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Old 02-09-2011, 06:59 PM   #1
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Default My Polamalu theory

NFL from the sidelines
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.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: My Polamalu theory

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.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: My Polamalu theory

Polamalu really had an off post-season this year. I hope he's okay for next season.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: My Polamalu theory

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).

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Old 02-09-2011, 09:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: My Polamalu theory

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.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: My Polamalu theory

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.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: My Polamalu theory

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...
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: My Polamalu theory

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
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: My Polamalu theory

Draft a corner in the first round!!!
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: My Polamalu theory

Originally Posted by PhantomJB93 View Post
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...

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.
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