Sunday, January 18, 2009

Playoff Legacies: AFC

Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin are early in Hall of Fame careers.  They're both good in their own right, but they are also in a great organization that always finds talented players (especially on defense).  I expect them to be winning playoff games for years.  But there's one Pittsburgh Steeler that leaves me in awe.

Troy Polamalu
If he were a run-stuffing strong safety, I'd say, "gosh, I've never seen a defensive back make so many tackles around the line of scrimmage."  If he were a coverage free safety, I'd say "gosh, I don't remember a safety that made so many spectacular plays in the secondary, deflecting passes, intercepting passes, hitting receivers, tackling in the open field."  In his best plays, he's nowhere on the television screen, then he comes bolting from nowhere, hair flying, to make a great tackle or to get to a ball in the air.  

For a long time I've felt like Steeler linebackers just change names but remain the same players: Greg Lloyd and Chad Brown and Levon Kirkland and Kevin Greene and Joey Porter and James Harrison and James Farrior and LaMarr Woodley and Larry Foote.  But Polamalu is a unique player, a dynamic force that is always noticeable.  The odd number 43, the long hair, the quickness, the speed, the hard hits.  This is a spectacular player.  I don't think there's a non-Viking defensive player I've ever had such fun watching.

1 comment:

  1. Danish!9:40 AM

    Absolutely. A slowly developing toss or sweep, and you just can't help but think "there's no way Polamalu wont get him before the LOS"... Very very entertaining. He has the big-play abillity without being a boom-bust-player!

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