Tag:Troy Polamalu
Posted on: July 25, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: July 25, 2011 10:11 am
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Should the Steelers extend Polamalu?

PolamaluPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In this column from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Dejan Kovacevic, the author discusses whether the Steelers should lock up S Troy Polamalu for life.

As Kovacevic points out, there really isn’t a clear-cut answer. A Steelers fan’s heart will say yes, for sure. But when you break it down with your brain, maybe giving Polamalu a long-term and expensive extension on his contract, which will expire at the end of 2012, isn’t the best idea for Pittsburgh.

Here’s one reason Polamalu should be rewarded: He’s still an incredible player. Despite injuries that have limited him to 19 games in the past two seasons, he makes plays few others in the league could make. He tied his career high with seven interceptions last season, and he’s such a popular figure among Steelers fans that it makes sense to keep him in the city’s embrace forever.

But lest you forget, CBSSports.com’s own Pete Prisco called Polamalu the most overrated player in the game.

Prisco’s reasoning?

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).


Besides, Polamalu is going to be expensive. As the Trib Review points out, the highest-paid safety in the league is Kansas City’s Eric Berry, who signed a six-year, $60 million deal after he was drafted in 2010. I imagine Polamalu will want more than that.

Which might make it extremely hard for the Steelers to keep him.

“There's been no discussion yet (of a new deal), but I'd say it's highly likely that was because of the lockout,” his agent, Marvin Demoff, told the paper. "We'd be open to it, sure. Troy's played there eight years and wants to finish his career in Pittsburgh."

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 3:37 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.24.11: Negotiations go on and on



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • As CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman reports, the owners and players are negotiating again today. They’re just not doing it in person.
  • Jets WR Brad Smith, who’s been working out with Mark Sanchez at player-led workouts, thinks it’s a bit awkward for him to be with potential former teammates. That’s because Smith is a free agent and doesn’t know if he’ll be back in New York next season.
  • CBSSports.com’s own Andy Benoit, writing for the NY Times, ranks his top-10 safeties in the NFL. Unlike Pete Prisco, Benoit doesn’t think Troy Polamalu is overrated at all.
  • Looks like we have another locked-out football player who’s taking up boxing to stay in shape. That would be Chargers RB Mike Tolbert, who says boxing is the roughest workout he’s ever had.
  • The Jets will not be traveling to Cortland, N.Y., this season for their regularly-scheduled training camp. Instead, because the lockout hasn’t been lifted, they’ll prepare themselves at their regular home in Florham Park, N.J. The Jets plan to return to Cortland in 2012.
  • In a heartwarming tale, 136 members of the Chiefs organization traveled to Joplin, Mo., to help clean up the town that was decimated by tornados.
  • Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan don’t think former Giants RB Tiki Barber should attempt a comeback. In the case of Strahan, there are clearly still some hurt feelings for the way Barber criticized the Giants after he retired and became a network analyst.

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Posted on: June 13, 2011 12:06 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 12:36 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.13.11: Nice payday for De Smith



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • The Sports Business Journal reports today that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith made $2.45 million last year and that his current term ends next March. Depending on how this lockout plays out, I wonder if he’ll get much opposition for another term.
  • Before the NFL Draft, Jets RB Shonn Greene didn’t know what the team had planned for him next year. But after coach Rex Ryan announced he would be the main guy in the backfield, Greene said he now knows the kind of confidence his coaches have in him.
  • AEG is doing everything it can to woo a team to Los Angeles, but the Bills are not on the immediate list for relocation. However, the Buffalo News points out that when owner Ralph Wilson dies the organization could be a viable candidate to leave Buffalo.
  • 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is optimistic about the labor situation. He thinks a deal can be done by early July.

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Posted on: May 15, 2011 7:36 pm
 

Troy Polamalu's latest accomplishment

Posted by Andy Benoit

I have two things to say to Steelers safety Troy Polamalu:
T. Polamalu
1. Congratulations

2. Thanks for writing a post for me.

Here’s what I’m talking about. On Saturday, Polamalu issued this statement (photo courtesy of Polamalu’s website, Troy43.com...and notice that all of his hair somehow seems to be tucked under his cap…!!??)

I'm thrilled to announce that on this cool, sunny Friday morning I donned a cap and gown, walked across the stage in the beautiful Alumni Park at University of Southern California, and was handed my diploma. I'm officially a USC graduate! While I feel excited and fulfilled, that's not really what I want to focus on in this message — I want to talk about the reason behind my decision to go back and finish what I started.

