Friday, August 13, 2004

Just call me Mr. Brown Nose

Having just pulled my nose out of Chris Hope's arse, I (perhaps unfortunately) came across this really encouraging article about all the progress Troy Polamalu has made during training camp.

But the former first-round pick is a new man at training camp this season. He's not only breaking up passes, he's doing so with intimidating authority. Ask Hines Ward, who went up for a ball at a recent practice only to have both of his hands chopped, tomahawk-style, by Polamalu, the converging strong safety.

"It was a perfect play," Ward said. "Tommy (Maddox) put it right on my hands and at the same time his hands came in there and batted it down. He's making himself known for that. When you get close to Troy, make sure you catch the ball and cover it up."

Polamalu is also drawing notice for not hitting receivers in the open field and exposing them to injury. On Tuesday, he drew back from hitting Chris Doering over the middle. Doering, feeling Polamalu's presence, short-armed the pass and it fell incomplete.

"He would've made a lot of plays in this camp," said Coach Bill Cowher. "But he has kind of pulled off and made some good decisions because it is our guys we are practicing against."
Maybe Cowher will make an exception to the "no hitting during practice" rule and let Polamalu lay out Chad Scott just once -- you know, just to wake him up.

Anyway, I don't think I can repeat myself enough, but I'm really excited to see what this young, athletic defensive backfield can do.