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Old 06-02-2009, 05:07 PM   #1
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Default interesting........

I thought I would bring a couple of articles (one of which, an in depth comparison) to all of your attention. I know there must be a ridiculous amount of threads already made about the comparison between Reed and Polamalu, and about Reed himself, but I felt this was necessary to post. From the comments section of Ed Reed being ranked #1 on SportingNews.com, a football fan had one of the best posts I've ever seen regarding the Reed vs Polamulu debate. Also, within the post, is a link to a fantastic article by the New York Times about Reed. I apologize if this is a repeated thread, if so it can be deleted by a Mod, but I really think we need to remind ourselves (or just bring it back to our attention during this somewhat boring off-season biggrin.gif ) of how lucky we are to have one of the best football players in the history of the NFL.

Quoted from "jc20lc"
Thu May 28, 2009 03:33 am
"The following is a note I wrote on Facebook in January when the media was all over Troy Polamalu. At the outset, I highly respect Troy Polamalu, and I consider him to be a premier talent in the league; at the rate he is playing he is a first ballot. The following, however, is the difference between a first ballot and the greatest; when you start to look at the numbers this comparison is a lot further apart than what most think. But to the note.

"I have reached the point to where I must formally engage this before and after the 2008 AFC Championship game, I remain flabbergasted at the ignorance of those who get paid to analyze football. From my perspective this discussion is not even a close one as the stats overwhelmingly support Ed Reed over Troy Polamalu; however, before the AFC Championship started 3/4 CBS panelists declared Troy Polamalu the better safety. I am V, and I am on a Vendetta to rectify Ed Reed. I aim to elucidate that Ed Reed is far superior to Troy Polamalu, and this is a significant claim because if Ed Reed is “far superior” to Troy Polamalu, then I consider Ed Reed to be in contention to be called the greatest safety to play the game. Reed, in my estimation then, is “far superior” to a first ballot Hall of Famer. So, can I prove such a bold claim that looks like a severe overstatement at the outset?

First, let’s go straight for the jugular: The most common response most analysts and fans give on this subject is the “apples-oranges” reply. Polamalu is a SS, and Reed is a FS; therefore, Polamalu gets more tackles than Reed, and Reed gets more interceptions than Polamalu. This analysis does carry some merit because Polamalu and Reed are utilized differently in their respective schemes, which do center around their respective positions. But, a fact that most people tend to forget: Reed played his first 3 years (In the last of these years he won Defensive Player of the Year.) as a SS in Baltimore. As a SS, he averaged 77 tackles a season. Interestingly, Polamalu has averaged 72 tackles a season. This 3 year stint is a good reason why Polamalu only has 24 more tackles than Reed in their careers. Now, to be fair, Polamalu has played in 18 fewer games than Reed, as the former just finished his 6th season and the latter just finished his 7th season. From what I hear from the press, though, I expected Polamalu to have a commanding lead in the tackling category, but +24 is far from commanding.

Also within this span of time Reed snagged 4 of his 5 career sacks. Polamalu has just 2 more career sacks than Reed (7-5). Reed does have a safety under his belt that Troy does not have. So far then, we have to conclude that Reed has shown, in the very least, the same ability as Troy in the box. But follow me to this next point.

Polamalu has 7 FF with 0 FRec. Reed, on the other hand, has 6 FFs, 6 FREC, 109 Fyds, and 2 FTD. 4/6 FF, 2/6 FREC, 44/109 Fyds, and ˝ FTD came in Reed’s 3 year stint as SS. Once again, Reed has caused just as many fumbles as Polamalu, but has managed to recover 6 fumbles. Reed finds a way to finish plays, Polamalu seem incapable of finishing plays to the degree that Reed finishes plays.

This next stat, I believe is rather comical, and ultimately, I believe it is comical because it turns the FS/SS dichotomy argument between Polamalu and Reed on its head. In Reed’s 3 year stint at SS he snagged 21 Ints, 2 Int TDs, 657 Int yds (2004’s 358 Int yds set an NFL Record with a then NFL Record 106 yd Int return). Now remember, Reed is doing all of this while tackling and blitzing like Polamalu in the box. Here’s where it is comical: Ed Reed’s 3 year stint at SS gives him more Ints (21) than Polamalu has in his 6 season career (17). Reed, therefore, seems to have been the better SS.

Now to be fair to Polamalu: he has never had the opportunity to play the FS consistently. Maybe if he were given Reed’s role he could play it as well; this is speculative, and I would contend that seeing Polamalu in coverages is not like watching Reed in coverages. But, let’s talk about the stats: In just 18 games more than Polamalu, just a little more than 1 season: Reed has 43 Ints to Polamalu’s 17; 1,144 Int yds to Polamalu’s 210 yds; 5 Int TDs to Polamalu’s 1. Reed has 11 career TDs to Polamalu’s 1. (Not counting both of their postseason pick-sixes this year moving the totals to 12-2.) Against the pass, Reed gets the ball far more than Polamalu, and Polamalu is nowhere near as deadly with the ball in his hands as Reed is with the ball. This is the kind of lop-sidedness I expect in lopsided amount of times of playing. For example, if Reed had been in the league 13 years then this sort of gap would be understandable, but just a mere 18 games?

