The Top 7 NFL Safeties Coming into the 2010 Season
I was amazed by the amount of reads my last article has received. It was just an article about inside linebackers. I would never have expected such a great response...especially since my top quarterbacks article only got like 1,035 or so. Look at me being a prima donna complain about 1,000 reads!
But, anyway, I would like to thank all of you guys for reading my articles. I would like to thank Bleacher Report staff for allowing my first article to reach the Steelers front page. Without that I may not have written again, and I would not have made this my career path. I thank you guys.
I would also like to thank them for putting my article on the front page of the whole friggin' website! I was so amazed when that happened. I was more amazed and excited about that than when I was on the Steelers part of USA Today. Thank you all so much.
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Okay guys! Now that I have gotten all of the thank yous out of the way, we can get this show on the road!
Well, I understand it is a top seven list, BUT I wanted very much to put Oshiomogho Atogwe on here, but knowing the fan reaction and whatnot to having a certain someone outside of the top seven...could have been a travesty.
Just know, O.J. Atogwe is awesome and could work his way up the list next year. He is only one season removed from a very impressive season. He has been great for a number of years, but the thing is that he had a down year, so I must take some points off for that.
I had also considered throwing in Louis Delmas...he played well, and I see him being a future star, if he isn't already.
Anyway, enjoy the rest of the slideshow!
No. 7 Darren Sharper
Just a quick question: Why is it that he has such a super-hero jaw? His facial bones are like super sharp as his name would imply. Sorry, but I can't help but notice every time!
Well, where to start. He is one of the best Interception players ever, he is almost at the NFL record in yards and touchdowns off of said interceptions. He plays very well, and while not one of the more tackle-oriented safeties, his interceptions will more than make up for that.
He has had a great career....but he is VERY old for the NFL. He is not Rod Woodson, so I suspect there will be a drop off in the next year or two.
My friend Dustin Brown would rather have Sharper instead of O.J. Atogwe, and yes, I do realize he's out of his mind. Especially considering Atogwe is only a year removed from an extremely impressive season, and he is also like SIX years younger!
But that is for another story (or is it!?!). Sharper may not be all TOO fast nowadays, but he can still contribute to a team. When you get six interceptions and THAT is a down year, you know you are one hell of a player.
72 tackles, 51 solo, 21 assisted
NO Forced Fumbles....as usual
6 interceptions, 1 touchdown
No. 6 Adrian Wilson
I WAS going to have a Brian Dawkins slide, but Adrian Wilson is better, in my opinion. But, here was the line that I had to cut out due to not having a Brian Dawkins slide.
"Yes, he is a great player, but I'm DOCKIN' him due to his age. Sorry, but I just couldn't help myself. You can't leave me to my own devices or things like that can happen!"
I realize it was not funny, but it also served as a space user, meaning I don't need to admit that I know very little about Adrian Wilson's game, having seen very little film! Wait...oops!
While he isn't having like the best safety season EVER like he did in '06, I do think he is one of the best in the league. I think that Adrian Wilson's 2006 season was marvelous to say the least. He had 83 tackles, which is decent for a SS. BUT, 75—yes, 75—of those were SOLO. Amazing tackling ability that season.
He had four Forced Fumbles, he had four Interceptions, he had five sacks. It was damn near the most amazing overall season a safety had ever experienced. Not to mention that he had 146 yards (very nice, even though Sharper this year made it look pathetic) and a TD off of said interceptions.
If this had come out three years ago, Adrian Wilson very well may have been No. 1, even ahead of Ed Reed. But, let's talk about this past season.
He has lost some of his amazing tackling ability, but he still has one of the highest solo-to-assisted ratios in the safety section. He is still getting way more sacks than the average safety, getting around two or so every year. He had a rather impressive five Interceptions, and he just played great.
But age clearly is important to me. He is 30, and has A LOT of wear and tear over the years.
86 tackles, 76 solo, and 10 assisted
2 Forced Fumbles, 1 recovered
No. 5 Dashon Goldson
I seriously wish I could get a slide this epic on every slide, or at least something LIKE it!
Much like Adrian Wilson, I have not seen an abundant amount of film for him, but in this case, no one has. According to my love and trusted stat providers at ESPN.com, he had the following stats last year:
94 tackles, 76 solo, and 18 assisted.
3 forced fumbles
and 4 interceptions
I find those to be EXTREMELY well-rounded stats. If he can keep those up for a 13-year career (he only began starting this season, so 10 years starting), he will be a guaranteed Hall of Fame player—but of course that is unrealistic. I think he has a lot of potential, but considering he has only been starting for one season, we have not seen much out of him.
He would be a nice addition to any team, and I think he could develop into more of an Adrian Wilson of sorts, considering he hits hard, but catches quite well. He could have a nice future, but I don't really see him moving up all that much.
