Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed are widely regarded as the best safeties in the NFL. They are both perennial All-Pros. These two play at a higher level than the rest of the league. This naturally draws people to compare the two.
There are some obvious differences between the two men. Firstly, Ed Reed currently plays free safety and Troy Polamalu plays strong safety. Reed did start his career as a strong safety, but has played the vast majority of it as a free safety.
Being that the men play different positions, they bring different styles of play to the table. Polamalu will often line-up anywhere on the field whereas Reed plays almost exclusively in a deep zone coverage. Ed Reed is one of the premier ball-hawks in the league. He is the active leader in career interceptions. Polamalu, on the other hand, does a little bit of it all.
Most Steelers' fans will swear that Polamalu is the superior player while most Ravens' fans will surely pick Reed.
The following slides will compare and contrast Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu and examine which player is the better safety.
All stats courtesy of www.nfl.com*
*when calculating stats on a per season basis, only seasons each player started are included, therefore, Ed Reed's stats were calculated at nine seasons and Troy Polamalu's were calculated at seven seasons.