PDA

View Full Version : My Polamalu theory


mesaSteeler
02-09-2011, 07:59 PM
NFL from the sidelines
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard on Tuesday nights throughout the season from 7 to 9 p.m. on WBGG 970-AM.
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
My Polamalu theory

While driving to my final radio show last night for the 2010 season I had a thought that hit me on why Troy Polamalu was playing so much deep centerfield throughout the playoffs.

I don't think it had as much to do with his injury as it did with the one to Bryant McFadden.

McFadden was suffered a hip pointer in the Carolina game while making an interception and then tore a muscle in his rib cage the following game against Cleveland.

If you remember in that Cleveland game, Polamalu was up at the line of scrimmage to make a diving interception on the Browns' first play from scrimmage.

We didn't see him at the line of scrimmage too much after that.

I haven't had time to check into this yet, but it's my feeling the Steelers were so concerned with their corners outside of Ike Taylor that they felt they had to keep Polamalu deep to protect from being beaten over the top.

We saw Ryan Clark down in the box at times, but he doesn't have anywhere near Polamalu's speed. I believe they felt with McFadden hobbled, that exposed them to the deep ball with McFadden, William Gay and Anthony Madison, particularly with Clark as the only deep safety.

It drives home the fact that this team needs to upgrade its speed in the secondary.

posted by Dale Lolley @ 1:05 PM 22 Comments Links to this post
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Post, post-Super Bowl post

Some people have taken issue with my post-game post where I wrote that Aaron Rodgers only slightly outplayed Ben Roethlisberger. I stand by that statement.

I'd say that Roethlisberger played a C to C-plus game in the Super Bowl. It wasn't great, but he accounted for nearly 300 yards of offense and two touchdowns.

Again, I give him a pass on the first interception because his arm was hit as he threw. He made the bad throw over the middle, forcing the ball to Wallace that was intercepted, but I thought his audibles were good for the most part and they caught the Packers a couple of times when he checked into some runs.

I'd say Rodgers had a B-plus game. It was far from the perfect game that some would have you believe. Yes, he had some drops, but drops happen because the receivers here footsteps or lose concentration.

He produced one first down in the third quarter and could have thrown a couple of picks as well. It was not a complete game.

At the end of the day, Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense produced 25 points. Rodgers and the Packers offense had 24.

I do think that Bruce Arians will be back as the Steelers' offensive coordinator, but I also think that Randy Fichtner is the OC in waiting, just as Keith Butler is the DC in waiting.

Some have been quick to criticize the Steelers for not running the ball more in the Super Bowl, but circumstances dictated that they all but abandon the running game in the fourth quarter.

Emmanuel Sanders suffered a broken foot on the turf at Dallas – he had pins inserted – and there was plenty of slipping and sliding around on that field.

That's why I'm not a big fan of field turf.

The Steelers should seriously consider moving Maurkice Pouncey to left guard.

Doug Legursky was solid at center in the Super Bowl. Wouldn't Pouncey look a lot better coming around the corner on the counter as opposed to Chris Kemoeatu?

Max Starks and Willie Colon are expected to have full recoveries and you could have a line from left to right of Starks, Pouncey, Legursky, Kemoeatu/Foster, Colon/Adams.

That's assuming Flozell Adams doesn't retire.

He played well enough this season that they could consider moving Colon inside to guard as well.

Colon is a free agent - assuming we have a free agent period – but should re-sign pretty cheaply.

Defensive back is the team's biggest need in this offseason.

Ike Taylor is a solid No. 2 corner/low-end No. 1.

But he's also a free agent - assuming we have a free agent period.

They need some additional top-end talent in the defensive secondary considering nobody is willing to attempt to run against them.

I wouldn't be opposed to making free safety a high draft priority.

Defensive backs Ray Horton will interview for the Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator position. The Cardinals also wanted to talk to linebackers coach Keith Butler, but were denied permission.

harrison'samonster
02-09-2011, 08:05 PM
If having Polamalu on the field makes such a big difference for our team (and it does) because of the way he plays, we can't have him out there holding McFadden or any other CB's hand. If Troy's out there and healthy, then he needs to be able to play to win.

