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coldrolled
07-10-2010, 11:06 AM
Troy Polamalu runs silent and deep
By Doug Farrar
The first thing you notice when talking with Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu(notes) is that his off-field demeanor couldn't be any more different than the makeup of the scud missile you see on game day. Face-to-face, Polamalu is so soft-spoken, one has to push the microphone closer when interviewing him, and he's far more comfortable talking about others than himself. This week, his first focus wasn't on the knee that is recovering well after costing him 11 games in 2009 (the most in a single season in his seven-year career), nor was it the egal travails of one Ben Roethlisberger(notes). Polamalu was fully about helping to coach and advise the Zoom Blade team from Orlando, Florida in the national 7-on-7 tournament. Polamalu went to high school at Douglas High in Winston, Oregon, about 170 miles south of the games played this week. Polamalu played safety and running back, made All-State in baseball, and All-League in basketball, and had warm memories about his time there.

"It was a small town," Polamalu told me. "I loved how everyone went to school together from kindergarten to the 12th grade; everybody knew each other. I loved that everybody played every sport, and I think those experiences are lost nowadays."

From Douglas High, the heavily recruited Polamalu went to USC, where he learned a great deal from head coach Pete Carroll. But Polamalu didn't see the "rah-rah" side to Carroll that everyone else talks about. To him, "it was more that you loved him as an individual, and you wanted to make him happy, and that's where the motivation was. He was great to play under in college - an awesome coach and a great person. It's going to be weird seeing him on something other than cardinal and gold [team colors], though."

As much as Carroll had an effect on him, there's no question who Polamalu's favorite coach is - to ask him about Steelers defensive coordinator [and long-overdue Hall-of-Famer] Dick LeBeau is to understand just how much a coach can mean to a player. How did it make Polamalu feel to know that LeBeau was finally getting his due as one of the greatest defensive coordinators of all time?

"There's no question that he is the greatest coach of all time," Polamalu said, sounding as definite as a very soft-spoken guy can be, "and there's no question to me that he is the epitome of what a Hall-of-Famer should be. You're talking about a guy who played in the NFL and was very successful, with 63 interceptions - he reminds us of that all the time (laughs). He had the most consecutive starts at cornerback - over 100 games. He's been a special-teams coach, a coordinator, and a head coach. He's been part of the game longer than anybody who didn't own a team. So, to me, he's the most deserving guy ever, and the Hall of Fame people are lucky to have him as part of it."

Part of the value of that relationship is LeBeau's ability to take Polamalu's specific skills and move him into every kind of defensive set imaginable - from playing center field against the deep ball, to kamikaze blitzes from just about anywhere. "It's a level of trust, communication and understanding, most importantly, That's the relationship that Coach LeBeau and I have."

Of course, I had to ask him about Roethlisberger, and the four-to-six game suspension that the quarterback faces. One thing Polamalu wanted very much to impart to those who are worried about the 2010 Steelers as a result of all the off-season turmoil is his resolve to see things right.

"One thing that's been kind of a good experience for us is that we've won games without Ben; people don't seem to understand that;" Polamalu said. The Steelers have a 5-4 record in the nine regular season games in which Roethlisberger has not played since his 2004 rookie season. "He's missed quite a few games in the NFL, and we've done well because our defense understands that we need to apply that much more pressure. I think that this will be no different in that way, the only thing that's different is the publicity that's brought to the subject. There's no question that we can't win a championship without Ben, but there's also no question that we can win games without star players."

Polamalu said that his knee is holding up well after surgery to repair the torn PCL that cost him so much of the 2009 season; he seems ready for training camp and one of the Steelers' most interesting seasons in recent memory. If he's healthy, there's no question that Troy Polamalu will be a bastion of consistency in an uncertain environment.

airbrake 1
07-10-2010, 11:43 AM
lets pray troy's knee is right.... If his knee starts messing up early in the season it's probably safe to say that there is some chronic possibly career ending problem with his knee... let's hope thats not the case because if he can finish his career the way it has started he could very well end up in canton... GO STEELERS

75Steeler
07-10-2010, 11:44 AM
:crossfingers: :pray: he has a great, injury free season this year!

