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Troy Polamalu – NFL Defensive Player of the Year

The news broke tonight that Steelers Safety Troy Polamalu was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.  He edged out Packers Linebacker Clay Matthews by 2 votes.  Polamalu finished the regular season with 63 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 FF, and 7 Interceptions.  He also missed 2 games against the Jets and Panthers, due to a nagging achilles injury that plagued him for much of the year. Still though Polamalu was the driving force on the Steelers defense that finished 2nd overall in the NFL and #1 against the rush.

In 2009, Troy missed most of the season and his presence was missed dearly. After fighting through a couple injury filled seasons Polamalu came back with a vengeance in 2010 making big plays virtually every week.  One of the most memorable was early in the year against the Titans, when he timed his jump across the line perfectly to sack Titans QB Kerry Collins, who didn’t know what hit him, literally. It’s plays like those that showcase what Troy is capable of and how much he means to the defense. He’s got the intangibles that can’t be coached and a the ability to make an impact in both the run and the pass defense.  He was once again voted to the NFL Pro Bowl in 2010, but since the Steelers are the AFC representative in Super Bowl XLV, they didn’t participate in the game.

There was no bigger play for Troy, and no play that epitomized what he is all about more than the game saving Sack/Force Fumble in the AFC Divisional Round. Troy came on a blitz late in the 4th quarter, and stripped the ball from Ravens QB Joe Facco, which Linebacker Lamarr Woodley recovered. The Steelers defense is big on what they call “splash plays” and many times Polamalu is in on those such plays.  His performace in Super Bowl XLV next Sunday will be something to watch and will be key if the Steelers pull out the win.

BlitzburghRockCity – SteelerAddicts.com

Photo courtesy of NFL.com

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