If this really is the case, we desperately need our secondary fixed for next year.

Neil-Still-Rules-14
02-09-2011, 08:14 PM
Polamalu really had an off post-season this year. I hope he's okay for next season.

Farrior_roirraW
02-09-2011, 08:20 PM
I like this theory more than the other one... makes sense but they need to put more trust in guys not named Polamalu (even though McF was beat up).

bornaSteelersfan
02-09-2011, 10:30 PM
Polamalu is an awesome player, but sometimes he hurts himself. He often takes too many chances and that is why he gets injured (remember when he got his ankled rolled on because he tried to pick up the fumble instead of falling on it like every coach since high school teaches you to do?). Mark my words, if he has one more bad injury and misses even half a season from it, he won't be a Steeler anymore. Steelers don't stick with injured players (Barry Foster, Rod Woodson, Kevin Greene, Greg Lloyd, etc.). Franco Harris played for 13 years with the Steelers because every time he was near the sideline, he would step out of bounds (much to the chagrin of Steelers fans) instead of plow forward for another couple of yards. We definitely need another CB to free him up, though.

austinfrench76
02-09-2011, 10:42 PM
I don't know where he is getting that Colon should sign for cheap??! If you remember, his agent, and a coach from the Steelers (don't remember who), were talking like he was one of the best right tackles in football! Where I don't agree, I think he may go. Especially if we want to sign Ike and Woodley. I would love to keep him but I don't see him signing on the cheap. And we NEED a good CB more than any other position on this team. Say what you want to bash teh OLine (and I have) but they played a hell of a year considering the injuries. It didn't seem to get much pub but losing your starting L/R tackles and others along the line for stretches is near impossible to overcome much less go to the SB! Kudos to Legursky man, the guy basically shut down Raji. And everyone was screaming that he couldn't be stopped! Here's to hoping we upgrade our OC, CB and oline for depth.

PhantomJB93
02-09-2011, 10:49 PM
Easy solution:

Finally draft first round corner, start him opposite Ike, let Troy do his stuff, we have a secondary that can stop Brady and Rodgers, and we go the Super Bowl and win this year...

Or, we can draft an offensive lineman, have a slightly better oline but still get passed on at will...

tube517
02-09-2011, 10:56 PM
McFadden is too injury prone. He was hurt w/the Cardinals and alot this year. He's not the same CB he was a few years ago

BengalDestroyer
02-10-2011, 06:12 AM
Draft a corner in the first round!!!

FanSince72
02-10-2011, 10:15 AM
Easy solution:

Finally draft first round corner, start him opposite Ike, let Troy do his stuff, we have a secondary that can stop Brady and Rodgers, and we go the Super Bowl and win this year...

Or, we can draft an offensive lineman, have a slightly better oline but still get passed on at will...

Exactly.

The success or failure of our secondary shouldn't depend upon the health of a single player.

All I hear all the time is the "depth" we have at linebacker or that guys like Hood step up to fill-in for guys like Smith. But when one of our DB's goes down, all of a sudden the entire defensive scheme has to be changed to "help out".

Where are the interchangeable parts in the secondary like we have for the front seven? The way it is now is like a NASCAR pit that has plenty of fuel but no spare tires when both are needed to win a race.

TRH
02-10-2011, 10:32 AM
well , whatever we do, if Troy is going to play for this team, we need to be playing him at and where the best of his abilities come into play.
This year's post-season of playing him 30 yards out from the line of scrimmage proved disastrous, at best, and pretty much took him out of making any big plays (aside from a prayer of a downfield interception that wasn't likely to happen), coupled with Troy himself making a few wrong calls.

