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hawaiiansteel
07-22-2011, 03:33 AM
Kovacevic: Polamalu is a 'mane priority'

By Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, July 22, 2011

http://www.mashedreport.com/contributors/831_polamalu.jpg


Even with the NFL's what-was-that-all-about labor drama Wednesday, the lockout still moved a vital step closer to resolution. Doesn't look to me like it will be long before local eyes turn toward Latrobe and the usual conversation about the Steelers' conditioning and Casey Hampton's caloric intake.

The weightiest subjects right away, though, will involve contracts, primarily whether management can reel back Ike Taylor from the free-agent pool and whether LaMarr Woodley`s $10 million franchise-tag money can be reworked into a multiyear deal.

But here's another, a bit off the beaten path: Should the Steelers extend Troy Polamalu's contract, which is due to expire at the end of the coming season?

I tossed this one into the Twitter-verse a couple nights ago and promptly saw it tossed right back. "A no-brainer," several responders called it. Polamalu should be the team's "mane priority," one wiseacre wrote.

I'm there, too, believe me.

Polamalu is an exemplary citizen in a group that could use a few more of those. He is one of the great safeties in NFL history. He is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He is the league's incumbent Defensive Player of the Year. He is a presence so untamed and unpredictable, he single-handedly forces opponents to alter game plans.

And if all that reality's not enough for you, well, just this week, those geeks at EA Sports announced that the virtual version of Polamalu will have the maximum 99 rating for the next Madden 12 video game. The only other players at 99: Tom Brady, Darrelle Revis and Antonio Gates.

No question, Troy Polamalu should be a Steeler for life.

But let's look at the broader picture, anyway, just for argument's sake:

Polamalu turned 30 in April. Factor in his punishing style, and you might as well add a year or two.

Of the Steelers' 35 games the past two seasons, he played in just 22. Last season, he was hobbled by an Achilles tendon injury from mid-December into the Super Bowl, essentially reduced to a center-field role and seldom seen at the line of scrimmage.

All together now: The defense is getting older. James Farrior is 36, Aaron Smith 35, Hampton and James Harrison 33, Brett Keisel 32 and Ryan Clark 31.

Polamalu will cost a mint. Baltimore's Ed Reed, Polamalu's only peer among safeties, is 32 and entering the final year of a six-year, $40 million contract. The highest-paid safety in NFL history is Kansas City's Eric Berry, drafted last year and signed to a six-year, $60 million contract, with $34 million guaranteed. If that's the bar, it's hard to fathom Polamalu getting less than $10 million annually.

Still, none of these items would change my mind. In fact, I'll go further and suggest the Steelers make signing Polamalu a high priority.

Polamalu's four-year, $30 million contract, which made him the Steelers' highest-paid player when signed in 2007, calls for $6.4 million this coming season. But the salary-cap hit is $8.6 million. With the Steelers projected to be about $10 million over the NFL's likely new cap of $120.4 million, an extension would help right away. And let's be real: This is the last year for this defense.

Moreover, future cost certainty comes with sealing up Polamalu, Woodley and Taylor, as that allows management to place the franchise tag next year on Lawrence Timmons. Let Timmons earn an extension with a first Pro Bowl appearance.

I brought a lot of this up Thursday with Marvin Demoff, Polamalu's California-based agent, and he sounded like a man ready to take a call.

"The Steelers always have done this sort of thing the year before a contract is up," Demoff said. "There's been no discussion yet, but I'd say it's highly likely that was because of the lockout. We'd be open to it, sure. Troy's played there eight years and wants to finish his career in Pittsburgh."

But finish when?

The main danger for the Steelers in a long Polamalu extension is that he hangs on too long. The team never could cut a player of his stature.

"That's not Troy," Demoff said. "He's not the type to keep playing when he's not at a high level. No offense, but he's not going to be Brett Favre."

He described Polamalu as healthy and ready for camp.

"Troy tends to be pretty hard on himself emotionally and physically," Demoff said, "and he feels really good about where he is."

The Steelers need to ensure Polamalu feels that way for years to come. Imagine all that hair flowing out the back of some other helmet.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1SoEtFbAV (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_747918.html#ixzz1SoEtFbAV)

Oviedo
07-22-2011, 08:09 AM
Here is an interesting question: Who is a bigger priority to resign Timmons or Troy??????

Looking at the most recent season here are some comparisons:

Age: Timmons 25---Troy 30
Games Played: Timmons 19---Troy 16
Tackles: Timmons 135---Troy 63
Sacks: Timmons 3---Troy 1
Interceptions: Timmons 2---Troy 7
Passes Defended: Timmons 9---Troy 11
Forced Fumbles: Timmons 2---Troy 1
Fumble Recoveries: Timmons 2---Troy 1

If you had to choose, who is the bigger priority to resign?? Think about it. IMO I would seriously give thought to Timmons being the bigger priority.

feltdizz
07-22-2011, 09:03 AM
Here is an interesting question: Who is a bigger priority to resign Timmons or Troy??????

