Troy Polamalu Needs To Step His Game Up for Pittsburgh Steelers

Mad ChadAnalyst INovember 16, 2010

PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 14:  Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches the game against the New England Patriots from the bench during the game on November 14, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Have you seen this man? Troy Polamalu is supposed to one of the best defensive players in the league, if not the best. People say that nobody impacts the game defensively as much as Troy.  He's considered an athletic freak of nature who can cover so much field. A lot of that has been true in the past and even in the beginning of this season. 

However, recently Troy Polamalu has been almost invisible on the field. I've seen Troy on TV with his Head and Shoulders commercials. I've seen him talking about Roger Goodell's punishments and critiquing his job as NFL commissioner. 

The only place I haven't seen Troy Polamalu is making plays on the football field, which is his job. Before Troy fans and defenders get mad, let me state that I like Troy Polalmalu and think that he is one of the best players in the league. I also understand that teams try their best to stay away from him and gameplan around him.

All that being said, he has to do more. He has to make some big plays. Force a fumble, get an interception, make a play. His counterpart, Ed Reed, missed the first six games of the season, and already has more interceptions than Polamalu. Understanding that Reed plays free safety and Troy plays strong safety, that's still unacceptable. 

Troy started the year strong, grabbing an interception in each of the first two games of the season. Since then Polamalu has not forced a single turnover. The last few games he's been absolutely miserable, missing tackles and making zero big plays.

It's hard to argue that Troy is more valuable to this team than currently injured Aaron Smith, who constantly gets double-teamed, frees up his other teammates and is devastating against the run.

The Steelers defense was playing like the 2008 version earlier in the year, but has had some major setbacks in the last four games. That season, Polamalu was one of the best players on field game in and game out. He had seven interceptions, and defended 17 passes.

This year he has two interceptions, and just just two passes defended. That has to change, especially considering that the Steelers biggest weakness is their cornerbacks. Troy has to step up and be the 2008 version. The player that earned all those endorsements. The player that was feared by opponents.

Recently, opposing quarterbacks have not been scared of Polamalu. He's had multiple passes completed in his area of coverage in each of the last three games. He blew a major coverage in the New Orleans game, and was out of position a few times against Cincinnati.

Polamalu will get defended by Steelers fans because of his luscious hair and calm personality, but the Steelers need more from him. They need him to play up to his capability. All of last year, I kept hearing that the defense would have been better against the pass had Troy not been injured.

Well, he's healthy and the pass defense is struggling more then ever. As for Troy he's just, more than anything, been a complete non-factor. A guy that talented should be making his presence felt much more. Started the year on fire and hasn't done much since. That has to change if this team wants to win a Super Bowl this year. Ben Roethlisberger has to be the best player on offense and Troy Polamalu has to be the best player on defense.

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