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Insider Only “Overrated” talk following Troy Polamalu this off-season

Is the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year, the most over-rated player in the NFL?
According to some National Football writers, Polamalu is.
On the national scene, talk of Polamalu being overrated first came from SI’s Peter King last week who ranked Polamalu as the 50th best player in the NFL.
King’s main reasoning for the ranking was injuries and the fact that his rankings were also for how he saw players performing in 2011.
The biggest knock though on Polamalu has come from Senior Writer Pete Prisco who called Polamalu the most overrated player in football, saying great quarterbacks expose Polamalu, and that he isn’t great in coverage and the NFL is now a cover game.

By Pete Prisco
“They love the signature hair flying out from his helmet. They love the highlight hits that make the fools on some four-letter network swoon and yell “jacked up.”
They love his name. They love his game.
Troy Polamalu is an NFL darling.
He’s also the league’s most-overrated player.
There, I said it.
He was selected as the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 — an award I couldn’t figure out — and then disappeared in the playoffs, even getting trucked by Ray Rice of the Ravens in the playoffs.
He was a spinning top in the Super Bowl, trying to cover Packers receivers and instead watched them rip off big gains and two touchdowns on his watch.
The Packers exposed the reason I think Polamalu is overrated. He isn’t great in coverage and the NFL is now a cover game.
He’s a good player. He’s just not great.
I’ve always believed he was a gambler in the back end, and good teams and smart quarterbacks could take advantage of his aggressive style, which the Packers and Aaron Rodgers did. He gets away with it against bad quarterbacks, but good ones can use his aggressive style to their advantage (See Tom Brady).
They say Polamalu had a groin issue in the playoffs, but if you’re on the field, you’re healthy enough to take the heat. And haven’t injuries been an issue for him the past five seasons? He has played 16 games only once in five years.
That has to mean something in the rating game, doesn’t it?
He’s good. I just don’t think he’s great. That makes him overrated. I bet even some Steelers fans would concur after the playoffs.”
My Take: You can make a strong argument that Polamalu is on the downside of his career and that’s where Peter King has some merit with his No. 50 ranking.
As for Prisco’s analysis of Polamalu, the most overrated player in the NFL is a pretty bold statement.
Yes, Polamalu was a nightmare for the Steelers in the Super Bowl. There’s no denying that. Instead of staying away from him, the Packers saw enough on tape from Ravens, Jets playoffs games, that they went into the Super Bowl with the intention of targeting Polamalu.
When healthy though, Polamalu is still a difference maker in coverage due to his ability to cover the entire field. What should also be mentioned is that Polamalu didn’t have a groin injury, like Prisco indicates.
He had a very severe Achilles injury that as of last month still wasn’t 100 percent healthy. Polamalu in reality probably shouldn’t have been on the field in the Super Bowl due to the injury and the Steelers might have been better off with Ryan Mundy.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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