I’m still not sure why this debate lingers on, seeing as Ed Reed plays a Free Safety position and Troy Polamalu essentially plays a Strong Safety role…more like a roving linebacker…
The national sports media is still kicking the question around: Who’s the best Safety in the current era of NFL players: Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu?
Sarah Ellison at the Ravens NFL.com site did a nice piece recently on the “Great Debate”…
She watched the ESPN feature in which Jason La Canfora and Elliot Harrison debated who the best safety of the new millennium is: Troy Polamalu or Ed Reed.
Harrison argued for Polamalu, saying the strong safety is the “biggest overall playmaker from the safety position since Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott.
“I’m talking about a complete game, not just interceptions and pass deflections — but sacks, tackles for a loss and, most of all, clutch plays.”
Harrison’s case for Polamalu, however, played into La Canfora’s rationale for Reed.
“Troy Polamalu is a tremendous talent, but Ryan Clark does a bulk of the coverage in Pittsburgh,” wrote La Canfora. “Polamalu is like an extra linebacker in running situations. … Without a doubt Reed is the best safety of this era.”
And while Polamalu is a great playmaker, as Harrison pointed out, Reed can and has changed the makeup of a game in a single play.
“Reed eclipses him, by a large margin, in interceptions, turnovers caused and touchdowns. He changes the entire nature of the game and the entire way offenses approach the Ravens. This is a guy who out-wits and out-smarts Peyton Manning.”
More fans tend to agree with La Canfora, but just barely. Of 9,227 votes, 53 percent say Reed is the best safety of the Y2K era.
Polamalu is great at what he does, no doubt, but he plays the line of srimmage way too much to be compared to Reed. It is almost like the Steelers run a 3-5 more than half the time. Polamalu is like the 5th linebacker.
Reed is able to hang back and still make plays anywhere on the field, no matter who is throwing, receiving, or how well the ball was thrown. Bottom line, Polamalu is mainly used as run/pass-rush support, while Reed is the No Catch, No yards, Last-Line-of-Defense safety you want on your team.
It all seems so simple to me. Why compare them when one is the best FS and the other the best SS in the game?… They would complement each other rather than be the same type of players if they were on the same team.
Hmmm….Reed and Polamalu on the same team….now there’s a concept that warms the heart for a July 4th holiday weekend….
Happy Independence Day, Ravens fans…