that he both covers the pass and stops the run.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_%28 ... ong_safety (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_%28American_football_position%29#Strong_saf ety)

Troy is a strong safety for a reason...he is excellent at both of those things. Moving him to FS would be a waste of his talents. It would be akin to asking Ben to do nothing but hand the ball off.

Not smart.

hawaiiansteel
07-10-2010, 08:12 PM
Polamalu Says the Steelers Can Win Without Roethlisberger

Posted by Matt Loede on July 10th, 2010



Strong safety Troy Polamalu was asked by Yahoo! Sports’ Doug Farrar about Ben Roethlisberger, and the four-to-six game suspension that the quarterback faces. One thing Polamalu wanted very much to impart to those who are worried about the 2010 Steelers as a result of all the off-season turmoil is his resolve to see things right. “One thing that’s been kind of a good experience for us is that we’ve won games without Ben; people don’t seem to understand that;” Polamalu said.

The Steelers have a 5-4 record in the nine regular season games in which Roethlisberger has not played since his 2004 rookie season. “He’s missed quite a few games in the NFL, and we’ve done well because our defense understands that we need to apply that much more pressure. I think that this will be no different in that way, the only thing that’s different is the publicity that’s brought to the subject. There’s no question that we can’t win a championship without Ben, but there’s also no question that we can win games without star players.”

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/ar...berger/2868745

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
07-12-2010, 10:21 AM
[quote="Mister Pittsburgh":1ubry6mk]I would of liked to have seen them move Troy to FS and just let him play CF and pick off passes. I fear at SS he is going to play about half the year if that this season and go down with another injury.

Not a chance in hell that I'd want to see that. Once he's in his 12th season they can consider it.

Remember that play he made in the backfield on Chris Johnson of the Titans? Those things don't happen if he's as far back as a FS would be.

I would take his ability to intercept a pass over his ability to stop a RB behind the LOS. Should we really be relying on our SS to make that play anyway? Don't we run the 3-4 so our LB's can wreak havoc by being freed up to make plays?[/quote:1ubry6mk]

If Troy just sits back and plays center field then he is just another FS. A good one...maybe the best, but not special. The extent of gameplanning for him will be "...and watch out for the long haired guy playing center field". He will not be out there making those plays that force opposing OC's to stay up late at night pulling out their hair.

Maybe earlier in his career he was spending too much time in the trenches. Now often when he is up at the LOS he is going wide to run down a back. This is not the same risk as trying to take on a blocking OL. Last year's injury was a fluke and happened on ST.

Anyways, I think that the only way you'd be able to keep him sitting in one place all game would be with leg irons. :lol:

Captain Lemming
07-12-2010, 11:36 AM
[quote=cruzer8][quote="Mister Pittsburgh":2xjdmpty]I would of liked to have seen them move Troy to FS and just let him play CF and pick off passes. I fear at SS he is going to play about half the year if that this season and go down with another injury.

Not a chance in hell that I'd want to see that. Once he's in his 12th season they can consider it.

Remember that play he made in the backfield on Chris Johnson of the Titans? Those things don't happen if he's as far back as a FS would be.

I would take his ability to intercept a pass over his ability to stop a RB behind the LOS. Should we really be relying on our SS to make that play anyway? Don't we run the 3-4 so our LB's can wreak havoc by being freed up to make plays?[/quote:2xjdmpty]

If Troy just sits back and plays center field then he is just another FS. A good one...maybe the best, but not special. The extent of gameplanning for him will be "...and watch out for the long haired guy playing center field". He will not be out there making those plays that force opposing OC's to stay up late at night pulling out their hair.

Maybe earlier in his career he was spending too much time in the trenches. Now often when he is up at the LOS he is going wide to run down a back. This is not the same risk as trying to take on a blocking OL. Last year's injury was a fluke and happened on ST.

Anyways, I think that the only way you'd be able to keep him sitting in one place all game would be with leg irons. :lol:[/quote:2xjdmpty]
:Agree
What make Troy special is that he has an uncanny ability to know where the action is headed and ends up there, run or pass. It would be foolish not to take advantage of that ability

skyhawk
07-12-2010, 09:47 PM
I will be VERY happy but very surprised that Troy plays a complete season in 2010.

stlrz d
07-12-2010, 10:40 PM
I will be VERY happy but very surprised that Troy plays a complete season in 2010.

Why? Last season was a fluke injury. They happen.

RuthlessBurgher
07-12-2010, 11:23 PM
I will be VERY happy but very surprised that Troy plays a complete season in 2010.

Why? Last season was a fluke injury. They happen.

