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BlitzburghRockCity
09-21-2006, 01:19 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_471471.html


By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, September 21, 2006


It was a play that could have changed the game.
It was a play Troy Polamalu could have made, if only ...

Second-and-five from the Jacksonville 13-yard line, Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich looked for wide receiver Reggie Williams on a flanker screen along the near sideline.

Polamalu, the Steelers' All-Pro strong safety, anticipated the play, jumped the route and deflected the ball with his left hand but failed to intercept it.

That's how close a 3-0, fourth-quarter Jaguars lead came to turning into a 7-3 Steelers advantage.

"I reached out there with my right arm," Polamalu said Wednesday, the Steelers' first day back at practice following Monday night's 9-0 loss. "I think if I would have had maybe about three or four more inches, which I probably could have (if I were) healthy, but who knows if I would have even caught the ball, anyway, you know?"

What's certain is Polamalu is playing at less than 100 percent efficiency -- to the extent that his gait is noticeably different on and off the field due to a right shoulder injury sustained in the Steelers' 28-17, season-opening win over Miami on Sept. 7.

"You guys have seen it, I guess," Polamalu said to a media assemblage. "It's just tough to let my arm hang, in general. If walking is tough, tackling (Jacksonville's) Fred Taylor or any running back for that matter is always going to be tough."

Polamalu opened last week listed as questionable on the Steelers' injury report but was quickly upgraded to probable.

He characterized his injury prior to the Jacksonville game as "a bone bruise, a shoulder contusion and something with my bursa sac."

It's not a condition Polamalu anticipates having to deal with all season.

"I'm sure it'll go away, God willing," he said yesterday.

The Steelers had to adjust the way Polamalu attacked in Jacksonville, and they might have to do so again when Cincinnati visits Heinz Field on Sunday.

"He still made the correct reads, the correct calls," cornerback Deshea Townsend said. "You probably didn't see him just throwing his body in there as much because of the shoulder, but he still went out there and played a good game.

"Certain defenses where he might have had the chance to sacrifice his body, he might have sent (free safety) Ryan (Clark). That allowed him to play that much longer."

Polamalu finished with three tackles and two passes defended.

The bye week comes at a good time in this instance, to get some players like Troy healed up and allow the team some time to get refreshed for the rest of the season.

Steelersfan
09-21-2006, 01:33 AM
Yup, we need Troy at %100! He is a beast when heathy. Let's just hope this isn't a long term thing. I'm sure we'll know a lot more after the by week.

When I saw him break on that pass I thought for sure he had it! Could have changed the whole game.

AZ_Steeler
09-21-2006, 02:58 AM
I'm likeing the week 4 bye this year! If everyone, including Troy especially, can make it through this game and the Steelers can come out on top it will make it even better. The defense is still good with an 80% Troy but it's 10 times better with a 100% Troy! Hopefully, mind games are going on right now and his shoulder is actually feeling better than reported ;)

I hate the "what if" game but I truly feel if Troy was 100% for the Jacksonville game then it would be a completely differnet outcome!

Steelersfan
09-21-2006, 03:28 AM
I don't know AZ. It could have been I guess. Our offense was the worst I have seen in that game. "If" he made that INT and went in to score it very well could have made the difference. But even healthy he would of had a hard time handling that pass. Mostly because he broke on it so fast.....lol

AZ_Steeler
09-21-2006, 03:31 AM
I don't know AZ. It could have been I guess. Our offense was the worst I have seen in that game. "If" he made that INT and went in to score it very well could have made the difference. But even healthy he would of had a hard time handling that pass. Mostly because he broke on it so fast.....lol
Very true, That's why I hate the "what if" game! He did break on it awfully fast but a TD there could have sucked the life out of Jacksonville and their fans... it's one thing we'll never know though... :dunno:

BlitzburghRockCity
09-21-2006, 07:18 AM
It's funny, every year we all bitch about having an early bye, but almost every year it comes at just the right time because someone is always injured and needs a rest.

House of Steel
09-21-2006, 10:20 AM
I am starting to warm up about having an early bye week on the schedule since it does allow extra rest for those who have lingering injuries. You know Troy will be back up to 100% health after the Bengals game. Give Ward more time to get his hammy strengthen and more time for Ben to rest up and get comfortable to get his groove back.