LB James Harrison and SS Troy Polamalu are ready to go at last after being sidelined with knee and calf injuries, respectively. Polamalu played in the Steelers’ Week 1 loss, while Harrison will be making his season debut.
Eagles’ QB Michael Vick has without a doubt taken note of this, as he will have his hands full all game against this revamped defense. Harrison and Polamalu are easily the most integral parts of this defensive unit, with their absences being key factors in the Steelers’ two losses.
Harrison is the definition of a hard-knock football player who has little regard for his opponent’s well-being.
It’s safe to say Harrison is no stranger to receiving mail from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell‘s office. The linebacker is notorious for his bone-crushing hits that have cost him thousands upon thousands of dollars in fines, handed down by the commissioner over the past few NFL seasons.
Despite the hits to his bank account, Harrison has continued to appeal the fines and play football with the same hard-nose approach that earned him the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2008.
Vick is very aware of this.
If there is one man that the Eagles’ QB will have his eye on all game long, it is Harrison. Not only is he a punishing hitter, but he is incredibly quick around the outside and constantly wreaks havoc on quarterbacks in and out of the pocket.
And while Harrison is tracking Vick down behind the line of scrimmage, Polamalu will be roaming down field, ready to pounce on any ball thrown.
Polamalu is arguably the best defensive ball-hawk in the league (with arguments for Baltimore Ravens’ Ed Reed) with the athletic ability to get anywhere on the field in a flash.
He is also capable of laying the lumber on opposing ball-carriers the moment they break into the secondary. So you better believe Eagles’ RB LeSean McCoy will have his eyes peeled as well.
Both Harrison and Polamalu must be accounted for on every down, or else they are each bound to make a game-breaking play at some point.
Look for the Steelers to come out with a vengeance on Sunday against the Eagles, in an attempt to prove to their fans that with a fully stacked defense their 1-2 start is nothing to be concerned about.
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