Baltimore Raven Ed Reed vs. Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu

NFL Network decides who is the best safety in the league. The two names that immediately come to mind are Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu. They’re constantly compared and contrasted yet the question still remains, which one is better?

Though Darren Sharper ranks Troy above Ed, it is made quite clear that it can’t be fairly judged due to the fact that Troy plays strong safety and Ed plays free safety. The two positions are very different and it’s hard to compare the two.

Ed Reed is a freak of nature with the ball in his hands. If he doesn’t score a touchdown, he’ll get pretty darn close. Whether he’s juking someone out of their shoes or lateraling to a teammate, Ed Reed is sure to make a any play look interesting.

Troy Polamalu is a jack of all trades. He can drop into coverage and come up with the pick or come running across the field to make a big stop. Troy separates himself from the rest of the leagues’ safeties by playing so well in both pass and run support. If you see long hair flowing behind a guy coming your way, make sure to turn around and run for your life.

We have two players with different styles of play. The both can play coverage and intercept the ball. So what’s the difference? The thing that separates Reed from Polamalu is his ball skills after the catch. What makes Polamalu special is his run stopping and pass rushing abilities. If you cancel those two out, you’re left with two great players who skills are vital to their teams success. I really don’t want to give a nod one way or another, but the one thing that Reed has that Polamalu doesn’t is special teams ability. Reed’s speed and agility give him a huge advantage when it comes to returning and blocking kicks. It’s made him a threat on more than one side of the ball and provided more ways for him to get the ball in his hand. This is where he is most dangerous and must always be accounted for. Again, I’m canceling out what they do on defense and only given the edge to Reed based on what he provides on special teams. Because they are so similiar yet so hard to compare, I thought this was the only way to go about it. Please discuss your thoughts and opinions on the topic and tell us who you think is better.


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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Defense Ed Reed Free Safety NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Ravens News Ravens Rumors Safety Special Teams Steelers Strong Safety Troy Polamalu

  • the exiler

    Troy!!Troy has been instrumental in the Steeler domination over the Ravens. Reed has been strangely absent in games vs the Steelers.

  • Scott B

    Sorry, Reed is very, very good, BUT Troy is the best EVER to


    “The thing that separates Reed from Polamalu is his ball skills after the catch. What makes Polamalu special is his run stopping and pass rushing abilities. If you cancel those two out,”

    How is that even fair? You remove two positives from one person and one positive from the other? So 2=1? I think you need to go back to math class.

    • Riley B

      Polamalu is known for making the play while blitzing. I lumped those two into one because when a blitz is called, the defense doesn’t know whether it’s a pass or a run. When Troy gets the call, he almost always brings down the running back or quarterback depending on who has the ball. I guess that did seem confusing but I was basically making the point that Troy plays like a linebacker, Reed plays like a wide receiver/running back with the ball in his hands, and they both excel with traditional safety responsibility. Sorry for the mixup.

  • RAV52

    Ed Reed gets the nod simply because he hits homeruns whether he’s injured or not. Head & Shoulders is great, butwhen both are healthy I’m tking REED all day…

  • 20reed20

    20 Reed 20 all day, baby. No one is more athletic or more of a play-maker. Peyton Manning has nightmares about Ed. He’d throw Troy’s way every down. Ed has twice as many picks with only one more year of play, and does more with the picks than Troy did or does. Ed deserved the Defensive Player of The Year last year, but bandwagons overlook even the biggest talents.

    • the exiler

      Peyton has no nightmares of Ed. Have you checked out his win/loss record against the Ravens? He owns the Ravens & Ed Reed. He salivates about playing the Ravens ;-)

  • Leavell Adams

    This is a true football fan of the game but stand more on the defense side of the ball. Now speaking on the fact that the Ravens are my favorites team in the league, and the fact that Ed Reed is my favorites player in the NFL. That I would give it to Ed. Even thou I hate the Steelers but have a lot of respect for Troy and his teammates and what they do. Eight picks while playing hurt and missing six games losing a brother and continuing to support his team and fans. Troy can’t compare to what special things he brings to the game besides what he is capable of bringing on special teams. With neck injury he may not be able to put out the same physical out put in stopping the run as Troy but you better believe when that ball is in the air its his. Just watch the Super Bowl and you’ll see how Aaron Rogers threw Troy’s way a lot and see what happened. So from the looks of coverages Ed has Troy beat every time. Much respect Troy