Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-US PRESSWIRE
Despite the fact that I am likely to be publically flogged the next time I show up at Heinz, I’m going to bring up an ugly, ugly question. But let me preface it by saying, Troy is undoubtedly upper crust when you start naming Steelers, safeties, players and plain old humans. I like 43 so much I dressed up as him last Halloween, I’m just a few cans of AquaNet away from being his twin. His highlight reel is as long as the list of coaches likely to be replaced come January… ok its miles longer, but that is still a pretty long list. In the Denver game (the last I remember him on the field for more than a blink of the eye) Peyton was wise to keep one eye on Troy at all times, and you could tangibly see the effect 43 had on Manning calling and recalling plays.
My question is, (as I cover my head to avoid the stones) when is the last time we added a clip to that SPLASH video? The one handed interceptions, the jumping over linemen into the backfield, the sheer closing foot speed to the ball. Dare I say it could be time we consider the fact that Superman might become outdated along with his phone booth.
I guess we wait to see what happens against the Ravens. That’s when he is projected to come back on the field. But seven-ish weeks off (not including his one quarter against the eagles)….what kind of shape is he going to be in?
I was going to go back and try to dig out some stats and some numbers, but I think we’ve all seen the numbers that matter, the “without 43” win–loss graphic that every network puts up pregame above a live shot of Troy on the sideline eating sunflower seeds. In sweats.
But, here’s the good part, in the meantime, guys are stepping up. The secondary is gelling and might I say playing some pretty darn good football.
They have shut down some big name gunners.
They are getting off the field on third down.
They are leading the league in Defense.
They are not giving up penalties…. Ummmm
A secondary anchored by Ike, that includes Clark, Lewis and Allen that after some early season disasters, are starting to really play well without the perennial all pro. They are proving that they are good enough, so that losing one player, even one like Polamalu, isn’t keeping them from being an elite Defense. Especially for a unit that has shuffled a few players in and out in the hopes of finding the right mix. Allen has really stepped up against the run, while Taylor is holding his own against the league’s best receivers. One sure critique- and granted this goes for the entire D- they aren’t causing turnovers, just three in the last four games.
So sound off Steeler Fans. Do you think Troy is going to come back and keep pace with the rising trajectory? (please please please!) Is he going to re-stake his position and prove that Allen is merely an “acceptable replacement”? OR Is he now on borrowed time with that darn calf injury and won’t be as effective? Let’s hear it!