Black@Gold Forever32
07-10-2010, 12:57 PM
Troy has it right....Steelers can win games without Ben but not a Super Bowl......

scudmissile29
07-10-2010, 04:27 PM
Troy has it right....Steelers can win games without Ben but not a Super Bowl......

the defense can win without ben, they just need to be very consistent on every play, they were awful against arizona and on some parts against san diego and jacksonville.

so i have my doubts but with lebeau and polamalu, they can take us.

the cardinals should of never come back if we gave up those big pass plays, heck harrison would of been mvp not holmes.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-10-2010, 06:42 PM
the defense can win without ben, they just need to be very consistent on every play, they were awful against arizona and on some parts against san diego and jacksonville.

so i have my doubts but with lebeau and polamalu, they can take us.

the cardinals should of never come back if we gave up those big pass plays, heck harrison would of been mvp not holmes.

Troy even stated the Steelers can win games without Ben but they can't win a Super Bowl or reach a Super Bowl without him.....

Don't if even know why I'm wasting my time debating with you since your hatred for Ben clouds your judgment....

I know lets go back to the days of Bubby Brister, Neil O'Donnell, Mike Tomczak, Jim Miller, Kordell Stewart, Kent Graham, and Tommy Maddox.........Those are the bum QBs I had to sit through before Big Ben and this team has won two Super Bowls with Ben at QB........

Were you even alive when Bubby Brister was the Steelers starting QB?.......:lol:

I know you will probably fire back with Ben's horrible Super Bowl XL performance....But remember Ben was just in his second season as a QB and Ben was key in the Steelers reaching Super Bowl XL in the first place.....Ben overall had 7 TD passes and only 3 INT's that post-season....Including a stellar AFC title game performance against the Broncos in Denver....Ben was 21/29 for 275 yards with 2 TD's and 0 INT's....Plus a rushing TD........

Ben played well in the post-season again following the 2008 season.......Remember Sweed dropped a perfect 50 yard TD bomb from Ben against the Ravens....Ben would have had over 300 yards against the Ravens if it wasn't for that drop....Yea I'm playing the what if game but you played first...lol

Ben cemented his legacy when he led the Steelers to a Super Bowl winning TD drive against the Cards in Super Bowl XLIII .......He didn't lead his team to field goal winning drives like Tom Brady to win Super Bowl...He actually needed a TD and delivered a TD pass to Holmes to win the Super Bowl........

We know you hate Ben but get over it....He isn't going anywhere anytime soon.....

Big T
07-10-2010, 07:22 PM
Troy even stated the Steelers can win games without Ben but they can't win a Super Bowl or reach a Super Bowl without him.....

Don't if even know why I'm wasting my time debating with you since your hatred for Ben clouds your judgment....

I know lets go back to the days of Bubby Brister, Neil O'Donnell, Mike Tomczak, Jim Miller, Kordell Stewart, Kent Graham, and Tommy Maddox.........Those are the bum QBs I had to sit through before Big Ben and this team has won two Super Bowls with Ben at QB........

Were you even alive when Bubby Brister was the Steelers starting QB?.......:lol:

I know you will probably fire back with Ben's horrible Super Bowl XL performance....But remember Ben was just in his second season as a QB and Ben was key in the Steelers reaching Super Bowl XL in the first place.....Ben overall had 7 TD passes and only 3 INT's that post-season....Including a stellar AFC title game performance against the Broncos in Denver....Ben was 21/29 for 275 yards with 2 TD's and 0 INT's....Plus a rushing TD........

Ben played well in the post-season again following the 2008 season.......Remember Sweed dropped a perfect 50 yard TD bomb from Ben against the Ravens....Ben would have had over 300 yards against the Ravens if it wasn't for that drop....Yea I'm playing the what if game but played first...lol

Ben cemented his legacy when he led the Steelers to a Super Bowl winning TD drive against the Cards in Super Bowl XLIII .......He didn't lead his team to field goal winning drives like Tom Brady to win Super Bowl...He actually needed a TD and delivered a TD pass to Holmes to win the Super Bowl........

We know you hate Ben but get over it....He isn't going anywhere anytime soon.....

this...