But, Polamalu has more tackles in 18 fewer games; that’s saying something, right? But not as lopsided as these coverage numbers; this is stupid, sick lopsided. 26 more INTs? Wow! Reed’s 12 TD’s is on pace to match Neon Deion’s 23 variegated TDs. Reed’s picks are on pace to surpass Paul Krause’s 81 career picks; The record for INT returns: Rod Woodson at 1,483 yds (Reed is just 340 yds from the record in ˝ the time.) Reed is breaking or is on pace to break most of the DB coverage records, which is a tantamount difference between Reed and Polamalu: Reed is in contention to be called the greatest, while Polamalu is just a great safety, a hall of fame safety, who is playing now.

So here is a very brief argument for why Ed Reed is the better safety when compared with Troy Polamalu. There are many more avenues of argumentation I could tarry down, but this note is long enough. This is not apples and oranges; we can compare Reed and Polamalu, and when we do, Ed Reed is the clear winner.

Here's a piece by the NY Times on Reed:


Troy Polamalu says the following about Ed Reed:

"I’ve told him to his face many times, ‘You’re the greatest safety ever to play the game,’ ” said the Pittsburgh Steelers’ own exceptional safety, Troy Polamalu. “We all learn from each other, but we all learn most from him.

“Whenever you see him have a one-interception game, it’s disappointing. ‘What happened to Ed? He only took it to the 1? He must be injured.’ I don’t think it’s athleticism that makes great plays. He’s got a football I.Q., a really instinctual way of playing the game.”

1) All stats are from NFL.com unless otherwise noted.""
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: interesting........

We played them 3 times last year. In what game did Ed Reed make a game altering play?

I can point to the last game we played against the Ravens and clearly point out one that Troy made.

As a matter of fact, Troy comes up big in many big games. In the 2005 SB run, he was huge in the Bengals, Colts, and Denver games. He was hurt in the Seattle game.

Ed Reed is a great safety, but for an article to indicate that he is clearly better, that is not the case.
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:19 PM   #3

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Default Re: interesting........

Reed has never played the run half as well as Polamalu. And one thing you failed to mention is the fact that so many of the interceptions & plays Troy's made in the secondary were after he started the play at the line of scrimmage. I can think of no safety, free or strong, in the history of the sport that's covered as much of the field with the kind of speed & quicknessTroy does. He has no equal in that regard.

Hence, The Tasmanian Devil is the better player.
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: interesting........

Ed Reed really has 5 Ints Tds and 2 fmb Tds, making it 7 Defensive touchdowns not 12 as this breakdown would lead you to believe.

Also, the most important stat that is left off. Troy has been part of a Championship Defense 2 times, Ed Reed, Never.
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: interesting........

he did his research, i'll give him that. But looks like he doesnt understand how much more modest of a character Troy Polamalu is than Ed Reed. On top of that, Troy's got 2 Superbowls and counting in less time. Besides, his name brings up good memories:

. I think he's a surefire HOF'er, but it's a shame his chances of tasting a superbowl win are so slim.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: interesting........

Here is the real question.....if they were both on your team fighting for the same position......who would you start?.......
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: interesting........

Originally Posted by wootawnee View Post
Here is the real question.....if they were both on your team fighting for the same position......who would you start?.......
I'd find a way to start them both.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: interesting........

Originally Posted by BlastFurnace View Post
I'd find a way to start them both.
Reed at FS, Troy at SS
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: interesting........

Troy hits harder and can get interceptions too. But After he hits someone, that person gets shook for the rest of the game This guy is a joke, tell me where ed reed was in any of the steelers games against baltimore ? Tell me how he cudnt stop homes on that big catch? He got embarrassed he could have easily tackled holmes at the 1 but.....
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: interesting........

First off, they play two different positions and have two completely roles in their respective defenses.

Troy Polamalu plays strong safety, he makes a lot of plays around the line of scrimmage. He plays both the run and the pass.

Ed Reed is a free safety, and his job is to play "center field" and just follow the eyes of the quarterback. He's not asked to make played around the line of scrimmage or to play the run if he doesn't have to.

Troy Polamalu Stats, Career
Tackles: 435
Sacks: 7
INT: 17
Forced Fumbles: 6
Passes Deflected: 61
Defensive TD's: 2

Ed Reed Stats, Career
Tackles: 411
Sacks: 5
Interceptions: 43
Forced Fumbles: 6
Passes Deflected: 91
Defensive TD's: 7

They both are going to be first ballot HoFers. If they were both on the same team, they would be the best safety combination in NFL history.

I am so sick of this argument though. I would rather discuss Bob Sanders v. Polamalu because they both play strong safety and both have the same style of play.

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