Looking at the most recent season here are some comparisons:

Age: Timmons 25---Troy 30
Games Played: Timmons 19---Troy 16
Tackles: Timmons 135---Troy 63
Sacks: Timmons 3---Troy 1
Interceptions: Timmons 2---Troy 7
Passes Defended: Timmons 9---Troy 11
Forced Fumbles: Timmons 2---Troy 1
Fumble Recoveries: Timmons 2---Troy 1

If you had to choose, who is the bigger priority to resign?? Think about it. IMO I would seriously give thought to Timmons being the bigger priority.

Troy's stats are insane... especially when you factor in 3 less games, being a safety and injuries last year.

Timmon's is a freak and I know his numbers will jump this year in the sack and TO dept but we all know who scared the doo doo out of opponents OC's.

It's not even close when you factor in the time teams use up preparing for Troy.

steelz09
07-22-2011, 09:20 AM
I just can't see the Steelers without TROY by choice.

I mean, look at the Steelers record with Troy compared to without Troy.

Troy, somehow, someway gets the big play at big moments.

Troy the only person in our secondary that can create turnovers on a consistent basis. Actually, this holds true for our entire defense. It seems that without Troy on the field, our defense has a difficult time stopping ANYONE.

ikestops85
07-22-2011, 09:26 AM
Here is an interesting question: Who is a bigger priority to resign Timmons or Troy??????

Looking at the most recent season here are some comparisons:

Age: Timmons 25---Troy 30
Games Played: Timmons 19---Troy 16
Tackles: Timmons 135---Troy 63
Sacks: Timmons 3---Troy 1
Interceptions: Timmons 2---Troy 7
Passes Defended: Timmons 9---Troy 11
Forced Fumbles: Timmons 2---Troy 1
Fumble Recoveries: Timmons 2---Troy 1

If you had to choose, who is the bigger priority to resign?? Think about it. IMO I would seriously give thought to Timmons being the bigger priority.

Sorry, but just like when comparing Ben to other QBs, you can't use stats to judge what Troy brings to the team. The way he destroys plays even if he doesn't make a tackle, his instinct on where the ball is going to go, and his natural leadership are things that don't show up in those stats.

I'm not trying to lessen what Timmons has done, I think he's great, but not on the level of a Troy.

feltdizz
07-22-2011, 09:38 AM
Here is an interesting question: Who is a bigger priority to resign Timmons or Troy??????

Looking at the most recent season here are some comparisons:

Age: Timmons 25---Troy 30
Games Played: Timmons 19---Troy 16
Tackles: Timmons 135---Troy 63
Sacks: Timmons 3---Troy 1
Interceptions: Timmons 2---Troy 7
Passes Defended: Timmons 9---Troy 11
Forced Fumbles: Timmons 2---Troy 1
Fumble Recoveries: Timmons 2---Troy 1

If you had to choose, who is the bigger priority to resign?? Think about it. IMO I would seriously give thought to Timmons being the bigger priority.

Sorry, but just like when comparing Ben to other QBs, you can't use stats to judge what Troy brings to the team. The way he destroys plays even if he doesn't make a tackle, his instinct on where the ball is going to go, and his natural leadership are things that don't show up in those stats.

I'm not trying to lessen what Timmons has done, I think he's great, but not on the level of a Troy.

:Agree

Both will be resigned but it all starts with Troy. 2009 said it all... our DB's couldn't catch a cold, Troy is out for 4 to 6 weeks and the first game he returns he gets an INT.

Ben's quote said it all after the INT return in the Ravens game in 2008.

flippy
07-22-2011, 10:35 AM
With Troy, this is a SuperBowl calibre D. Without him, I have my doubts.

Sign him for 4-5 years and we're competing for 4-5 SuperBowls. Even if we get 2 healthy seasons out of him, we're competing for 2 SuperBowls.

Troy has an impact on SuperBowls in my estimation.

He's the most important priority.

The formula is Ben + Defense = Championships

Right now, Troy is the Defense part of that equation.

Without Troy, this defense isn't close to as good.

Sure it's a lot of risk with his health. But the reward potential is so high, we must get it done.

steelz09
07-22-2011, 01:36 PM
I'd hate to say it but I have my doubts that this team is a playoff team without Troy let alone a SB team.

I've said it once and I'll say it again :) , this defense is way to reliant on Troy's outstanding play.

feltdizz
07-22-2011, 01:58 PM
I'd hate to say it but I have my doubts that this team is a playoff team without Troy let alone a SB team.

