Super Bowl XLV: Troy Polamalu, the Black Curly Steel Curtain

Matt HunterCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after they stopped the New York Jets on the goal line on the fourth down in the fourth quarter of the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

If you ask NFL fans around the league who they would vote as the top safety in the league, the majority of fans would say Troy Polamalu.

Troy Polamalu was just named the AP Defensive Player of the Year, finishing the season with seven interceptions, and 63 tackles.

The Steelers defense is second to none, and Troy Polamalu is the keystone for the 11 players who suit up for the black and gold every Sunday on defense.

Polamalu plays every down at an unprecedented level. He seems to be able to read the offense and plan accordingly before the ball is even snapped.

When the ball is snapped he goes at warp speed and never quits until the whistle is blown.

Polamalu's play of the year came in Week 13 against the Baltimore Ravens where he blitzed off the corner and caused a fumble from quarterback Joe Flacco. This led to the game-winning touchdown and the lead that the Steelers would not relinquish in the AFC North.

The Steelers are 16-4 with Troy in the lineup and when he finds himself watching from the sideline, the Steelers are 6-7.

Come this Sunday, Troy Polamalu is going to step out onto the field with two weeks of rest, which has to help his ankle heal and give it the much-needed rest that it needed from the style of football he plays.

The Green Bay Packers are going to play right into Troy's hands. The Packers have had trouble running the ball this season, and going up against the No. 1 ranked rush defense in the league Aaron Rodgers is going to have to look down field to make plays.

This game is going to let Polamalu do what he does best—play rover.

With Green Bay going to have to throw the ball Troy is going to be able to cover all of the secondary. This is where he thrives, when he can pretty much go where he wants and cover any area that he can.

Troy seems to be everywhere on the gridiron, and for an offense he is almost impossible to plan for because he seems to have a free pass from coach Mike Tomlin to do whatever he wants.

Troy Polamalu is the core of the Steeler defense, and with him getting his rest that he very much needed this Steel Curtain is going to be tough break.

Troy Polamalu is going to make a huge play on Sunday. James Harrison had the big defensive play against the Arizona Cardinals in the Steelers last Super Bowl win; Troy will have this one.

Whether it is a late interception, or a forced fumble on a safety blitz, all people watching will know exactly who made that play because all they will see is luscious long black curls flowing in the wind as Troy raises the ball in the air as he leads the Steelers defense and the Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowl victory No. 7.