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mesaSteeler
10-12-2009, 06:45 PM
MATT BURGLUND: Steelers really miss Polamalu
http://online.indianagazette.com/articles/2009/10/12/news/10025648.txt
Published: Monday, October 12, 2009 11:23 AM EDT

This might not sound like any bit of in-depth analysis - sort of like saying U2 wouldn't be the same without Bono - but the Pittsburgh Steelers really miss Troy Polamalu.

That much was pretty clear Sunday afternoon when the Steelers jumped out to a comfortable lead, then held on after scaring the bejesus out of Steelers Nation for a 28-20 win over the hapless Detroit Lions at Ford Field.The Lions, who are the NFL's answer to the Pittsburgh Pirates, rallied in the fourth quarter against a weakened Steelers defense and nearly came up with the biggest upset of the young season.

But I'm sure that if Polamalu was on the field, Detroit wouldn't have been able to even think about winning this game.

Yeah, he makes that much of a difference.

*
The thing that makes Polamalu so impressive is something you can only see when he's not on the field: He makes plays. Now, I know that's a common piece of football jargon that oftentimes means very little, but in this case it means a great deal.

When Polamalu is on the field, he's able to do so much that other members of the Steelers defense seem a bit more relaxed and able to make plays. With Tyrone Carter in there at strong safety, it seems like the Steelers play tense on defense, as if they're afraid of making a mistake.

The Steelers have good reason to be afraid of a mistake, because they've had plenty of them.

Remember the game against the Bears a few weeks ago?

Carter got burned like an albino at the beach when the Bears clawed back to steal a 17-14 win at Soldier Field. The next week, the Bengals picked on Carter again and Carson Palmer made them pay, to the tune of a 23-20 Cincinnati win.

Sunday's game against the Lions was the Steelers' fourth in a row without Polamalu, who injured his knee in the season opener and hasn't played since. It was the fourth time the Steelers' defense didn't look like itself.

Polamalu is not known for his pass-coverage skills, but I'm willing to bet if he played in any of those previous games, the Steelers would have comfortably won them all.

The fact is when Polamalu is on the field, he's able to do things most mortal defensive backs cannot. He has the speed of a cornerback with the hitting ability of a linebacker. He can improvise better than anyone in the game and seems to have a knack for doing something special in the fourth quarter.

Tyrone Carter? He's the perfect example of why some players are career backups. He's good enough to play in the NFL, but he won't make anyone forget Polamalu.

There were rumors leading up to Sunday's game that Polamalu might have played against Detroit, which lends one to think he'll make his return Sunday when the Steelers play host to the Cleveland Browns. It might be best, though, for Polamalu to sit that one out, too, just to make sure his knee is healthy.

It's not like the Steelers will need him against Cleveland. Neither Brady Quinn nor Derek Anderson would be mistaken for an NFL quarterback the way they're playing.

But the Steelers will need Polamalu the game after that.

In two weeks, Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings come to Pittsburgh, and you can bet Favre will humiliate Carter if Polamalu isn't back by then.

So get well, Troy. Steelers Nation - and your teammates - needs you.

KartSteel
10-12-2009, 11:14 PM
I think Steeler Nation can all agree, let's just hope this is the last serious injury for this guy this year & beyond!!!! The more you see Troy fly around out there, the more you realize how special he is as a football player. His instincts are unbelievable!!! THERE IS NO SAFETY BETTER IN THE LEAGUE, BAR NONE!!!!

tony hipchest
10-12-2009, 11:25 PM
troy polamalu.

he matters.

(i almost hope he rests another week, just to be sure. im fairly confident we can give up 300 yds and 100% comp to DA and still win.)

Edman
10-13-2009, 12:00 AM
I know some won't like to admit that out Defense is severely weakened without one guy, but it seems to be the case. It happened in 2007 when we lost BOTH Aaron Smith and Polamalu. Passive schemes don't help either.

mesaSteeler
10-13-2009, 12:15 AM
I know some won't like to admit that out Defense is severely weakened without one guy, but it seems to be the case. It happened in 2007 when we lost BOTH Aaron Smith and Polamalu. Passive schemes don't help either.

I have to agree with you. Knowing that we are so dependent scares me. Don't get me wrong I love Troy and the way he plays but being so dependent on him is not a good thing.

tony hipchest
10-13-2009, 12:19 AM
I have to agree with you. Knowing that we are so dependent scares me. Don't get me wrong I love Troy and the way he plays but being so dependent on him is not a good thing.yeah, having 1 player who is that great sucks. we should trade him.

holy shit. ive heard it all now. :doh:


I know some won't like to admit that out Defense is severely weakened without one guy, but it seems to be the case. It happened in 2007 when we lost BOTH Aaron Smith and Polamalu. Passive schemes don't help either.

i agree... although i suspect some MB savant chess players will beg to differ and suggest we can simply "scheme" up a solution and hope that weaker players "execute".