I've said it once and I'll say it again :) , this defense is way to reliant on Troy's outstanding play.

That's like saying our offense is too reliant on Big Ben....

any team with a player as good as Troy will look average without him.

Oviedo
07-22-2011, 02:00 PM
I'd hate to say it but I have my doubts that this team is a playoff team without Troy let alone a SB team.

I've said it once and I'll say it again :) , this defense is way to reliant on Troy's outstanding play.

I agree. Too much of the scheme seems centered around Troy who now has a legit injury history and is 30 years old so his physical abilities will likely decrease versus increase. He is still great and, IF healthy, will probably be great for 3-4 more years at least. But how much, in tens of millions, do we bank on the healthy part???????

steelz09
07-22-2011, 02:24 PM
I'd hate to say it but I have my doubts that this team is a playoff team without Troy let alone a SB team.

I've said it once and I'll say it again :) , this defense is way to reliant on Troy's outstanding play.

That's like saying our offense is too reliant on Big Ben....

any team with a player as good as Troy will look average without him.

QB is a bit different than a SS. That just goes to show you how good Troy is. He's so good that a SS can make or break our season. You would expect that from losing your franchise QB.

The Raven's D didn't self destruct without Reed and they have several great players on defense. They're CB's are terrible just like the Steelers

I can't remember how many years ago (2 or 3), but Troy was out and our defense was giving up 20-30 a game. The Raiders game seems to stick out more than others a few years back.

pittpete
07-22-2011, 07:12 PM
IMO I would seriously give thought to Timmons being the bigger priority

Before reading all the posts I would have agreed, but people make some excellent points about how great our D is when Troy is ingame and healthy.
Healthy being the key word.
I think Timmons is slightly under Troy and Woodley IMHO is under Timmons but replaceable....

papillon
07-22-2011, 11:25 PM
I'd hate to say it but I have my doubts that this team is a playoff team without Troy let alone a SB team.

I've said it once and I'll say it again :) , this defense is way to reliant on Troy's outstanding play.

I agree. Too much of the scheme seems centered around Troy who now has a legit injury history and is 30 years old so his physical abilities will likely decrease versus increase. He is still great and, IF healthy, will probably be great for 3-4 more years at least. But how much, in tens of millions, do we bank on the healthy part???????

Of course the defensive scheme is centered around Troy, he's their best player. Just like the offense is centered around Ben, he's their best player. Troy should be resigned and made a SFL (not the former Planet member SFL :) , but a Steeler For Life)

Pappy

Captain Lemming
07-23-2011, 08:21 PM
Troy?
Single handedly made the key play to beat the Ravens in TWO DIFFERENT SEASONS enroute to the SB. No Troy two fewer SB appearances is very possible.
As Troy goes so go the Steelers.

Troy has been a first team allpro three times. All three seasons are the ones where we played in the SB.
As Troy goes so go the Steelers.

2003 (no starts/ only sub 500 season), 2006 (13 starts), and 2009 (5 starts) are the lowest number of starts Troy had during his career. Those are the only seasons we missed the playoffs.
As Troy goes so go the Steelers.

Troy has started all 16 games only three times in his career.
1. 2004, most regular season wins in Steeler history. Lost in the AFCC to a cheating NE team
2. 2005 we won the SB.
3. 2008 we won the SB.
As Troy goes so go the Steelers.

Lets get specific and break down a single season. In 2009 we were 4-0 with Troy playing significant minutes 5-7 the rest of the way. The only loss in games Troy started was one where he played in only the first drive before injury.
Great team with Troy. Undefeated. Never gave up more than 17 with Troy that year.
Below average without him. Bad defense. Missed Playoffs.
As Troy goes so go the Steelers.

Yes, Troy IS injury prone.
But the direct contribution to winning that Troy makes is unparalleled IN THIS LEAGUE.
As Troy goes so go the Steelers.

You cannot say the same about Timmons.

We were champions before Timmons became a starter.

hawaiiansteel
07-24-2011, 09:13 PM
Agent says Polamalu wants to finish career in Pittsburgh

NFL.com
Published: July 24, 2011


It has been a busy offseason for Troy Polamalu.

He has been rehabilitating an Achilles' tendon injury in Los Angeles. He earned his bachelor's degree in history from USC. He'll have a maximum 99 rating in the "Madden NFL 12" video game when it's released next month.

But has the Pittsburgh Steelers' star safety also been planning a request for a contract extension once the NFL lockout is over?

"The Steelers always have done this sort of thing the year before a contract is up," Marvin Demoff, Polamalu's agent, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review when asked Thursday about the possibility. "There's been no discussion yet, but I'd say it's highly likely that was because of the lockout. We'd be open to it, sure. Troy's played there eight years and wants to finish his career in Pittsburgh."

