Steelers not worried about Troy Polamalu criticism

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Troy Polamalu might not be Troy Polamalu anymore, but the Steelers aren’t about to suggest they don’t need him.
The veteran safety has missed the last two games with a sore knee, and four of the last seven with a variety of injuries. But he’s expected to return Saturday against the Ravens, sparking the questions of whether he should replace Will Allen in the starting lineup.

That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” safety Mike Mitchell said, via Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That’s absurd. It just shows the disrespect that some people have, and they have no clue about our game.”

Except maybe they do. The Steelers have played better on defense without him lately than with him earlier in the year. And coach Mike Tomlin might not have helped kill the curiousity about his status by hedging when asked if Polamalu would get his starting job back when well.

“There are complexities to these things, and we’re going to deal with them on a case-by-case basis at the appropriate time,” Tomlin said.

It’s hard to imagine them not getting him out there in some role, as his 14 playoff appearances are tied for the most on the team with Ben Roethlisberger and Ike Taylor, and he has a long track record of game-changing plays against the Ravens.

“He has that uncanny ability, that God-sent gift to diagnose plays and make the plays that other guys are afraid to make,” Mitchell said. “The only thing I can think of when he isn’t on the field is that I know exactly where Will Allen is going to be at all times. That doesn’t mean it’s a better defense. It just says Will does it more by the book.”

We’ll see Saturday night if Polamalu is able to write a fitting final chapter.

44 responses to “Steelers not worried about Troy Polamalu criticism

  1. The Steelers are in the same position as the Ravens were with Ray Lewis. They just have to hope they win the Super Bowl and he retires, because it is too much of a PR hit to cut him.

  2. From the outside looking in it seems that the team is playing better without Troy or maybe better with the safety playing his true position… and DEF better without Ike… I’m fine if I don’t see #24 on the field the rest of the year!

  3. Tomlin would be a fool to tip his hand one way or the other. There is no advantage to be had providing information to your opponents. [See Belichick, Examples 1 through 12,357.]

    Also, Troy was trying to play hurt in the games cited above (witness him having to limp to the sideline so many times on that knee), so of course, his effectiveness was reduced. Anyone’s effectiveness is reduced when fighting off injury(ies).

    If Troy is sufficiently healthy (read: effective), he will be a great (and obvious) start. If he is still hobbled, matters may need to be re-thought. And either way, there is nothing to be gained by handing the Ravens the blueprint to our plans tomorrow night.

  4. Note to Coach Tomlin: Leave the defense as it was last Sunday (i.e. do not play Ike Taylor or Troy Polamalu). Antwon Blake is almost twice as fast as Ike Taylor or Troy and hits even harder. Blake and McCain have youth and speed and are stepping up. Let Ike and Troy provide mentoring and wisdom, it’s all they have left.

  5. Steelers have not won a playoff game in years bad coach fat Ben choking I don’t know luv to see them in Foxboro against the Patriots who have more wins in the last 14 years than anybody we put up 55 on them last year and own them in playoffs

  6. “The only thing I can think of when he isn’t on the field is that I know exactly where Will Allen is going to be at all times.”

    And there it is.

    Polamalu’s freelancing has really hurt that team over the years, Yes, he makes the odd spectacular play, but he’s been responsible for the defense giving up many big plays too.

  7. I’m a huge Polamalu fan, but to pretend he’s still the same player he was a few years ago is just dumb. He comes in on the tail end of plays more than he makes plays. He’s been dealing with minor chronic injuries that are a good indication to all of what happens when you’ve been a top notch defender for most of the 11 years he’s been playing. I’d love to see him come back in and be the rockstar that he’s known for, but I think it’s time he start thinking about retiring before he becomes a has been. We’d all love for our favorite players to play forever but that’s not reality. 11 seasons is a great football career.

  8. kremis spent half his life in 2014 posting “Tebow broke the Steelers”, and the Steelers are AFC North champs. Time well spent. The more he continues, the farther the Steelers go in the playoffs!

  9. Does it really matter? With the exception of their 2 “wins” in the SB’s– very suspect officiating and apologies years later from the officials– this is the most bloated and underperforming franchise in NFL history. They melt under the pressure of the post-season when the fix isn’t in.

  10. .
    Look look!!! Troy jumped over the offensive line again!!!

    it is amazing the announcers never note him do that…
    He does it like once a game

  11. I worry about Troy, I think the concussions he has suffered will catch up to him post career. Like it did with Junior Seau.

    Wish he had retired a couple years ago.

