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mesaSteeler
06-20-2009, 07:02 PM
http://www.cantonrep.com/browns/x1662361143/Around-the-NFL-Star-safeties-Reed-Polamalu-entering-the-danger-zone
Around the NFL: Star safeties Reed, Polamalu entering the danger zone
By Steve Doerschuk
CantonRep.com staff writer
Posted Jun 20, 2009 @ 04:09 PM

NFL seasons are a marathon, not a sprint.

NFL careers are a sprint, not a marathon.

It sounded strange recently when Tony Dungy said of one of his former safeties, “Mike Doss had a good career.”

Doss played six NFL seasons. He is 28 years old. It is not strange in the NFL, where the average career lasts less than four years.

The “great young safeties” of the AFC North are moving swiftly toward the “grand old men” phase.

Baltimore’s Ed Reed enters his eighth NFL season and will turn 31 on Sept. 11. Troy Polamalu, 28, moves into his seventh season with Pittsburgh.

They’re halfway home, maybe more, unless they last as long as Rodney Harrison, who admitted recently his body was barking — it told him 15 seasons of high-speed bumper cars was plenty.

Hall of Fame careers are like a steak which you are fed piece by piece while wearing a blindfold. You have no idea how much is left. Maybe it was just a 6-ounce filet.

Both Reed and Polamalu were exquisite in 2008. They were big reasons their teams faced each other in the AFC title game. They started in the Pro Bowl.

Cleveland seemed to be developing a third elite AFC North safety when Sean Jones broke out in 2006, but Jones didn’t build on the momentum and now is fighting for a starting job with the Eagles.

The Browns still have high hopes for fifth-year pro Brodney Pool, who was seen as a Round 1 talent when he was picked in Round 2 as a 20-year-old out of Oklahoma.

“You see (Pool) in the film room late at night,” said Browns running back Jamal Lewis.

Pool still has a long way to go before he is compared with Reed and Polamalu in broad daylight.

Reed puts Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome in mind of Rod Woodson, in one sense.

“The comparison is, if there is a play to be made in the fourth quarter to win a game or stop momentum, Rod Woodson was gonna make that play, and Ed Reed is gonna make that play,” Newsome said.

Woodson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame the day before this year’s Super Bowl.

Polamalu basically put the Steelers in that Super Bowl.

In the AFC title game on Jan. 18, Reed and Co. kept the Steelers fairly well in check. Baltimore trailed just 16-14 and had the ball with five minutes left.

That’s when the Ravens found out — not that they didn’t already know — Polamalu will make “that play,” too. The Pittsburgh safety returned an interception 40 yards for a clinching touchdown with 4:39 left.

Lewis has seen plenty of these great safeties. He was Reed’s teammate for five years. Now, he faces Reed and Polamalu twice a year.

Would he take Reed over Polamalu?

“It’s not a big difference,” he said. “You see both of ’em running up, running back, running all over the place. Both of ’em can go up under and run under the deep ball downfield.

“What really makes both of ’em special is both can catch the interception and take it back to the house.”

The NFL is nobody’s long-term home. Seventeen years, the length of Woodson’s career as cornerback then a safety, is a pro football eternity.

If Reed and Polamalu left the game today, they could say they accomplished a lot. The Cleveland kid, Pool, is only 25 years old.

But then, NFL careers are a sprint, remember? Better hurry, kid.

(Sounds like wishful thinking by an Ohio sports fan. - mesa)

HARD TIMES

Since reaching the Super Bowl in the 2002 season, the Raiders are 4-12, 5-11, 4-12, 2-14, 4-12 and 5-11. That’s a pitiful total of 24-72.

In that same span, the sadsack Lions have been 5-11, 6-10, 5-11, 3-13, 7-9 and 0-16. Even with last year’s unsightly goose egg, their total is 26-70, two games better than Oakland.

Cleveland, like Oakland, last reached the postseason in 2002. Since then, the Browns are 5-11, 4-12, 6-10, 4-12, 10-6 and 4-12. That’s a lot of suffering, but at 33-63, it’s an episode of Happy Days compared to NFL life in Oakland and Detroit.

OCHO BEING OCHO

“We’re going to the playoffs,” Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco told writers at minicamp Thursday.

Maybe Carson Palmer can bounce back, but it’s a long bounce from last year’s final 10 games. In that span, Cincinnati got belted 38-10 and 27-10 by the Steelers, 35-6 by the Texans, 34-3 by the Ravens and 35-3 by the Colts.

They did win their last three games, against weak teams, but they’re the Bengals. They’ve reached the playoffs once since 1990.

EXTRA POINTS

• Tackle Orlando Pace probably will land in the Hall of Fame as it is, but it’s a sure bet if he plays well and teams with Jay Cutler to get the Bears back in a Super Bowl. Pace, who will turn 34 during the season, is back in the limelight after two years of injury woes, snarling away on the current cover of Sporting News magazine. He admits there will be an adjustment going from St. Louis to Soldier Field, saying in the article: “I’m an Ohio guy, but I’ve got to get my blood thick again after playing in a dome for 12 years.”

• Ten years ago, a rookie drafted in the middle of the third round needed to keep making the team for three years to sock away a total of about $1 million. The pay scale has changed. Steelers third-round pick Mike Wallace will have made $865,000 just this year if he makes the team. That’s based on the $555,000 signing bonus he agreed to during the week. His base salary for 2009 is the rookie minimum of $310,000.

slashsteel
06-20-2009, 08:08 PM
Danger zone huh..... as the writer pointed out another safety who has been in twice as long.


