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Polamalu’s return means the most for Steelers

Troy Polamalu AP

With three big-name Steelers players making their return to the lineup on Sunday, one name stands out above the other two.

With all due respect to linebacker James Harrison and running back Rashard Mendenhall, the guy the Steelers need the most is safety Troy Polamalu.

Since 2009, Polamalu has missed 15 games, winning seven and losing eight.  (In one other game, against the Bengals in 2009, Polamalu made a quick exit with an aggravated Achilles tendon injury, and the Steelers lost at home to Cincinnati.)

This year, the Steelers are 1-1 without Polamalu, who has missed the last two games with a calf injury.

In the Steelers’ 3-4 zone-blitzing defense, outside linebackers are, to a certain extent, interchangeable.  Running backs are plentiful.  But Polamalu’s skills and smarts create the kind of havoc that no “next man up” can duplicate.

Having him back will be the biggest difference between squaring things up at 2-2 or falling to 1-3.

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22 Responses to “Polamalu’s return means the most for Steelers”
  1. jimnaizeeum says: Oct 7, 2012 9:17 AM

    Wear & tear are starting to add up…still very good, but not as good as he was

  2. gunpowderjones says: Oct 7, 2012 10:35 AM

    Main benefit is no Mundy

  3. plumbstl says: Oct 7, 2012 10:36 AM

    Troy is always better prepared to start the season when he trains in California. This off season he stayed in Pittsburgh I think with him being off last week allowed him to work with his trainer in California. He’ll be ready to go still a young guy that’s working hard all year long he’s a real Pro steelers get it done today!

  4. mancave001 says: Oct 7, 2012 10:38 AM

    Even as an Eagles fan, I love Polamalu. The problem is that he’s becoming more injury prone and seems to be losing a step with age (happens to us all, I suppose). Still, this is going to be a tough game for my birds.

  5. macjacmccoy says: Oct 7, 2012 10:46 AM

    Yeah I agree no “next man up” can do what Polamalu can do, when healthy. But Polamalu cant do what Polamalu can do when hes not 100%. So the next man up whos in football shape from practicing an playing can actually be better for the team then a out of football shape and not 100% healthy Polamalu during his first game back.

  6. frankbyrdblog2012 says: Oct 7, 2012 10:49 AM

    Eagles go whip that booty.Even it’s by 1 or 2 points.Just ask the previous 3 teams minus the cardinals.

  7. steelersownyou says: Oct 7, 2012 10:57 AM

    Best safety in the league is back. Nobody can do all the things he can do. He causes havoc.

  8. 6steelrings says: Oct 7, 2012 11:02 AM

    This def needs him still

  9. bonniebengal says: Oct 7, 2012 11:04 AM

    I think the Steelers are headed into a couple years of rebuilding. The defense is still good but getting old and not as good as they were.

  10. thatswhatsgooood says: Oct 7, 2012 11:06 AM

    It just makes me absolutely sick when people say this guy should be mentioned in the same sentence as Ed Reed. This guy shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same book.

  11. tdrundmc says: Oct 7, 2012 11:22 AM

    Polamalu is washed up. Pittsburghs defense is not very impressive now, time to rebuild.

  12. bigcid10 says: Oct 7, 2012 11:27 AM

    Main benefit is no Mundy

    Perfect Point
    every game we lost this year and last ,ryan mundy
    had something to do with it .he is def not troy

  13. eaglesmetallica says: Oct 7, 2012 11:33 AM

    Who doesn’t love a hard-hitting safety. Welcome back Troy. Go Birds.

  14. andrewproughcfe says: Oct 7, 2012 11:39 AM

    Anything to get Mundy off the field. He’s been the opposition’s best weapon in 3 of 4 games going back to the playoff loss to Tebow.

  15. ravenmuscle says: Oct 7, 2012 11:43 AM

    Polamalu is washed up….the WORST safety in the league now….couldn’t cover Rex Ryan. Rex would even out run Polamalu in a foot race.

  16. pgh15212 says: Oct 7, 2012 11:48 AM

    thatswhatsgooood

    You are right, they should be in different books. Ed Reed should be in the book with the many ball hawking safeties. Troy Polamalu should be in a book by himself, as the most instinctive and unique player (not just safety) to ever play the game.

    ravenmuscle

    Your comment reflects your ability to create a logical idea.

  17. bobzilla1001 says: Oct 7, 2012 11:54 AM

    Most quarterback-obsessed Steelers fans have never appreciated Polamalu. They think if he doesn’t make every tackle and return an interception for a touchdown every game, he didn’t play well.
    Polamalu is the Steelers’ most significant first-round draft pick since Joe Greene in 1969.

  18. steelersownyou says: Oct 7, 2012 12:20 PM

    Reed stands back there and cherry picks. Polamalu is on the front line. And he’s deep in the secondary. No Qb in the nfl is scared of reed. Every Qb in the league is scared of troy. Reed is 1 dimensional. Troy is multi-dimensional. If Reed didnt have a lot of int’s nobody would know him. Troy hardly has any int’s and everybody still knows him. He has ruined ratbird fans dreams with pick of flacco in afc champ. And flacco sack in your own house to win the afc north. Nuff said. Troy owns reed!

  19. steelersownyou says: Oct 7, 2012 12:41 PM

    Correctiin to bobzillas post above..Big Ben is the most significant first round pick since joe greene. No ben no lombardis. Its a Qb driven league. Thats just the way it is. There i fixed your debacle of a post. You’re welcome…

  20. pgh15212 says: Oct 7, 2012 12:41 PM

    bobzilla1001

    Polamalu is the most popular steeler lil buddy.

  21. napoleonblownapart6887 says: Oct 7, 2012 12:43 PM

    A word on the Reed-Polamalu debate: you have to take positions into account. Reed is the best FS, possibly ever. Troy is one of the best SS ever as well. Troy supports the run, blitzes, and tackles better than Reed because that’s his job. Reed is better in coverage and more of a ballhawk because that’s HIS job. Both can do it all but their differences are both a function of talent as well as what they’re called on to do.

    With that said, Polamalu is the straw that stirs the Pittsburgh defense’s proverbial drink. Need him back there and can’t wait to see him play today.

  22. peytonwantsaflag says: Oct 7, 2012 12:44 PM

    So they’re basically .500 without him. What are they without Harrison or Mendenhall? If you’re going to make a statement like that you should really show your evidence.

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