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.