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mesaSteeler
09-14-2009, 06:43 AM
Madden: No Troy? No problem; Lebeau will make it work
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1424/2009/september/14/madden-no-troy-no-problem-lebeau-will-make-it-work.html
By: Mark Madden -
Beaver County Times

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, center, tries to recover the ball on a blocked field goal attempt during the NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Polamalu had his left knee injured on the play when Tennessee Titans Alge Crumpler fell in the pileup on it in the first half of the Steelers 13-10 overtime win. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said after the game that Polamalu has a sprained MCL and could be out 3 to 6 weeks.(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Troy Polamalu is the best safety in football, perhaps the game's most explosive defensive force.

But losing Polamalu to a knee injury shouldnít hurt the Steelers, or even slow them down much.

Backups Tyrone Carter and Ryan Mundy are mediocre at best, a huge drop from Polamaluís level. Missing six games seems a best-case scenario for Polamalu; he figures to be out through the Steelersí bye in Week 8 and perhaps a bit longer. For any team besides the Steelers, losing a player of Polamaluís magnitude that long would spell disaster.

But the Steelers arenít just any team.

The Steelers have the best defense in the NFL. Losing one player ó even their best ówonít make much of a dent.

Dick Lebeau is the gameís top defensive mind. The Steelers have a long week to prepare for Chicago. Lebeau will make the adjustments needed for that contest and beyond. Lebeau will game-plan around Polamaluís absence.

With the exception of San Diego, none of the Steelersí pre-bye opponents have the quarterback and necessary weaponry to exploit Polamaluís absence. Jay Cutler? Carson Palmer and the Bungles? Donít make me laugh.

With Polamalu out, donít be surprised to see Lebeauís system close ranks a bit. Polamaluís freelancing is the basis of the Dís big-play potential. But without Polamalu, the defense could be more fundamentally sound, something that might have come in handy during the fourth quarter last Feb. 1. No harm done, but blame Polamalu for Larry Fitzgeraldís 64-yard scamper to Larryland. Polamalu stupidly tried to make a big play when none was needed.

Polamalu was not NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. James Harrison was. Heís healthy. So is James Farrior. If Polamalu is the heart of the Steelers defense, Harrison is the adrenaline, Farrior the brain. Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel provide an ideal front three. The unit has depth, as witnesed by Keyaron Foxís team-high 10 tackles against Tennessee.
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Polamalu doesnít carry the defense. Heís integral. He plays a major role. It would be troublesome if he missed the playoffs, where you need to assemble a winning streak against good teams.

But this isnít the playoffs. If the Steelers lose to Detroit, it wonít be because Polamalu didnít play.

If Polamaluís absence hurts badly, then the Steelers defense isnít all itís cracked up to be.

Then again, maybe we learned that in the fourth quarter against Arizona.

Another thing we should have learned in the fourth quarter against Arizona ó and re-learned in the opener vs. Tennessee ó is that defensive excellence and the (gag) running game trail Ben Roethlisberger by a sizeable margin in the Steelersí pecking order.

The defense blows it. Ben wins it. Hines Ward fumbles victory away. Ben snatches it back.

Roethlisbergerís 16-for-18 performance during the Steelersí final three possessions Thursday reflected the precision of a surgeon, albeit a surgeon who had to wield his scalpel while running for his life. He never gets rattled. He always delivers.

With all due respect to Polamalu, the man the Steelers simply canít lose for any appreciable period is Roethlisberger. If he misses six games, the Steelers miss the playoffs. On defense, the Steelers have other players of pedigree. But Charlie Batchís 34-year-old arm wonít bail out the Steelers if Roethlisberger goes down, nor will Willie Parkerís 52.6-inch rushing average.

The Madden curse caught up with Polamalu. Letís hope the Essex curse doesn't get Roethlisberger.

Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM (105.9).

SC Gamecokk
09-14-2009, 06:48 AM
I think that's a great article and very true. We will be alright for 3-6 weeks. I say we'll be 5-1 or 6-0 if Troy is out 6 weeks. Knowing what an animal Troy is though, I doubt he's out more than a month if it's only MCL.

stillers4me
09-14-2009, 06:52 AM
I think we will be fine, considering our opppnents for the next few weeks. It just won't be as exciting without Troy's arial show.

I said more than once watching Cutler get picked off last night, what a shame we won't have Troy next week! Hopefully, like last year, someone will step up and make the game changing plays.

Cutler's easy pickins' for Troy Polamalu!

