Steelers Lounge Podcast #43: It’s the Offseason, Part VII — Troy Polamalu

Hey, the draft’s in a week. And I still have no idea who the Steelers will take 31st overall or, hell, who I think they should take. Depending on the day, it’s either cornerback or offensive tackle (today: cornerback).

But we podcast on. Because we must.

We start with Troy Polamalu because it’s episode No. 43 and Troy just celebrated his 30th birthday. Is he now on the downside of a hall of fame career? And where does he rank on the all-time Steelers greats list?

(Homework: before you listen, feel free to rank these three players: Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward, Rod Woodson. More homework: what’s your all-time favorite Polamalu play? We discuss both topics on the podcast.)

The conversation then turns to the newly released schedule, particularly the first game of the season (in Baltimore), the Week 11 bye week (good or bad?), and the final five games of the season (as ELSM pointed out in the comments, from this vantage point it looks quite palatable).

Finally, we chat about the draft and the Groundhog Day scenario we can’t quit: OL or CB, CB or OL. And for the Aaron Williams fans out there (and I’m kinda-sorta in that camp but not married to the pick), JJ breaks out the “You know, Williams reminds me of Chad Scott” scouting report. That’s a couple notches worse than the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Anyway, it’s a fun episode. Yapping starts promptly…

Steelers Lounge Podcast #43: It’s the Offseason VII

Steelers Lounge Podcast

As always, thanks to everybody for subscribing to the podcast (do it now if you haven’t) and if you want to send questions, comments, complaints or whatever about the show, email us here.

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  • DC in ATL

    Favorite Polamalu play is his interception returned for touchdown against the Ravens in 2008 AFC Championship game.

    I love it how he runs through about most of the Ravens around the 5 yard line or so, all unable to do anything or even try to do anything to stop him.

    As to ranking Woodson, Ward and Polamalu…that’s as hard as asking me which one of my kids I love the most. I can’t and won’t answer. All three (and my kids I suppose) are equally great in their own way.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t Week 10 the last week with byes last year?

    • Anonymous

      I see that last season, there were eight bye weeks – three through ten.
      This year there will be seven – five through eleven.

  • Anonymous

    I’m going nuts not being able to find videos of these favorite plays.

    2008 AFCCG interception and run back:

    If anyone finds any of them, please link.

    • ryan

      Ha. I had the same problem when I was putting the post together. I was especially interested in finding videos of Troy’s performance against the Broncos in the ’05 AFCC.

      • Anonymous

        Still can’t find online clips, but I do have an old tivo of the entire 2005 AFCCG which I just watched last night. I took note of the two plays you mention.

        The first was early in the game. The Broncos execute a screen pass to Tatum Bell who gets up a head of steam and two blockers up front. Polamalu is running up from Bell’s left, slightly forward, and the leftmost blocker goes to pickup Troy, which should have been easy since contact is made about 5 yards away from Bell. Polamalu does this sort of quick juke to his left to avoid the block, and simultaneously brings up both hands to the blockers shoulders, pushes off the blocker to propel himself to his left just behind the second blocker and into Bell for the tackler about two yards short of the first.

        The second was later in the game when things had been all but decided. Denver was in the shadow of their endzone. They ran a quick play to the right. I can’t quite remember if it was a quick screen, a pitch, or just an off tackle, but the runner got outside the line and had daylight in front of him enough to pickup some breathing room. Then into the screen comes a completely horizontal Troy Polamalu hovering about a foot off the ground who looks like a shin seeking missile cutting the runner’s legs out from under him about a foot outside the endzone.

  • GlennW

    Before listening:

    1) Woodson (pretty comfortably– first-ballot Hall of Famer and alltime great)
    2) Polamalu (if he can put in a couple more solid seasons)
    3) Ward (old reliable, but a cut below Polamalu as an impact player)

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Sounds like a strong podcast. I look forward to it tomorrow. As much as I love Hines, Troy and Woodson are in the conversation for best to ever play their position on any NFL team. And both had / have physical gifts that none have had at their position. Woodson gets extra credit for special teams return excellence and longevity, so I’d give him a very slight edge right now. But with time and health, Troy could pass Woodson.

    My favorite Troy play was, I think, in the AFCCG in Denver. He started deep in the end zone and ran up to stop a running back from scoring. He covered nearly 15 yards in the time the RB ran about 5-7 yards. It was like watching something in The Matrix. One of the reasons it is my favorite is that it was before I got used to all the crazy things he can do, like jumping over the OL twice, strip sacking Flacco when the game should have been over, the fingertip scoop INT, etc. Until my dislike for the Bengals reverted to pity, the steamroll of Carson Palmer on his first pick six was near the top, too.

    • Randy Steele

      Loved your line “like watching something in ‘The Matrix’.” Yeah, that sums up Troy.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Very good podcast. I enjoyed the Troy discussion. One other thing to add to his resume is that he was the DPOY this year. We really should appreciate him now, because we probably will never see another player quite like him.

  • Opie

    BTW when you guys were talking about the Chargers fingertip one-handed interception and said he did it against the Eagles earlier in the year, it was actually Dallas that he did it against.

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