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Old 09-12-2009, 07:59 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Polamalu's loss stings, but Steelers can persevere

Polamalu's loss stings, but Steelers can persevere
http://www.profootballweekly.com/200...-can-persevere
Posted Sept. 11, 2009 @ 2:27 p.m.
By Mike Wilkening

Steelers SS Troy Polamalu is expected to miss several weeks after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the first half of Pittsburgh's 13-10 OT win vs. Tennessee on Thursday night. Head coach Mike Tomlin disclosed the injury after Thursday's game, and though he indicated such an injury usually keeps a player out 3-6 weeks, he added that more tests on the knee would be conducted. Polamalu, regarded as the NFL's best player at his position, was hurt after the Steelers blocked a field goal. Before the injury, he notched six tackles and made a one-handed interception of a Kerry Collins pass. Tyrone Carter replaced Polamalu in the lineup and is expected to get the call when the Steelers host the Bears on Sept. 20.

The PFW spin

Polamalu is one of the NFL's more dynamic players, one of the few safeties consistently capable of altering the game. He has outstanding speed, and he has made significant strides in coverage. Carter, 33, is a hard hitter who lacks Polamalu's range, and the Carter-Ryan Clark safety tandem could be vulnerable against a team with a robust passing game.

This assumes, of course, that the opposing quarterback will have enough time to throw. And that's no guarantee against Pittsburgh.

Which brings us to contemplate the extent of Polamalu's absence on the Steelers' defense. It will undoubtedly weigh on Pittsburgh, and it will be readily apparent at times, particularly on some passing plays.

But the Steelers have fared well in Polamalu's absence before. In the eight career games he has missed, Pittsburgh has limited opponents to 10 points or less six times. In another instance, his absence coincided with other starters resting in the meaningless 2007 season finale vs. Baltimore, a game the Ravens won 27-21.

The other game Polamalu missed came in Week 14 of the 2007 season, when Patriots QB Tom Brady riddled the Pittsburgh secondary in a 34-13 Patriots victory. Surely you recall Steelers FS Anthony Smith's prediction of victory and his inability to back up his words.

Smith, of course, is no longer a Steeler, but Clark, who missed the New England debacle, too, is playing at a high level. And Carter knows the defense very well.

This isn't to say that the Steelers won't miss Polamalu if he's not in the lineup when Pittsburgh is slated to face quarterbacks like Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer and Philip Rivers and runners like Adrian Peterson and LaDainian Tomlinson in the weeks to come. But there is more than enough talent to ensure the Pittsburgh defense's play won't regress to the point that it's a weakness.

The season has just begun! PFW's annual Kickoff Issue is on sale at PFWstore.com and at newsstands and bookstores across the country. Also, be sure to buy copies of the Pro Football Weekly/Yahoo! Sports 2009 NFL preview magazine, as well as the Pro Football Weekly/Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football Guide 2009, both of which are now available at bookstores, newsstands and retail outlets where magazines are sold. Or order your copies online at PFWStore.com.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Polamalu's loss stings, but Steelers can persevere

Troy was a bit weird on Thursday, never good when a safety is called for 3 penalties (even though the late hit, if it was in bounds, would have been a great tutorial in players learning how to take the exact right angle to stop a play from going for more or allowing the running back to cut back inside)

Carter wasn't particularly bad, but he obviously has neither the range of explosiveness of Polamalu so it's a drop off. Fortunately the front 7 is good enough that they should make it easier, especially if Timmons comes back (though I was surprised how well Fox did in run support compared to Farrior). In fact looking at the schedule, the only game where the loss might be felt is Chicago because while the blitzs will generate a ton of pressure Cutler is up there with the best of them in his ability to avoid sacks and get rid of the ball. Combine that with being able to dump off the ball to Forte, and use two talented tight ends, and they may have a passing attack geared to take advantage of the Steelers zone blitzing.

Other than that Harrison could quite easily lead the league in sacks by the time you roll around to face the Ravens given the way he utterly destroyed Michael Roos (I've never seen Roos play as bad)
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Polamalu's loss stings, but Steelers can persevere

we are lucky it is this early in the season!
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Polamalu's loss stings, but Steelers can persevere

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we are lucky it is this early in the season!
We will need him more after the bye. That's when we get the Ravens twice,

Nobody can play at Troy's level, but if last year is any indicator about our backups, it seems that someone always steps up and makes the big play. Let's hope the trend continues.
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Polamalu's loss stings, but Steelers can persevere

With the way Troy flies around playing his position. I don't see him coming back close to 100% till late, late in the year.

Sorry for the black cloud, but he might not be be the same for the rest of the season after this injury


I'm still holding my breath on it's severity though and hoping for the best.
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Polamalu's loss stings, but Steelers can persevere

Carter did just fine last night. Assuming Troy is out for 6 weeks, the biggest threats to us are the Bears next week, and the Chargers. We can clean that up without Troy. We actually happen to have a talented defense, not just one dynamic player on that side of the ball.
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Polamalu's loss stings, but Steelers can persevere

I see 2 losses w/out Troy, The Chargers cause Gates will eat us alive and the Vikings. Especially considering how poor the Oline is, those William boys are gonna have a field day along with Jared Allen.
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Polamalu's loss stings, but Steelers can persevere

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I see 2 losses w/out Troy, The Chargers cause Gates will eat us alive and the Vikings. Especially considering how poor the Oline is, those William boys are gonna have a field day along with Jared Allen.
Guess we should just forfeit those games now then.
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Polamalu's loss stings, but Steelers can persevere

He probably can`t fortell the future on the field like Troy can but I`m confident that Carter will not let the team down.
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Polamalu's loss stings, but Steelers can persevere

#43 is a future HOFer. No doubt his play making ability will be missed. He kept the secondary from being exposed in tight siutations. He should be sat down and scoped if necessary so he is available for the playoffs.
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