X-Terminator
09-14-2009, 06:58 AM
Apparently GridironWarrior doesn't think so, Madden the Fat. He's already predicted that the Steelers will lose to both the Chargers and Vikings simply because Troy isn't playing, and doesn't believe in the rest of the defense the way that anyone sane should.

HometownGal
09-14-2009, 06:59 AM
As said in the article, Lebeau will game plan around Troy's absence and utilize Carter and Mundy to the best their abilities. No worries here - we'll be just fine, but I'll sure miss Troy for those 6+ weeks.

KeiselPower99
09-14-2009, 08:05 AM
Remember Ty Carter had 3 picks last year replacing Troy. We have playmakers back there.

fansince'76
09-14-2009, 08:12 AM
I'm definitely worried - fatboy's giving the Steelers props. :jawdrop:

lamberts-lost-tooth
09-14-2009, 08:25 AM
I'm definitely worried - fatboy's giving the Steelers props. :jawdrop:

No kidding..Ive not known him to be "right" about much.

We may be screwed.:noidea:

HometownGal
09-14-2009, 08:31 AM
I'm definitely worried - fatboy's giving the Steelers props. :jawdrop:

That is definitely scary. :horror:

Don't worry - the first game they lose, he'll be back to overdosing on Krispy Kremes and Dominos pizza and he'll revert back to his snide remarks and put downs.

SteelMember
09-14-2009, 10:10 AM
Speaking of Krispy Kremes...We can sugar coat this as much as we want, but the truth is we are not the same defense with Troy on the bench. I know the coaches will make the best of it, and we have other players to step in, but the likes of Carter and Mundy together can not make a single Polamalu. Yes, we've been in this situation before, but it is a huge loss.

They sure seemed to score pretty fast with him out. Understandably so. How many times was Troy involved in a play before he went out...a lot, on some big time plays.

I'm a little worried, but I will stay cautiously optimistic for a quick return. :hope:

fansince'76
09-14-2009, 10:25 AM
Speaking of Krispy Kremes...We can sugar coat this as much as we want, but the truth is we are not the same defense with Troy on the bench. I know the coaches will make the best of it, and we have other players to step in, but the likes of Carter and Mundy together can not make a single Polamalu. Yes, we've been in this situation before, but it is a huge loss.

They sure seemed to score pretty fast with him out. Understandably so. How many times was Troy involved in a play before he went out...a lot, on some big time plays.

I'm a little worried, but I will stay cautiously optimistic for a quick return. :hope:

Our D was visibly shaken by him going out, but they got it together afterwards. One player does not make this D, not even one as gifted as Troy.

SteelMember
09-14-2009, 10:38 AM
Our D was visibly shaken by him going out, but they got it together afterwards. One player does not make this D, not even one as gifted as Troy.

I know, but how many pages come out of the playbook when Carter is in? Let alone the "freelancing ability".

We can certainly still win. No doubt in my mind. It will just take some elevated play from some of the other guys. I'm just not comfortable calling a guy like Carter "a player in waiting" at the SS position. If we just play solid, we don't necessarily need all the exotic things Lebeau puts in for Troy, but you have to admit, it sure is a lot more exciting with him in there.

zsheik22
09-14-2009, 10:39 AM
Remember troy is only half human. I see him recovering from this injury like Wolverine. He will be out probably the minimum.....

X-Terminator
09-14-2009, 11:45 AM
I know, but how many pages come out of the playbook when Carter is in? Let alone the "freelancing ability".

We can certainly still win. No doubt in my mind. It will just take some elevated play from some of the other guys. I'm just not comfortable calling a guy like Carter "a player in waiting" at the SS position. If we just play solid, we don't necessarily need all the exotic things Lebeau puts in for Troy, but you have to admit, it sure is a lot more exciting with him in there.

The D minus Troy held the Titans to just 3 points in the second half and OT.

Why are people worried????

HometownGal
09-14-2009, 03:15 PM
We can certainly still win. If we just play solid, we don't necessarily need all the exotic things Lebeau puts in for Troy.

That's all you really needed to say. :drink:

SteelerEmpire
09-14-2009, 03:42 PM
[QUOTE=mesaSteeler;658872]Madden: No Troy? No problem; Lebeau will make it work

....Willie Parkerís 52.6-inch rushing average.


LOL....:rofl::banging::mad:

markymarc
09-14-2009, 06:02 PM
There is no doubt that Dick LeBeau will have this defense prepared to succeed while Troy is out. Plus it wouldn't hurt to get Timmons back!