The majority of top picks in the NFL get drafted before they complete their college education. I truly love football and it's such an immense blessing and privilege as an athlete to be given the rare opportunity to use those talents at the highest professional level, but it's certainly not a replacement for an education. So I decided to finish what I started and walked that stage today not only because it was very important to me personally, but because I want to emphasize the importance of education, and that nothing should supersede it.

In other Polamalu news, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that Polamalu is doing well rehabbing his injured Achilles in Los Angeles. There was a slight tear in the Achilles suffered in mid-December on Polamalu’s touchdown return against the Bengals. The injury was bothersome for the remainder of the season. He is expected to be 100 percent come training camp.

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:02 pm
 

Top 15 selling jerseys in NFL

Posted by Andy Benoit

USA Today has published a list of the top 15 most popular NFL player jerseys from the past year. Without further ado:

1) Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers
2) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
3) Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
4) Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
5) Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos
6) Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
7) Tom Brady, New England Patriots
8) Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers
9) Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
10) Eli Manning, New York Giants
11) DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
12) Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
13) Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys
14) Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings
15) Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

The data is based on sales from NFLShop.com.

Last year, Favre ranked No. 1 in jersey sales. Vick ranked 20th. Matthews wasn't even in the top 25.

Posted on: March 20, 2011 2:59 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 3:32 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Pittsburgh Steelers

Posted by Andy Benoit

 

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups. Also, check out our checkup podcast:





If you’d told the Steelers at some point during last fall that Ben Roethlisberger would get the ball with 2:07 remaining down six in Super Bowl XLV, they probably would have taken it. That final drive was about the only thing that did not go Roethlisberger’s way in 2010 (suspension aside, of course).

The Steelers, despite a depleted offensive line, got within arms’ reach of a Lombardi Trophy thanks to the emergence of young playmakers Rashard Mendenhall, Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown.

And, of course, thanks to their perennially staunch defense. Troy Polamalu took home Defensive Player of the Year honors (no matter what the humble safety says, the award was well-deserved) while the star-studded linebacking corps welcomed a new sensation: inside ‘backer Lawrence Timmons.



NFL Offseason

Don’t be shocked if Emmanuel Sanders supplants Hines Ward in the starting lineup sooner than later. This is more about Sanders than Ward. The second-year wideout is already Ben Roethlisberger’s go-to target in spread formations (granted, in part because Roethlisberger prefers to work the slot from four-and five-wide sets). Sanders has the quickness and tempo change to beat man coverage, and he showed marked improvements in understanding the offense as his rookie season wore on.

These days, Ward, 35, runs like he’s playing in sand. But he can still produce. His 59 catches for 755 yards last season were a drop below the back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons he had coming into the year, but his famous (notorious?) blocking remains sharp.



1. Offensive Tackle 1
After watching him lumber through last season, it seems like RT Flozell Adams is nearing that age where Tuesday afternoons and Saturday nights start feeling the same and relatives start dropping subtle hints about the dangers of driving after dark. No way the Steelers pay Adams the $5 million he’s due in 2011. The Steelers can go for the best OT available overall given that LT Max Starks is coming back from injury and could move over to the more-fitting right side.

2. Right Guard
Ramon Foster is not the answer. A simple review of last year’s front line personnel changes reveals that coaches will do just about anything to keep the undrafted utility man out of the starting lineup. Backup G/C Doug Legursky has better mobility than people think, but it’s not enough to make up for his lack of phone booth power.

3. Defensive End
Aaron Smith turns 35 in April and has missed all but 11 games over the past two years. Ziggy Hood was supposed to be primed to start by now, but the ’09 first-round pick does not have the power to be a true anchor outside. Hood must develop the type of agility that’s made Brett Keisel a force; it’s a tossup whether he will. Keisel will be 33 in September but shows no sign of decline. However, the Steelers like to draft players two years out, so finding at least one understudy still makes sense.



A run at a record seventh Lombardi Trophy is clearly not out of the question, though the Steelers won just 17 games combined in the seasons following their last two Super Bowl appearances. The defense is aging but not aged. The offense should only be better.

