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Trailcamologist 06-11-2011 02:17 PM

Do you agree?
By Pete Prisco Senior Writer
June 9, 2011

They love the signature hair flying out from his helmet. They love the highlight hits that make the fools on some four-letter network swoon and yell "jacked up."

They love his name. They love his game.

Troy Polamalu is an NFL darling.

He's also the league's most-overrated player.

There, I said it.

He was selected as the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 -- an award I couldn't figure out -- and then disappeared in the playoffs, even getting trucked by Ray Rice of the Ravens in the playoffs.

He was a spinning top in the Super Bowl, trying to cover Packers receivers and instead watched them rip off big gains and two touchdowns on his watch.

The Packers exposed the reason I think Polamalu is overrated. He isn't great in coverage and the NFL is now a cover game.

He's a good player. He's just not great.

I've always believed he was a gambler in the back end, and good teams and smart quarterbacks could take advantage of his aggressive style, which the Packers and Aaron Rodgers did. He gets away with it against bad quarterbacks, but good ones can use his aggressive style to their advantage (See Tom Brady).

They say Polamalu had a groin issue in the playoffs, but if you're on the field, you're healthy enough to take the heat. And haven't injuries been an issue for him the past five seasons? He has played 16 games only once in five years.

That has to mean something in the rating game, doesn't it?

He's good. I just don't think he's great. That makes him overrated. I bet even some Steelers fans would concur after the playoffs.

So who's the league's most underrated?

The honor goes to a former undrafted player cut by his first team named Tramon Williams. He was the best cover player for the Super Bowl champs last year, even though most would assume it was Charles Woodson.

Talk to scouts, personnel people and even members of the Packers coaching staff and they'll all say that it's Williams who is now the better cover player. Woodson is still a ball-hawking playmaker, but he isn't the cover corner Williams is at this point in his career.

Yet Williams didn't go to the Pro Bowl.

Williams isn't mentioned on many lists as one of the top 10 corners in the game.

Williams gets slighted more than he gets beat.

That makes him the NFL's most underrated player.

Coverage is key now. That's why Williams is underrated and why Polamalu is overrated.

quackmaster4 06-12-2011 10:07 AM

Re: Do you agree?
Sort of. I'm not a steeler fan, (so I really don't like any of them), but have always had a high level of respect for Troy. He seems like a decent guy, and doesn't have to run his mouth to get attention. I'll have to agree that he probably didn't deserve 2010 award. The thing about him is; he may only make two or three plays a game, but they always seem to be KEY plays, "gamechangers" if you will. I think that makes him more of a force than just the stats measure.

steelerfan58 06-12-2011 11:10 AM

Re: Do you agree?
Great players aren't always great--just when they have to be. There isn't a defensive player who is more of a game changer than Troy Polamalu. As far as the DPOY award, IMO an argument could be made that James Harrison was worthy also, but there is no way that Goodell was about to let that happen.

Treestand 06-12-2011 11:29 AM

Re: Do you agree?
a sports writer can have an opinion and i respect that but at the end of the day that is all he is a writer. when you have offensive players and coaches on tv saying every play we need to know where troy is these are the guys who count. when healthy he is the best defensive player in the league unfotunately the way he plays he is hurt often.

steelerfan58 06-12-2011 11:52 AM

Re: Do you agree?
As far as the hits go, IMO Troy isn't that great of a hitter. In fact, I do have an issue with his tackling in general. Now Ryan Clark, he can bring the pain.

eyefromthesky 06-12-2011 12:01 PM

Re: Do you agree?

The thing about him is; he may only make two or three plays a game, but they always seem to be KEY plays, "gamechangers" if you will. I think that makes him more of a force than just the stats measure.
I agree. I also think injuries are starting to take their toll on his level of play.

He seems to truly be one of the good guys in the NFL which is refreshing. No showboating, running his mouth, ect. As long as he can play I'd want him on my team. I do agree that sometimes he doesn't tackle very well. lol

Getinearly 06-12-2011 12:56 PM

Re: Do you agree?

I'll take 11, please.

After the Ben crap, Troy (and Harrison) are about the only reason I watched the Steelers this year.

eddie spaghetti 06-12-2011 03:54 PM

Re: Do you agree?
I think all great players can be exploited. Mr Prisco needs to watch a little more Steeler football, and then write a retraction. I agree his tackling can leave a bit to be desired. But, Troy can make plays that change games (Baltimore game last year ring a bell?). Troy makes those types of plays on a consistant basis. An over-rated player would not be so luckey.

BTW when wasn't the NFL a cover game? Pre-1960's? The NFL is now a stop the run, and make the other team beat you with the pass league. That doesn't translate to cover as much as it does defensive scheme.

steelerfan58 06-13-2011 02:39 AM

Re: Do you agree?
Its always been a coverage game since the development of the forward pass. The run has always served to bring up the defense, which allows the QB to take advantage of the secondary by going over the top. The Baltimore game, and especially the Buffalo game, are reasons why Troy is the best strong safety in football. The goal line INT at our 1 in the Bills game was epic. The coverage issue isn't the fault of Troy. Its the fault of having a CB regiment, the BEST of which are Ike "Stone Hands" Taylor, Bryant McFadden, and Willie Gay. You could have Troy and Ed Reed as safety, and it wouldn't matter. The SB was a loss that rests on the offense not wanting to win enough and not protecting the ball.

Backwoods 06-13-2011 12:20 PM

Re: Do you agree?
Troy's games ia awesome and I don't believe he is overrated. Sometimes he is overexposed which is something not a lot of Steelers got until recent years. Troy's negatives (IMO) are his tackling. He makes some great ones and some very important ones but I have also seen a lot of whiffs! His coverage, he is not a great cover guy but he isn't a bad one either. I also believe his coverage ability has gone down a tad due to injury. If I were looking for a safety though I would still go get him because he is a gamechanger. He makes plays when his team really needs them. While I can't say he was good in the playoffs last year he generally fails to disappoint. He is fun to watch and you never know what he is going to do.

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