steelerchad
02-10-2011, 10:56 AM
Drafting a corner this year in the first round doesn't do squat for us next year. I'm not against it totally, but this team has a 2 or 3 year window left to contend for a ring before they need to reload. Hines, Harrison, Troy, Hampton, Smith, Clark, Farrior will all be gone in 3 years.
If we take a corner at #31 in the draft he will not be a sure fire starter that late in the first. With the CBA situation there may not even be a camp this year. This guy will not be ready to play in 2011. We got what we got for 2011. Gay was exposed for the 2nd straight year. He is at best a nickel guy and backup. I have hopes for McFadden that his injuries were the issue. He was solid in 08 and was below avg. this year. Ike in my opionion is better that given credit for. He is a top 10 corner I think. He is big and physical and takes the other teams most physical receiver and usually limits them pretty well. He doesn't make picks but he doesn't generally get beat deep either. He is also a pretty sure tackler.

SoCalFan
02-10-2011, 11:13 AM
+3 in drafting a corner in the 1st round.We would benefit so much in letting Troy freelance and roam the field.Hopefully next year he can stay 100% healthy!

kirklandrules
02-10-2011, 11:21 AM
I don't know where he is getting that Colon should sign for cheap??! If you remember, his agent, and a coach from the Steelers (don't remember who), were talking like he was one of the best right tackles in football!
A free agent coming off a blown achilles will not get top dollar. He will either be cheap or gone to a team that doesn't know who to spend their money.

Where I don't agree, I think he may go. Especially if we want to sign Ike and Woodley.
Although I really like Colon and thought he did a great job at RT, I have very little faith that Colon will be able to come back the same player he was when he went down with the injury. Statistics prove it ... see below link ...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100112123648.htm

Kudos to Legursky man, the guy basically shut down Raji. And everyone was screaming that he couldn't be stopped! Here's to hoping we upgrade our OC, CB and oline for depth.
I totally agree ... Legursky is awesome. I disagree with the author that Pouncey should move to LG because he can pull better than Kemo. That may be true, but what the author fails to recognize is that it all starts with the center and you want great talent there first. And Kemo doesn't suck at pulling. How many times did Faneca miss a block while pulling? Kemo is a brawler. Could you imagine a line of Starks, Kemo, Pouncey, Legursky, Adams? Outstanding talent at center, two brawlers at the guards and some big dudes on the edges. That is a lineup that would produce consistent yardage in the run game (and certainly would not be worse in pass protection than what we had this year).

Atlanta Dan
02-10-2011, 02:26 PM
Gerry Dulac of the P-G supports the theory Polamalu played deep center field for most of the playoffs not because he was too hurt to play all over the field but because the Steelers had no faith in the cover skills of Gay/McFadden

Hey Gerry. It seemed like the D scheme was different when Troy came back. They kept him deeper and it seemed like the D was also more focused on taking away the dink and dunk they always seem to allow. Was that by design because of Troy's injury, a change in scheme or to help McFadden and Gay?

Gerry Dulac: I have not been able to get to the bottom of it all just yet, but I don't think there's any doubt the Steelers had to play differently against the Jets and the Packers because of the problems in their secondary. Polamalu played a lot more in coverage, as opposed to near the line of scrimmage, as a way to help protect the weaknesses of Bryant McFadden and, to a certain extent, William Gay. The Jets had several deep threats that concerned the Steelers -- Holmes and Braylon Edwards -- and the Packers had those four wide receivers they like to us, so the plan was to make sure they didn't give up the big pass play. And, for the most part, they didn't. The one time the Steelers didn't give Ike Taylor any deep help Holmes beat him for a 45-yard TD. They wanted to be sure they didn't lose that way and keeping Polamalu deep was a way to do that. To me, that's the negative trickle-down effect when you don't have corners you can trust.

janie: How hurt is Troy? More than we knew? And no, I am NOT one of the fools who thinks they should look at trading him. The sight of him in a uniform other than the Steelers is too painful to even think about.

Gerry Dulac: You don't have to worry about the Steelers trading him, though I must confess I have not heard that from any of the fools you describe. But, from what I have been told, Polamalu was no better or no worse than he was when he was making all those game-changing plays late in the season. I think they had to deploy him differently, as I said in the above answer.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/chats/gerry-dulac-chat