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Posted on: March 11, 2011 11:35 am
 

Report: Polamalu played hurt through playoffs

Posted by Will Brinson

The Steelers defense is outstanding without him, but Troy Polamalu is the difference-maker for Dick LeBeau's squad. (See: his Defensive Player of the Year award.)

As it turns out, Polamalu might have been fighting a pretty tough injury for the end of the regular season and all the way up through the Super Bowl.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Polamalu was playing with an injured Achilles tendon that "robbed him of his trademark burst and explosiveness" and that the injury was "much worse than the Steelers let on."

Per Dulac, the injury occurred against the Bengals when Polamalu returned an interception for a touchdown -- that he stayed in the game despite being hurt and later made a game-sealing pick in the fourth quarter is a testament to his toughness.

Obviously, Polamalu missed two games following Pittsburgh's win over the Bengals, when the Steelers went 1-1, including a loss to the Jets and a win over Carolina (which didn't really require anyone showing up, so don't look too deeply into that).

But if it's true that he never fully recovered from the injury, it may explain more clearly why the Packers were able to freely move the ball through the air against Pittsburgh in Dallas.

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Posted on: February 7, 2011 12:41 am
Edited on: February 7, 2011 12:43 am
 

Packers WRs fight back after drops (VIDEO)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

DALLAS – The drops were beginning to frustrate Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, and they were really beginning to annoy WR Greg Jennings.

Over and over again, Green Bay’s receivers dropped very makeable catches from Rodgers, stalling drives and killing momentum. Jordy Nelson (nine catches, 140 yards, one touchdown) had a fantastic night, but he dropped a few. James Jones (five catches, 50 yards) recovered pretty well, but he flubbed a potential touchdown catch. Brett Swain blew one as well that bounced off his hands and his legs before it hurt the turf.

Jennings wanted to say something, but he knew he couldn’t harp on the negative – on the, “What the hell are you guys doing out there” aspect. Still, receivers coach Jimmy Robinson urged his No. 1 guy to say something, especially with team leader Donald Driver out for the game.

“As one of the head guys, you understand that guys sometimes have to pull themselves out of the hole,” Jennings said. “When you have a drop, you have to be able to bounce back. All I said was, ‘We have to be great. Period. We have to be great. We can’t afford to have that in a game of this magnitude.’ The guys responded and we made the plays down the stretch. Ultimately, we got the job done.”

For much of the second half, though, the receivers were shaky. And on the Packers first drive of the fourth quarter, the carelessness struck again. With the Packers leading by four, Rodgers faced a third-and-seven after Nelson dropped another pass. But with the Packers desperately needing to continue the drive and put points on the board, Rodgers zipped a throw to Nelson.

Nelson easily made the catch, gaining 38 yards, and the Packers eventually scored a touchdown to take an 11-point lead.

“I can say for Jordy on that drive, for him to make a play on the very next play after he dropped one, it erases that drop out of your mind,” Jennings said. “When you can do things like that, it makes the game a lot easier even though you just made the ultimate boo-boo in our profession.”

The Packers prevailed without their emotional leader, as Driver – who injured his ankle in the first half and never returned – watched the second half from the sidelines. Without Driver, the Packers needed some kind of spark to kick-start an offense that failed to gain a first down in the third quarter.

Jennings helped provide it by fooling Steelers S Troy Polamalu.

After the Steelers cut the lead to four points in the third quarter, Green Bay’s defense forced a fumble from Pittsburgh RB Rashard Mendenhall, and after driving deep into Steelers territory, Jennings found himself running toward Polamalu, who was playing in a Cover-2.

Two weeks ago, while playing the Bears in the NFC championship game, Jennings cut inside against that defensive scheme and continued on his post route. That played worked a few times against Chicago, but against Pittsburgh, Jennings tried something different, cutting outside on a corner route and catching a wide-open touchdown pass.

“They were definitely playing for the post,” Jenning said. “We had gashed Chicago a couple times, and I’m sure they saw that in their film preparation where if they show a Cover-2 look, I’m going to be bend it into the post. But we kept the corner route on, and I was able to get behind him. (Polamalu) just dropped me. He completely dropped me.”

As a result, the Packers dropped the Steelers. And, at the same time, alleviated some of the annoyances created by a couple wide receiver drops.

“I,” said Rodgers with a laugh, “am not frustrated any more.”

Below is video of Jennings discussing his 31-yard catch on third-and-10 on the Packers final fourth-quarter drive.




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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com