Pittsburgh Steelers: Evaluating Teams’ Top 3 Safties

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have some of the best safeties in the NFL. I will share in this article what I think of the Steelers top three safeties.

It all starts out with Troy Polamalu. He is still recognized as one of the best safeties in the NFL. Despite his age, he is still super fast. He can read offensive plays before they even happen. For example, I watched Troy jump over the offensive line and sack quarterback Joe Flacco even before he could turn around hand it off to his running back — that is a sign of the veteran safety. He has also been injured for the past couple seasons with a nagging calf injury which has really limited his playing time over the last couple seasons. Hopefully he has no injuries this year and that he plays a full year, and can return to his true form.

Ryan Clark is also one of the best safeties in the NFL. His ability to make tackles out in the open is truly phenomenal. He has the ability to intercept a lot of passes and make some big plays. Despite having Sickle Cell Disease which prevents him playing in high altitude, it doesn’t affect him at all in pretty much all stadiums except the Mile High. If the Steelers need a big time leader on defense this year, it starts with Clark. I’m really excited to watch him this year and see how he progresses at safety.

After losing most of their backup safeties in the offseason this year, the Steelers were forced to go out in the NFL Draft and draft a safety. They got Shamarko Thomas, a rookie out of Syracuse. He’s a big safety and is known to hit hard — a few days ago he actually said that he is ready for fines from the NFL because he hits the way he hits. It’s just his game. He should provide a lot of help at safety if Polamalu or Clark were to get hurt this year. I’m very curious to see how this kid plays this year. The Steelers think very highly about this new rookie which says a lot about him. Let’s hope that Thomas does not get fined too much this year for his monster hits he puts on running backs or wide receivers.

These three safeties are some of the best safeties in the league — Thomas should be able to develop into one — especially the two starters that I mentioned. It should be very interesting to see how the safety position in Pittsburgh pans out this year.