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Thread: Polamalu earns a Lott of high praise

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    AZ_Steeler's Avatar
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    Polamalu earns a Lott of high praise

    This is some high praise from Mora and a pretty good player to say Troy is a lot like! Maybe Mora is trying to sike out Troy but we all know this won't go to his head

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06292/731223-66.stm
    Atlanta coach Jim Mora didn't split hairs yesterday when he talked about Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. He did not compare him to Sampson; he went one better.

    Mora compared Polamalu to another Southern California standout, Ronnie Lott, perhaps the greatest safety in NFL history. Lott not only went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot, but he also was one of three safeties chosen to the NFL's 75th anniversary team.

    "My favorite player in the history of football is Ronnie Lott," Mora said yesterday on the telephone. "He is the only player up on my wall that I have a picture of. I was watching film the last two days and kept thinking about Ronnie as I watched Troy."

    High praise, indeed.

    "Oooh, that's a huge comparison," Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor said. "That's huge. Huge!"

    It's the kind of eye-opener that Bill Parcells prompted when, two years ago, he compared Ben Roethlisberger's rookie season to that of Dan Marino's.

    Polamalu almost bashfully deflects that kind of praise as he does the news that the AFC made him the conference defensive player of the week yesterday.

    "Humbled and honored," he said of Mora's comparison. "He can believe what he wants to believe. Obviously, Ronnie was a great NFL defensive back, but I couldn't agree with him at all."

    Playing with a healthy right shoulder for the first time since it was bruised in the opening game, Polamalu led the Steelers with 10 tackles, knocked away two passes, intercepted another and returned it 49 yards. Among his tackles were three in a row on halfback Larry Johnson in the second quarter. The Chiefs had a second-and-2 at their 41 when Polamalu burst through their line and, with Larry Foote, tackled Johnson. On the next play, Polamalu dropped Johnson for a 2-yard loss.

    "Those plays he made on short yardage," Mora gushed, "the second- and third-down ones where he hit the gaps; you talk about having great instincts and anticipation! He is so fun to watch. If you like defensive football, you love watching that guy play. He is inspiring."

    He inspires his teammates, even the new ones. Linebacker Chad Brown, 36, played in a game against Lott, and he does not think Mora overstated the comparison of the two.

    "Both are dynamic playmakers," Brown said. "I think Troy perhaps brings a little more athleticism to it than Lott did. Obviously, both guys are hitters. Ronnie was an intimidator whereas Troy can hurt you quite a few different ways.

    "You have a guy here who's a triple threat. He can sack the quarterback, pick off passes and stop the run. I don't know what more you could want from a player. I suppose if you were to plan it out perfectly, you'd make him bigger and you'd cut his hair so he could bring that one back last week."

    Polamalu is shorter at 5 feet 10, 207 pounds but more compact than was Lott at 6-0, 203. In his fourth season, Polamalu has a long way to go to equal Lott's record of 63 career interceptions and 10 Pro Bowls in a career that spanned from 1981-94. Polamalu was All-Pro last season and made two Pro Bowls in his first two seasons as a starter. His 49-yard return with an interception against Kansas City Sunday -- before Larry Johnson yanked him to the ground by his long hair -- was the ninth pickoff of his career.

    "We'll have to see how his career pans out," Steelers linebacker James Farrior said. "I mean, Ronnie Lott's one of the best safeties to ever play the game. Troy's doing some fantastic things right now. That's a great comparison, but I think it's a little too early right now."

    It doesn't make it off target, though. Polamalu helps make the Steelers' entire defense go, elevates it to another level. His bruised right shoulder held him and them back early in the season.

    Quarterbacks are taught to start with the safety in order to read a defense. It doesn't help much when they're reading Polamalu, who jumps all over before the snap of the ball.

    "He confuses the offenses because he's running around in so many positions," said veteran backup safety Mike Logan.

    The Falcons will look at Polamalu the way the Steelers watch tape of Michael Vick this week, trying to figure out some way to counter him.

    "Troy, he's different," Mora said. "I know you guys get to see him a lot, but, for someone who doesn't get to see him a lot and turns on the film, he is something.

    "I have a great regard for defensive players in general. He's at the top of my list right now."

  2. #2
    Living Legend Steelersfan's Avatar
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    Some very kind comments from Mora. But all us Steeler fans know what kind of player Troy is. Can you imagine what Troy, Woodson and Lake would be like in a secondary together?....lol Oh, ok. Throw Blount in there too! We have had some pretty good DB's over the years here.
    I like what we did last week against KC but I want to see us continue to move the ball at will against teams. That alone makes our D 10 times better because we can unleash the blitz when and where we want.

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    Jim Mora is one of the few (along with Dan Marino) that ever seems to have anything good to say about the Steelers--that's why I love listenin to him. He actually sees our guys (and thier level of talent) the way we do, and always is one of the first to give them credit.

    It always shocks me when I hear anyone else sayin anything good, and I wonder just how much it pains them to have to do so.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Comparing Troy to Ronnie is a Huge compliment. Troy is very humble and appreciative of everything he has earned and worked for. It doesn't surprise me that appreciated Jim's comments but disagreed with them if only because he believes he can always get better and there's always something to strive for.

  5. #5
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    You all make great points. I am very shocked to hear Jim Mora's comments about Troy. I agree with SF Carnell, Rod, Troy, and Mel would be a force to be reckon with. We have a good secondary. Troy is an absolute blessing to all of us in the Steeler Nation. I love watching this game. I love his attitude, I love his family, I love his heritage and his humbleness. I hope to some day meet this guy and tell him this, you are indeed a Steeler player through and through, I enjoy watching you work your tail off. This is why I love being a fan of the STEELERS!!!

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    Top 30 BBG7's Avatar
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    wow...what a compliment for Troy!

    sig made by K Train....Thank you!

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