  12. Troy is a lock for the HOF, and it has been a joy to watch him over the years. But considering his play this year, he is probably better suited playing in obvious running situations. His pass coverage and downfield tackling has been inconsistent. He seems to be playing more like a fast but small linebacker now.

  13. The game is 99% mental then if healthy Troy “Canton” Polamalu should be on the field.
    #steelersnation, #firstballothalloffamer, #playoffs

  14. He is still one heck of a football player as well as one of the greatest safeties to play the game! Father time is moving in and he has my respect. Looking forward to a very physical and competitive game tomorrow night! Go Ravens!

  15. Troy would be the first guy to say start the guy that gives you the better chance of winning. The H.O.F. Safety has never been ego!!

  16. If it’s about what’s best for the team then Troy doesn’t play. He’s lost more than a step and is a HUGE liability. Do you want to win the game or hurt Troy’s feelings? My answer is different than most. Put I’m on IR and tell him nice career.

  17. As a die-hard Steelers fan I will say the last 2-3 years his physical ability can no longer compensate for his out of position freelancing. He still has some big plays left in him but at the expense of giving up too many in return. Even his blitzing has suffered greatly as he struggles with speed and beating blocks and to much hesitation in hitting his gaps in run game. Him and rival Ed Reed will always be in my top 5 saftey’s of all time but sadly he’s not a every down player anymore. When he got rolled up on and injured his knee mid-season I thought for sure his career was likely over. I love Timmons and his all out playing style but his friendly fire has taken out half his team with his full speed destructive blows! It’s a tough game this weekend as Ravens-Steelers bring out the best in each other. Hopefully the Steelers win and are not to banged for Divisional match up.

  18. Wow. I didn’t know Mike Mitchell is the team captain now. This guy is always opening his mouth. And the crap he is talking now before a big game is not cool.

  19. Polomolu is still the best Safety on the team & top 10 in the league. You are a fool if you don’t know that. The defensive failures this year were driven by injuries across the Defense, not his demise. He had to, at times, play LB because they were so thin in the box, which left the secondary even more vulnerable! I have said it many times, getting our 5 injured defensive starters back in the line up would help tremendously, which it has. Now, a healthy Polomolu & Bell are NEEDED for the Playoffs. Anyone that doesnt understand that is either dilusional, trying to make a buck off analytics or hoping for a Steelers early exit from the playoffs.

  20. Love Polamalu,sure fire Hall of Famer,but the truth is the secondary has performed better without Troy & Ike….if he plays,it has to be in a reduced role.

  21. Sometimes there are amazing comparisons between the Steelers and Ravens.

    These similar issues were in play for Ed Reed just 2 years ago. Same issues of playing out of position, leaving the other safety with no help over the top, playing from his gut, etc.

    As a Ravens fan, I have mad respect for Polamahu. If he plays, I hope he has some left in the tank, but then again, I hope he doesn’t.

    Whatever the outcome, Polamahu is a class act. I have never had an issue with his game, other than making huge plays against my team.

  22. Steeler’s fans need to look at this without sentimentalism. Troy’s time has come and gone, the team has to keep competing. You have to play the best player at the moment, history is for the fans.

  23. I wonder what criticism their going to use when he has a career day against Joe Floppo. Troy might not have much time left it Pitt but don’t be surprised if he goes out with a bang in the playoffs and plays at a high level.

  24. Troy Polamalu was and still is one of the best safetys to play the game. We need his leadership on the field!! You can feel the difference on the field when hes in the game! Lets Go Steelers!!!

  25. Who is this guy meaning the Sport writer of this paper I mean Troy Polamanu is excellent football player for the past decade ooooo you did n’t know you better ask somebody just his present motorviates the team and love all over the world over and over again .The Steelers are going win and bring the Super Bowl Trophy home again holla……..P o l a m a n u you rule bro th er

  26. The young guys for the Steelers are playing well but this week is the Ravens. No matter what condition Troy is in he makes plays against the Ravens. I’ll bet the Ravens don’t want to see Troy on the field.

  27. soxpats99…pay attention. The Patriots have not won a Super Bowl in 10 years since you got caught cheating. The Steelers have won 2 in that time period. As I said, pay attention!

  28. I want him out there HOWEVER it does seem like more and more when he’s running in to fly and tackle someone, he flies by them and they stay up and keep running. He needs to square up more and give some lasting hits to end his brilliant career with some awesomeness. What better way to finish his brilliant career than in an EPIC win over the Dirty Birds and a last SB win?

  29. Of course, CEO Jed York and G.M. Trent Baalke surely realize that the fans wouldn’t be thrilled about Kaepernick being shipped to a new team only weeks after Harbaugh was run out the door.

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