Polamalu, who signed a four-year, $30 million extension in 2007, never fully recovered from the Achilles' tendon injury he suffered during a Week 14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals when he approached the end zone to score a touchdown off an interception return. He missed subsequent games against the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers before returning for the regular-season finale against the Cleveland Browns.

Following treatment and rehab under the care of an orthopedic surgeon with ties to the Steelers' medical staff, Polamalu was expected to be ready by training camp -- whenever that might be.

"Troy tends to be pretty hard on himself emotionally and physically," Demoff said, "and he feels really good about where he is."

Now 30 years old, Polamalu has fully played a 16-game schedule in just four of his eight seasons because of his physical style of play. He has missed 13 regular-season games the last three seasons but still has 17 interceptions and 35 passes defended.

With the Steelers' defense rock solid but aging -- nine of the unit's 11 regular starters last season are either over 30 or about to turn 30 -- the question of a long-term contract might be troubling to the front office. But Demoff doesn't see his client just hanging around to collect a paycheck.

"That's not Troy," Demoff said. "He's not the type to keep playing when he's not at a high level. No offense, but he's not going to be Brett Favre."

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8 ... line_stack (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820f1fef/article/agent-says-polamalu-wants-to-finish-career-in-pittsburgh?module=HP11_headline_stack)

Starlifter
07-27-2011, 03:15 PM
I wonder what Troy's stats would be if opponents actually challenged him instead of seeing what side of the field he's on and going the other way.

NJ-STEELER
07-27-2011, 05:54 PM
troy is the defense's most important player

timmons is the linebacker unit's 3rd most important player

hawaiiansteel
07-30-2011, 11:40 PM
Time heals Steelers vet Polamalu's wounds

By Ralph N. Paulk, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, July 30, 2011

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2011-07-29/0730PolamaluMainCAP-a.jpg

Admittedly, Troy Polamalu didn't intimidate the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV.

Typically, the hard-hitting safety delivers blows that shift momentum. But his shots that night were weakened by a myriad of nagging injuries, including a partial tear of an Achilles tendon that resulted in an uneven performance in the 31-25 loss.

For Polamalu, it didn't matter that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger shouldered the blame again Friday, saying, "I told everyone it's my fault we lost the Super Bowl."

Polamalu agonizes over his subpar effort.

"I didn't play very well, and we can leave it at that," he said. "I've played some of my best games injured."

Polamalu still isn't where he wants to be physically, but the 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year showed no signs of a tender Achilles before yesterday's practice at St. Vincent College.

"I'm not 100 percent yet," said Polamalu, who had only three tackles in the Super Bowl. "But I'm inching in on it. Sometimes, when something doesn't require surgery, it actually takes a lot longer to heal. So, the lockout helped my injury. I didn't have to push too fast."

Polamalu doesn't necessarily agree that reducing practice to once a day will affect the Steelers. However, it's a rule change that could save his already battle-torn body, which was slowed some the past two seasons, including a strained posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in 2009.

"(Coaches Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin) did a good job of taking care of us," said Polamalu, who had 63 tackles and seven interceptions in an injury-plagued 2010. "In my opinion, it was to our competitive advantage to have a schedule similar to what we have now. We were physically more prepared than some teams, especially with the style of football we have now. It will be interesting to see how it works. A lot of coaches might be in panic mode because they're not used to this type of schedule.

"It's still a month before opening day, so I'm trying to peak at the right time," said Polamalu, who likely won't suit up against the Washington Redskins in the preseason opener Aug. 12.

Polamalu had more time than he expected to work himself into shape. At 30, he also had time to think about life after football. The lockout, coupled with classroom assignments and fatherhood, put a lot of things in perspective including the Steelers' three Super Bowl appearances in the past six seasons.

"I definitely didn't appreciate winning one (Super Bowl) until I lost one," said Polamalu, who this season will earn $6.4 million in the final season of a five-year, $33 million deal. "It has made us a hungrier team than we've been previously."

Nothing has shaped Polamalu's perspective more than his family and desire to become an educator. The 16th overall pick out of Southern Cal in 2003 said the lockout helped him earn his college degree.

That lack of accreditation "hung over his head' for a long time. He found it increasingly difficult to lecture kids about the value of an education without having finished college.

"It gives me a little clout to talk about what I believe," he said. "I always wanted to be a secondary or high school teacher. Now, I have two more years of school to get my teaching credential. I was told you don't need (credentials) for private schools or if I substitute."

The Steelers have discovered there's no substitute for a physically fit Polamalu, a painful reality after a gut-wrenching Super Bowl defeat.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1TdvO7pym (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_749192.html#ixzz1TdvO7pym)