Who was the better safety: Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu? | The Tylt
When it comes to NFL safeties, no two players defined the position like Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu. Ed Reed was one of the best ball-hawking defensive backs ever, taking back seven of his 64 interceptions for a touchdown. Polamalu, however, was more of a bruiser. He has more tackles, sacks and forced fumbles than Reed, using his precision timing and breakneck speed. Who was better? 🏈
Who was the better safety: Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu?
When quarterbacks dropped back to pass, there were few that gave them more pause to sling it downfield than Ed Reed. When the ball was in the air, you could bet Ed Reed was going to be close by to make a play.
Not only did he take seven interceptions to the house, but he also picked up two fumbles for scores. By the time his career was over, he defended 139 passes and went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his first ballot.
Polamalu was a beast, but no one patrolled the defensive backfield like Reed.
If you want to talk about quarterbacks' fears, look no further than the blur of black and yellow timing the snap count and blowing up a play before it even begins—all the while having glorious locks flowing in the wind. Troy Polamalu may have fewer interceptions than Reed, but he brought the pain at the line of scrimmage and beyond.
The Steelers had no problems mixing it up and putting a body on someone. Polamalu finished with 135 more tackles than Reed in 16 fewer games played. He also forced three more fumbles and still managed to intercept the ball 32 times in his career.
Reed could do things in the box, but nothing compares to the physicality Polamalu brought to the position.