The votes have been tallied, and Troy Polamalu has been voted as AP’s Defensive Player of the Year. Troy beat out Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers by a vote of 17-15. James Harrison of the Steelers finished third with 8 votes.
Troy is the sixth Steeler and first since James Harrison, who won in 2008, to win the Defensive Player of the Year honors.
If you’ve ever watched a Steeler game before, you know that Troy brings something different to the table. Sure, he creates game-changing turnovers and highlight reel plays. But you know he has to be in the back of every quarterback’s mind for each and every play. If you can’t account for Troy Polamalu, you’re going to be in trouble. Just ask Joe Flacco.
“Troy brings this defense from a ‘C’ defense to an ‘A’ defense,” said James Harrison. “He’s someone that you have to account for in the secondary.”
Make no doubt about it, having Troy back for most of the season is one of the big differences between this year’s Super Bowl-bound team and last year’s disappointing season that ended just shy of the play-offs. The Steelers need to play four quarters of good football in order to beat the Packers on Sunday, and all eyes will be on number 43.