The League

THE QUESTION

Troy or Big Ben?

Who's More Valuable to the Steelers, Troy Polamalu or Ben Roethlisberger?

Posted by Emil Steiner on September 11, 2009 12:43 AM
FEATURED COMMENTS

mortified469: "World" champion is a bit of a stretch. Try NFL champion or super bowl champion. We Americans try to take the world as our own. We can...

Denny_98: Ben flies under the radar when it comes to rating premier quarterbacks. I think it's because people tend to look at fantasy league stats ins...

trippin: You know what? This dyed-in-the-wool Steelers fan recalls last season, and how many games Ben Sack-O-Burgers would have lost were it not fo...

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (10)

ALL COMMENTS (10)
delOH Author Profile Page :

Nice going Emil, created your own little cover jinx. For the next 3 to hopefully no more than 6 weeks, the answer is Ben.

jesrush Author Profile Page :

Are we really entertaining this question? I can think of at least ten active quarterbacks who you could "substitute" for Ben and you would still come out with a similiar win/loss record at the end of the season.

Who could you substitute for Troy? He's a one-of-a-kind Tasmanian devil. Ed Reed might work but that's about it!

Troy is infinitely more valuable.

mikeinburtonsville1 Author Profile Page :

I'm no Steeler fan, but watching last night reminded me of the Super Bowl. Ben carried the team on his shoulders in the end of both games. He refuses to lose and I stillhave no idea how he was not the Super Bowl MVP.

JPRS Author Profile Page :

Who's more important? Hard pick. You could also throw Harrison in the mix too. In past seasons there was the Bus and people like Faneca.

Ultimately, it's a team sport.

No single player -- no matter how good -- will carry a team to a championship.

The defense without a capable QB doesn't win Super Bowls. The QB without support on offense and a first-rate defense doesn't win Super Bowls either.

I agree in broad terms with Jesrush. However, I think he undersells Roethlisberger's talent. In terms of fantasy football there are 10 other QBs who are much better than him. In terms of real NFL talent there are few QBs with his mobility, improvisational and leadership skills.

Would a pure pocket passer have the same kind of success that Roethlisberger has had in a place like Heinz field? Would those other QBs be as good a fit as Big Ben is? I think this is an open question. He has a special skill set that matches the particular needs of this Steelers team. On offense he's a leader and he gets the job done when it matters.

On the flip-side Polamalu is a special talent. Ed Reed would be a better safety in coverage although not against the run. Adrian Wilson might be a better player against the run, but not as good in coverage.

Michael Griffin, Bob Sanders, and Laron Landry are strong players too, but still perhaps a notch below Polamalu in terms of talent or reliability.

Both Polamalu and Roethlisberger are critical parts of the Steelers recent championship seasons. It's hard to envision the Steelers having won their Super Bowls if one of those two was missing from the equation.

zippyspeed Author Profile Page :

Polamalu is one of the most overrated players in the NFL. Thursday's game was a perfect microcosm of the fact that for every positive thing he does, he also does something amazingly bone-headed. That 15-yard penalty for sailing across the field and smashing into a receiver's knee after he was well out of bounds was a classic. Another is him charging up and completely wiffing on an open field tackle, zooming out of the screen as fast as he entered it, with a startled expression on his face. NFL network re-broadcast last year's SB game a few days ago and there was at least one classic play where Edgerrin James -- not exactly in his prime any longer -- simply put on the brakes and slightly changed direction as soon as Polamalu left his feet, and sure enough Polamalu's own speed and reckless abandon turned a potential head on tackle into a hilariously bad missed arm tackle in which James reeled off a 15 yard run before Polamalu had even stopped rolling past him in the other direction. Then there's the little matter of the time the Patriots went into Pittsburgh for the AFC championship on their way to a SB win. If you go back and watch that game, Polamalu -- already a "star" at this point -- spends most of the highlight reel getting literally run over by Kevin Faulk. It's not even close; Polamalu looks sort of like that faux human cartoon guy getting run over slowly by a steamroller at the end of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. And while Faulk is a good guy, he is not exactly Adrian Peterson.

In summation, Polamalu's attributes may be stated thusly:

1) Tremendous closing speed.
2) Tremendous overshooting-and-failing-to-tackle speed.
3) Lifelong fear of barbers.
4) Wonderful singing voice.
5) Savage and unsportsmanlike late hits make Hines Ward seem like a paragon of fair play and honorable behavior by comparison.
6) Hilarious karmic lightning rod ability to try to hurt other people's knees only to immediately damage his own portends a future in physical comedy to rival Charlie Chaplin or Jim Carrey.

writinron Author Profile Page :

Interestingly, both players have a style of play that invites injuries: Ben taking hits, Troy rocketing into the fray. So, it's likely that the Steelers will have to play without one or both of them at some point during the season.

Both also tend to cause unfortunate side effects: Ben gets sacked out of field goal range, but extending the play is his strength. Troy draws the personal foul, but it's his intensity that makes him great.

Of course, neither of them would be worth a darn if the linemen weren't doing their jobs up front.

FiddleDeeDee Author Profile Page :

The refs are the Steelers's best player.

mortified469 Author Profile Page :


"World" champion is a bit of a stretch. Try NFL champion or super bowl champion. We Americans try to take the world as our own. We can't.

These are just athletes that are famous in the US. The rest of the world could give a damn.


Denny_98 Author Profile Page :

Ben flies under the radar when it comes to rating premier quarterbacks. I think it's because people tend to look at fantasy league stats instead of the real world. Otherwise Drew Brees or Phillip Rivers would never be rated above Ben. Sort of like Terry Bradshaw in that regardless of the stats, he just wins. The Steelers can win without Troy but not without Ben.

trippin Author Profile Page :

You know what? This dyed-in-the-wool Steelers fan recalls last season, and how many games Ben Sack-O-Burgers would have lost were it not for a defense that pulled it out for him in spite of himself.

As far as I'm concerned, it would be far more difficult to rearrange the defense to account for a missing Polamalu than it would to fill Roethlisberger's shoes.

As for the comment "Polamalu is one of the most overrated players in the NFL" you have a highly selective and biased memory. Everybody makes mistakes. If you're a part of such a high percentage of defensive plays, you'll make more of them. Give me enthusiasm and apologizing later for an occasional penalty over premeditated restraint any day.

If you prefer holding a pretend tea party among little girls with their pinkies in the air, then your bizarre comments make sense. If you like football, then you love Pittsburgh: one of the hardest hitting teams ever. Unlike your dentist, we don't cater to cowards.

As I said, everyone makes mistakes. In Ben's case, his mistakes are more avoidable than mistakes made running full tilt for twenty yards every play to make a tackle. Ben can scramble and he should do that. But he doesn't get rid of the ball when his sack becomes inevitable. The man thinks he has an "S" on his chest. He doesn't. He needs to exercise better judgment about when to come back next down instead of taking a big loss first.

 
 
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