Yeah...everyone seems to expect that it is near impossible for Hines and Troy to last an entire season. These guys have played in all 16 games more than they haven't, so why is it so difficult to believe that it could happen again? Sure, injuries happen, but they are unpredictable. One's past history with injuries (or lack thereof) are not necessarily indicative of any future likelihood. Colon started every game for 3 full years, but now he's out for the year, which no one saw coming.

stlrz d
07-12-2010, 11:29 PM
I will be VERY happy but very surprised that Troy plays a complete season in 2010.

Why? Last season was a fluke injury. They happen.

Yeah...everyone seems to expect that it is near impossible for Hines and Troy to last an entire season. These guys have played in all 16 games more than they haven't, so why is it so difficult to believe that it could happen again? Sure, injuries happen, but they are unpredictable. One's past history with injuries (or lack thereof) are not necessarily indicative of any future likelihood. Colon started every game for 3 full years, but now he's out for the year, which no one saw coming.

My point exactly.

skyhawk
07-13-2010, 01:17 AM
I will be VERY happy but very surprised that Troy plays a complete season in 2010.

Why? Last season was a fluke injury. They happen.

A fluke injury? Three SEPARATE injuries to the SAME knee??

stlrz d
07-13-2010, 07:54 AM
I will be VERY happy but very surprised that Troy plays a complete season in 2010.

Why? Last season was a fluke injury. They happen.

A fluke injury? Three SEPARATE injuries to the SAME knee??

From trying to come back too soon.

Oviedo
07-13-2010, 08:17 AM
Troy has missed 19 of the past 64 regular season games. That is almost 30% of the snaps. That is alot of "flukes"

He has only played a full 16 games once in the last 4 years (2008). He missed 11 games in 2009, 5 games in 2007 and 3 games in 2006.

Let's face it, Troy is prone to injuries because of his playing style and the way he is used in our defense. It doesn't diminish his greatness when healthy and on the field but it does cause one to question how often he will be on the field.

I would hope that the coaching staff tries to modify how they use Troy as he gets older since they have not drafted or developed a replacement who can play at the same high level.

stlrz d
07-13-2010, 08:26 AM
He missed EIGHT games due to legit injury.

He missed eleven games due to a FLUKE injury...a fat TE falling on his knee.

That's not injury prone.

Oviedo
07-13-2010, 08:47 AM
He missed EIGHT games due to legit injury.

He missed eleven games due to a FLUKE injury...a fat TE falling on his knee.

That's not injury prone.

Missing games is missing games. Whether an injury is legit (whatever that is defined as) or a fluke it is damage to the knee. The damage does heal differently whether it is "legit" or a "fluke" and the long term effects don't change whether "legit" or a "fluke".

The "fluke" "fat TE falling on the knee" is exactly the point I made about how Troy is used and in what situations. Those need to be looked at and potentially changed as I suggested.

cruzer8
07-13-2010, 10:40 AM
Agreed that Troy is not injury prone. A freak play occurs and people are screaming to have him moved to free safety and calling him injury prone. How ridiculous is that?

flippy
07-13-2010, 11:07 AM
It is time for Timmons to step up and be a beast in the box so Troy doesn't have to make so many spectacular plays. Our entire D shouldn't be built around Troy cleaning up everything. 10 other guys need to keep getting better.

Troy playing center field really isn't that bad of an idea (injury or not). It could force QBs to hold the ball a second longer and that means more pressure from Woodley, Harrison, etc.

Oviedo
07-13-2010, 11:12 AM
It is time for Timmons to step up and be a beast in the box so Troy doesn't have to make so many spectacular plays. Our entire D shouldn't be built around Troy cleaning up everything. 10 other guys need to keep getting better.

Troy playing center field really isn't that bad of an idea (injury or not). It could force QBs to hold the ball a second longer and that means more pressure from Woodley, Harrison, etc.


I agree and have been saying that for over a year. Timmons needs to be Dr Defensivestein's "monster" going forward. Timmons has a unique skillset that we have just started to scratch the surface of.

I agree that Troy roaming the defensive backfield gives QBs something to think about versus when they see him caught up in the wash of bodies near the LOS.

cruzer8
07-13-2010, 12:05 PM
It is time for Timmons to step up and be a beast in the box so Troy doesn't have to make so many spectacular plays. Our entire D shouldn't be built around Troy cleaning up everything. 10 other guys need to keep getting better.

Troy playing center field really isn't that bad of an idea (injury or not). It could force QBs to hold the ball a second longer and that means more pressure from Woodley, Harrison, etc.


I agree and have been saying that for over a year. Timmons needs to be Dr Defensivestein's "monster" going forward. Timmons has a unique skillset that we have just started to scratch the surface of.

I agree that Troy roaming the defensive backfield gives QBs something to think about versus when they see him caught up in the wash of bodies near the LOS.

How many games did he "get caught up in the wash of bodies near the LOS" in 2008?

2009 was a fluke. Troy is Troy as a SS and it would be foolish to move him to FS. It's not happening. Move on.