102 tackles, 76 solo, and 26 assisted
3 forced fumbles
I see him improving almost across the board because he will be coming out of his first real season starting. He will have gotten used to all of that by next season!
No. 4 Bernard Pollard
Yeah, everyone knows him as the guy who crippled the Patriots, BUT that doesn't mean he isn't a very good player. It just shows he has bad timing sometimes—mainly against the Patriots. Just ask Wes Welker and Tom Brady (yes, I realize Wes juked himself broken. Bernard didn't hit him!) about it.
This past year, he had 102 tackles last year, with more than 4:1 ratio solo. I find that to be very impressive, especially for a d-back.
He had a very nice, well-rounded year overall to me. He has a large sum of tackles (as mentioned a moment ago). He only forced one fumble, but I can really forgive someone for that! Please note he had career highs in EVERY category except for forced fumbles.
He had four INTs which is quite nice to me. He doesn't need to have a ton of INTs to be one of the best in my opinion.
He plays fast, and he hits hard. He makes an effort on every play I have seen. He was one of the few highlights on what was (and still is) an abysmal Kansas City defense for the past few years.When he went to Houston, people started to notice him more, but he has been playing well for years.
106 tackles, 83 solo, and 23 assisted
1 Forced Fumbles, 1 recovered
4 Interceptions, 1 Touchdown
No. 3 Brandon Meriweather
I found it surprising how few images Getty pulled up of Meriweather! It looks like I am promoting James Sanders (or whatever his name is), and that's just not right!
I have heard SO many Patriots fans saying how awesome and amazing he is, and I was getting tired of it. I decided to look up his stats and realized that he is, in fact, quite an impressive player.
He had 83 tackles this year, with about 53 being solo. Not the best ratio ever, but 83 tackles is more than enough tackles for me. Especially at a deep zone position like free safety.
He also had five interceptions, and one was a touchdown. It shows he has very good hands, and I wouldn't mind having him on my team!
He is a very good overall player, even though his stats from last year were almost IDENTICAL to the year before (except for the INT yards).
91 tackles, 57 solo, and 34 assisted
2 Forced Fumbles, 1 recovery
7 Interceptions, 1 Touchdown
No. 2 Ed Reed
I know that there are some Ravens fans out there pounding their faces into the wall. Honestly, I feel bad for Ed Reed. He has only been in the league for nine years so he COULD have played for another six or so years, but sadly injury problems over the last couple of years have held him to just 140 tackles over a three-year span.
BUT, he has been one of, if not at times THE best safety in the NFL. If his neck injury doesn't end his career and he is able to keep playing like he has been, he will be one of the top interception players of all time. He already is, but if he keeps playing for another five seasons or so, he WILL, without a doubt, set the all-time record for career interceptions. I think it is possible that he could actually demolish it. He is a threat to get nine interceptions in any season. He has great hands, and has the skill to return for a touchdown as well.
People just assume that he is a cover guy and not much of a tackler, but people forget that he used to play SS when he came into the league. He was great at the position, but the FS position fits his catching ability better.
I think he is an amazing player—wish my Steelers didn't have to play against him two or three times a year!
I don't expect a whole lot out of him due to his neck injury and possible retirement. The only reason he is this high is purely based on his catching ability and his past.
57 tackles, 41 solo, 16 assisted
3 forced fumbles
No. 1 Troy Polamalu
Really, there aren't whole lot of things to say. He makes amazing catches in big games. Just look at the AFC Championship game a year ago. Amazing interception and touchdown return.
You could also look at the Tennessee game, the season opener. It was an unbelievable play and one-handed catch. There was also a great acrobatic interception in the first Browns game. He's just such an amazing player.
I also recently learned that he made many of his interceptions in our championship season from the FS position. That shows how he can be just as good as Ed Reed at his own position.
He is quite possibly the most incendiary player I have ever seen, not yet in the Hall of Fame, that is. He could be arguably the best safety ever. Among greats like Atwater and Woodson. He just makes plays and he never stops. He never gives up. He reminds me of Clay Guida, and it's not just because of the hair.
Troy is also a pretty good tackler, having about 430 tackles in six seasons of starting, not counting his rookie season or this last one, where he was injured.
There are just so many upsides to Polamalu that also can not be measured. He has the intangibles, such as leadership, a fighter's spirit, and more. He is literally in on almost EVERY single play on the defensive side of the ball.
And those are the reasons he is the best in the league.
84 tackles, 59 solo, and 25 assisted
2 forced fumbles
7 interceptions, 1 touchdown
Still need a good conclusion....
I feel like that guy.
I need a good conclusion. I will be taking suggestions! Tell me what YOU think my catchphrase/conclusion should be! Or you could insult me about my awful list, Sharper and Dawkins fans!
Either one is cool!
I would also like to tell you guys, I have finally broken into the top 100 in comments written! WOO HOO!