SteelerEyeZ
07-10-2010, 11:56 PM
i love the posts here!!!! i just read them and got sooooo excited for steelers football and the screaming that will go on during sunday

Sportsguy9695
07-11-2010, 01:36 PM
Tough break for the Steelers. you guys better hope he can recover from this injury

BlitzburghRockCity
07-11-2010, 10:26 PM
Im quite sure there's nobody, atleast nobody with any sense, that thinks we're going to go 0-4 or 0-6, until Ben comes back. They'll have a competent QB at the helm in the interim until Ben gets back; and the rest of the team will step up and do their parts to see us through. There's no reason that we shouldn't be atleast .500 when Ben comes back, if not 1 game better than that. Nobody knows what will happen, but I do know there's no way this team just rolls over and get beaten by every opponent in September.

Dean Denton
07-12-2010, 02:54 AM
Im quite sure there's nobody, atleast nobody with any sense, that thinks we're going to go 0-4 or 0-6, until Ben comes back. They'll have a competent QB at the helm in the interim until Ben gets back; and the rest of the team will step up and do their parts to see us through. There's no reason that we shouldn't be atleast .500 when Ben comes back, if not 1 game better than that. Nobody knows what will happen, but I do know there's no way this team just rolls over and get beaten by every opponent in September. If the same team that took the field last year shows up in Sept, then this team could easily go 0-4. If Troy is not ready to go, and he could very easily not be ready with that knee, then this team could be done before Nov...They better learn to run, and run a lot or this could get ugly fast. No Ben, and no Troy could be bad......:(

Black@Gold Forever32
07-12-2010, 11:53 AM
If the same team that took the field last year shows up in Sept, then this team could easily go 0-4. If Troy is not ready to go, and he could very easily not be ready with that knee, then this team could be done before Nov...They better learn to run, and run a lot or this could get ugly fast. No Ben, and no Troy could be bad......:(

Sounds like Troy is coming along just fine but its a legit concern Dean....You're right no Ben or Troy would kill this team.....

But a couple points to make as well....I think kick coverage units will be better this year due to the draft we had....I expect those young athletic LB's to help the coverage units........Special teams killed last year along with the injuries to the defense....

Plus we do play a sorry Bucs team down in Tampa......I think the Steelers will win that game....I also think the Steelers will beat the Falcons in Pittsburgh week 1.......Its the season opener and I just can't see the Falcons winning that game in Pittsburgh....

Playing at Tenn. and the Ravens are going to be tough games......

I see 2-2 after the first four games.....

Dean Denton
07-13-2010, 02:19 AM
Sounds like Troy is coming along just fine but its a legit concern Dean....You're right no Ben or Troy would kill this team.....

But a couple points to make as well....I think kick coverage units will be better this year due to the draft we had....I expect those young athletic LB's to help the coverage units........Special teams killed last year along with the injuries to the defense....

Plus we do play a sorry Bucs team down in Tampa......I think the Steelers will win that game....I also think the Steelers will beat the Falcons in Pittsburgh week 1.......Its the season opener and I just can't see the Falcons winning that game in Pittsburgh....

Playing at Tenn. and the Ravens are going to be tough games......

I see 2-2 after the first four games.....Like I said, if the same team that took the field last year shows up....This team is in big trouble. Yes the Bucs are sorry, but Oakland, KC, The Browns, and the other two teams that we lost to in that five game beat down were suppose to be sorry too. I do agree with you about the kick coverage though, that should be much better. I still dont know about Troy. They can say he's coming along fine, but that knee could take two years to fully heal. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed on that one. He is the key to this team winning. More so then Ben...imo

75Steeler
07-13-2010, 10:35 AM
Im quite sure there's nobody, atleast nobody with any sense, that thinks we're going to go 0-4 or 0-6, until Ben comes back. They'll have a competent QB at the helm in the interim until Ben gets back; and the rest of the team will step up and do their parts to see us through. There's no reason that we shouldn't be atleast .500 when Ben comes back, if not 1 game better than that. Nobody knows what will happen, but I do know there's no way this team just rolls over and get beaten by every opponent in September.

I hope you are right TG. I really really hope you are right.

Zachintosh66
07-13-2010, 11:14 AM
Troy Polamalu runs silent and deep

Ill be happy if he can just run this year...