The NFL is a short stint for many players sure.

But Troy isn't just any player.

He is special and I don't see that special player dropping off any time soon.

The writer has a better chance of entering the danger zone with his frivolous mambojahambo.

LVSteelersfan
06-20-2009, 08:44 PM
Mentioning Brodney Pool in the same sentence as Troy and Ed Reed is the biggest joke I heard today. Get real.

The Duke
06-20-2009, 08:51 PM
As long as troy avoids any other concussions I think he'll last long enough. his style of play may deteriorate his body faster though. a missile always has to come to a stop....

but age? Troy is ageless!! and reed doesn't play a physical game so he could play into his late 30's easily

CantStop85
06-21-2009, 04:37 AM
Man, Troy is only a year younger than Roy Williams...that's crazy...it seems like he and Carson were just drafted.

Galax Steeler
06-21-2009, 07:25 AM
I know that we are bored and it is still awhile before the season starts but this writer was very bored when he wrote this one.

GBMelBlount
06-21-2009, 07:39 AM
Danger zone huh..... as the writer pointed out another safety who has been in twice as long.

The NFL is a short stint for many players sure.

But Troy isn't just any player.

He is special and I don't see that special player dropping off any time soon.

The writer has a better chance of entering the danger zone with his frivolous mambojahambo.

Troy is special, no doubt, but as Duke pointed out, a missile has to stop (at some point).

Nothing would make me happier than seeing Troy play for another 6-7 years but physics (and resulting concussions, etc.) lead me to believe otherwise. I hope I am wrong.

He plays bigger than he is and with reckless abandon and it is certainly taking it's toll on his body.

I am simply thankful for every year we have Troy. He is a great man, a gifted athlete, and a joy to watch play football.

TackleMeBen
06-21-2009, 10:17 PM
i have to agre with mel there. he does play with reckless abandonment. you have to love a player like troy who is a ball magnet, he is always looking for whoever has the ball he is there wanting to tackle them. however his body may not hold out as long as we want

fansince'76
06-22-2009, 07:58 AM
It sounded strange recently when Tony Dungy said of one of his former safeties, “Mike Doss had a good career.”

Doss played six NFL seasons. He is 28 years old. It is not strange in the NFL, where the average career lasts less than four years.

The “great young safeties” of the AFC North are moving swiftly toward the “grand old men” phase.

Baltimore’s Ed Reed enters his eighth NFL season and will turn 31 on Sept. 11. Troy Polamalu, 28, moves into his seventh season with Pittsburgh.

Gotta agree with Mesa on this one - sounds like a lot of wishful thinking from a Browns fan to me as well. After all, a Steelers defense without Troy and a Ravens defense without Reed are both significantly weaker units.

WeegiesWarriors
06-22-2009, 12:22 PM
The fact that Doss played that long amazed me. He was all hype coming out of college. He played a hybrid Safety/LB at OSU, and his coverage skills were weak.

I remember some OSU honks laughing at the Steelers for taking Polamalu instead of Doss.

Rek
06-22-2009, 04:06 PM
Highway....to....the....Danger....Zone, I'll take you right...into...the....Dangeeer Zoooooooone....!!!

Kenny Loggins anyone? Anyone?

slashsteel
06-22-2009, 06:05 PM
Rek shhhhhhhh don't give away the writers source. lol

Crow-Magnon
06-23-2009, 07:26 AM
Troy Polamalu- SS

Ed Reed- FS

If they played on the same team, they would be the most feared tandem in the history of the NFL. We are lucky that we have been able to watch them both the past several years. It's like an old-timer remembering watching Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays playing baseball. We are watching the best of their era playing right now.

Men of Steel
06-25-2009, 03:42 PM
i agree with all of u who say we are watching HISTORY IN THE MAKING. and we are soo daam lucky A HUGE piece of that history lies within our own ALREADY HISTORIC TEAM... in TROY POLAMALU. :tt02:

thing is...it really is kind of hard to tell how much longer he will last.
avoiding concussions is huge... and if i recall last year against the bengals he suffered one while tackling cedric benson head on, head to head (correct me if im wrong please). that scared me a bit... kinda came to the realization he isnt INVINCIBLE... maybe he really IS more human than i thought. :uhh:

but on the other hand... he had one of his best seasons just last year... with a record 7 interceptions... and i cant recall another year where he had soo many game changing plays! also, his training routine in the offseason is like none-other... wich allows him to play like a beastly freak of nature on the field... and that is clearly evident.

so who knows... all i can say is... ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF TROY AND OUR BELOVED STEELERS!!!!! cuz one day in the future... we will all look back and tell our kids or grandkids... "i remember seeing troy, just destroy offenses and single handedly change the momentum of a game.. how he could play practically any position on an already legendary defense... and still stand out above them all"

GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!

ps gotta love the way troy shut all the critics up.. those who were braggin about ed reed all week being the best safety in football in the week leading up to the ravens steelers championship game. i remember after troy intercepted that ball in the final minutes and took it home... yeellling off the top of my lungs like a lunatik.. " ED WHOOOOO!!!?!?!??!!!!!"

Preacher
06-25-2009, 05:14 PM
I gotta laugh at all of you getting up in arms about the article.

His POINT wasn't that Troy will get old and can't play in a year or two. It was that the PHYSICAL TOLL is so much, that both of these players are on the back half of their career now.

A point I completely agree with. If troy plays a total of 11 seasons, we will be VERY blessed. That's 5 more years. The abuse his body takes... that is a long time.